PaloAltoOnline.com http://www.paloaltoonline.com If it is local and useful, it is on PaloAltoOnline.com. en-us <![CDATA[Local author to debut children's book]]> A former second place winner in the Palo Alto Weekly's annual Short Story Contest has penned an illustrated children's book, titled "Summoning the Phoenix: Poems and Prose About Chinese Musical Instruments," which she will debut this weekend at Kepler's Books.]]> <![CDATA[Crucial tennis showdown at Cal for Stanford men]]> The nationally No. 37-ranked Stanford men's tennis team heads into Saturday's regular-season finale with some recent momentum, riding a four-match win streak into Berkeley.]]> <![CDATA[ShopTalk: Sports Gallery and The Annex close, Grocery Outlet thriving]]> Palo Alto's latest retail shutterings inckude The Annex of University Art and Sports Gallery downtown, as well as Coldwater Creek at Stanford Shopping Center. Meanwhile, newcomer Grocery Outlet is thriving in Alma Village.]]> <![CDATA[Pinewood's Scheppler named state coach of the year]]> When Pinewood defeated Scotts Valley, 43-41, in the third-place game of the girls' Central Coast Section Open Division basketball playoffs on March 6, the historical value of the game was overlooked.]]> <![CDATA[Review: 'Transcendence']]> "Transcendence" is as silly as it is sinister. But with cinematographer Wally Pfister -- an Oscar winner for "Inception" -- in the director's chair, "Transcendence" has a sobriety of tone that effectively works against its inner mad scientist.]]> <![CDATA[Review: 'Finding Vivian Maier']]> Photographer John Maloof was only looking for some historical photos of the Chicago area when he purchased a box of undeveloped negatives at an auction in the winter of 2007. He ended up discovering the work of a previously unknown artist named Vivian Maier.]]> <![CDATA[Photos from the front lines of change]]> Stanford University Libraries is in the process of uploading and cataloging 10,000 images by Bob Fitch. One of the most prolific photographers of the Civil Rights Movement, Fitch had privileged access to the inner circles of social justice leaders, such as Cesar Chavez and the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.]]> <![CDATA[Sherlock goes sidesplitting]]> There's something about watching grown men go totally silly on stage that is incredibly funny and exhilarating, especially when those men are Ron Campbell, Darren Bridgett and Michael Gene Sullivan, three masters of comedy. It helps when the script is a clever adaptation of the famous story by Arthur Conan Doyle, "The Hound of the Baskervilles."]]> <![CDATA[Treading water]]> Opportunity knocked, opportunity not answered -- at least for now. That's Dale Benson's assessment of Sam's Chowder House in Palo Alto. According to Benson, it wasn't a single glaring problem, "rather, a series of off-center details that didn't add up."]]> <![CDATA[New trails spell bright future for Palo Alto runners]]> Palo Alto may be in the midst of turning itself into a bicycling mecca -- an effort that continues to accelerate thanks to a new master plan, numerous county and regional grants, unanimous City Council support and a vocal bike lobby -- but it hasn't been nearly as active toward promoting projects to support those whose favorite vehicle is their own two feet. But not to worry. Life is about to get more exciting for Palo Alto's trail warriors.]]> <![CDATA[Palo Alto students help pilot new state test]]> It's out with No. 2 pencils and in with "click and drag" as students take on this spring's standardized tests in Palo Alto and across the state.]]> <![CDATA[Council set to adopt new vision for California Avenue]]> As jackhammers and excavators roar forth with an ambitious and expensive beautification of California Avenue, Palo Alto officials are putting the finishing touches on a new vision for the rapidly changing neighborhood considered the city's "other downtown."]]> <![CDATA[Local marathoners reflect on what makes them run]]> Nine local runners reflect on why, time and time again, they push their bodies to run 26.2 miles in a race that is the ultimate test of endurance and willpower on body and mind.]]> <![CDATA[Editorial: Cal Ave's future]]> Wanted: Redevelopment that is higher density, mixed residential and commercial, with adequate parking and improved pedestrian and bicycle connections, all without changing the current character as a neighborhood-serving retail district.]]> <![CDATA[PUBLIC AGENDA: Cal Ave concept plan, new Paly courses, 'Our Palo Alto']]> ]]> <![CDATA[A familiar situation turns into another Stanford victory]]> College baseball
Danny Diekroeger came up in a familiar position Thursday night against Arizona State at Klein Field at Sunken Diamond. With two outs and a runner on second base in a tie game, Diekroeger delivered his second walk-off single in as many games to give the Cardinal a 4-3 win over the Sun Devils.]]>
<![CDATA[Renowned Stanford diving coach announces his retirement]]> Dr. Rick Schavone, one of the nation's premier diving instructors, announced his retirement Thursday after 36 seasons as Stanford's head coach. He is the architect of a Cardinal diving program that he took to unprecedented heights during his time on The Farm.]]> <![CDATA[Local veterans asked to contribute to art project]]> The Palo Alto Art Center needs help from local veterans and their families in putting together an exhibition. The planned exhibit, "Containers of Community," will incorporate military memorabilia into ceramic cups, made by Marine Corps veteran, Ehren Tool.]]> <![CDATA[Stanford arts buildings to be revamped]]> Two major Stanford University arts facilities are getting prepped for soon-to-commence facelifts: Memorial Auditorium and the Cantor Arts Center.]]> <![CDATA[Magical Bridge playground surges toward reality]]> With funds nearly secured and its final design winning approval Thursday, Palo Alto's dream of creating an "inclusive" playground for children with and without disabilities is now on a firm path toward reality.]]> <![CDATA[Cook, Irvin, Shaw help Stanford men set volleyball precedent]]> Stanford roundup
Brian Cook, Steven Irvin and James Shaw helped the Stanford men's volleyball team make program history on Thursday. They became the first Cardinal trio to be named first team all-Mountain Pacific Sports Federation in school annals.
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<![CDATA[Worth A Look]]> This week in Worth A Look, a stage production of "Harold and Maude" from the Los Altos Stage Company and a musician who teaches children how to "speak" with music at Bing.]]> <![CDATA[Stanford-Cal showdowns in women's tennis, water polo]]> Last year at this time, the Stanford women's tennis team was gearing up for its improbable run to the NCAA title. Not many observers gave the Cardinal much of a chance after its third-place finish in the Pac-12 Conference.]]> <![CDATA[Stanford golfer Wilson named to U.S. Palmer Cup team]]> Stanford senior Cameron Wilson was named to the Palmer Cup team for the United States, as announced Thursday on the Golf Channel's Morning Drive. The annual Ryder Cup-style competition will be played June 26-28 at Walton Heath Golf Club in Surrey, England.]]> <![CDATA[Gregory Elarms, accused killer of David Lewis, dies]]> The man accused of killing East Palo Alto community leader David Lewis died Friday, April 11, at Stanford Hospital, the Santa Clara County Coroner's office has confirmed.]]> <![CDATA[Paly baseball closes in on first place in De Anza Division race]]> Prep roundup
Palo Alto remained in the hunt for a possible title in the SCVAL De Anza Division baseball race with a 3-2 victory over visiting Homestead on Wednesday. The Vikings moved to 7-2 in league (11-8 overall) and inched to within a game of first place.]]>
<![CDATA[Palo Alto's assistant city manager to depart for San Jose]]> Palo Alto Assistant City Manager Pamela Antil will step down from her post later this month to take a similar job in San Jose.
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<![CDATA[Weekly wins national reporting award]]> The Palo Alto Weekly's ongoing coverage of the Palo Alto school district's handling of bullying received the 2013 Sigma Delta Chi Award for Public Service Journalism, the Society for Professional Journalists announced today.]]> <![CDATA[Klausner getting her career started, Albanese wraps hers up]]> Of local note
One year after helping the Gunn softball team to a winning record and successful season, Claire Klausner is doing the same for her Princeton teammates, only in a different role.]]>
<![CDATA[RECENT HOME SALES -- April 16]]> ]]> <![CDATA[Green ideas and inspiration]]> After restoring a Category I historical home in the University South neighborhood, the homeowners turned to the landscape. Here they didn't want so much to restore, as to complement and enhance.]]> <![CDATA[Stanford men host rowing invitational this weekend]]> Cardinal corner
The Stanford men's rowing team will welcome seven teams to Redwood Shores this weekend for the 2014 Stanford Invitational/Pac-12 Challenge on Friday and Saturday.]]>
<![CDATA[Menlo College's Hall earns Cal Pac softball honor]]> Oaks' notes
Mary Hall of Menlo College was named Cal Pac Softball Player of the Week after having a huge week for the Oaks, pounding out eight hits in 12 trips to the plate while raising her season average to .348.]]>
<![CDATA[Palo Alto Housing Corporation nears sale of Maybell site]]> After seeing its proposal for a housing development on Maybell Avenue fall in a referendum last year, the Palo Alto Housing Corporation has entered into a contract to sell the orchard site where the project was slated to go up.]]> <![CDATA[Palo Alto looks to offer more aid to local nonprofits]]> With Palo Alto's economy sizzling, City Council members are preparing for the first time in more than a decade to raise the amount of money offered to nonprofits serving some of the city's neediest residents.]]> <![CDATA[Palo Alto police launch mobile app]]> The Palo Alto Police Department's latest tech-forward effort is a free mobile app, launched Tuesday, that provides immediate access to the latest news as well as crime maps, urgent alerts, video and photo content and other features.]]> <![CDATA[Stineman clinches Cardinal tennis victory over Gaels]]> Stanford roundup
The Stanford men's tennis team beat visiting St. Mary's, 4-0, in a nonconference match Tuesday, extending its winning streak to four matches.]]>
<![CDATA[Finally, warm and toasty]]> Remember the freezing cold snap back in early December? That's when Carole Amos was huddled upstairs, wondering if there was any way to speed up the installation of a new radiant heating system in her two-story Mountain View townhouse.]]> <![CDATA[Modern, but no 'museum']]> The Old Palo Alto home that architect Mary Maydan's client purchased in 2012 was handsomely built in the 1980s, but it didn't really reflect his modern tastes.]]> <![CDATA[From blah to distinctive]]> When Toiya and John Black purchased their new home in 2006, they thought it would be just right for their family of four: It had a good location (College Terrace), size and great flow -- but no charm.]]> <![CDATA[Light motif]]> Laura Ulam bought her circa-1962 Sharon Heights home in 2012 with the intent to redo it. "It's the fourth house I've remodeled," she says. ]]> <![CDATA[Spring 2014 Home & Garden Design]]> This edition of Home & Garden Design features remodels that raised the ceilings in a mid-century home, took a spec home to special, gave a a modern take to a conventional home and added radiant floor heating, as well as how to create a stress-free garden.]]> <![CDATA[Go to your happy place]]> Gardens are restorative environments where we can relax and enjoy being outdoors and feeling one with the world, right? Uh, not quite! In my career as a landscape designer, I have worked with some seriously anxiety-ridden garden owners.]]> <![CDATA[Palo Alto grad Raffel wins his first college golf title]]> Of local note
Palo Alto High grad Grant Raffel not only earned his first collegiate golf title this past weekend, but he helped Williams College win the NYU/Manhattanville Invitational team title, as well.]]>
<![CDATA[Stanford's Jamie Neushul earns MPSF water polo honor]]> Stanford freshman driver Jamie Neushul was named MPSF/KAP 7 Newcomer of the Week by the conference after a standout weekend during the top-ranked Cardinal's road sweep of No. 2 UCLA and Cal State Bakersfield.]]> <![CDATA[2014 Central Coast Section track and field leaders]]> BOYS
400 relay -- Santa Cruz 42.89; Palo Alto 43.13; Palma 43.46; Bellarmine 43.72; Mt. Pleasant 44.12; Menlo-Atherton 44.17; Gunn 44.24; Willow Glen 44.29; Oak Grove 44.30; St. Ignatius 44.38.]]>
<![CDATA[M-A earns share of first place in PAL Bay Division race]]> Monday's prep roundup
Eric Amundson tossed six shutout innings and Matt McGarry went 3-for-4 with three RBI -- including a two-run homer -- as Menlo-Atherton defeated host Half Moon Bay 8-0, in PAL Bay Division baseball action Monday afternoon.]]>
<![CDATA[Stanford's Ogwumike goes No. 1 in the WNBA Draft]]> Ruef picked in third round
Stanford forward Chiney Ogwumike was selected by the Connecticut Sun with the top overall pick in the WNBA Draft on Monday night. With the selection, Ogwumike becomes Stanford's second No. 1 overall pick, joining older sister, Nnemkadi Ogwumike, who was taken in the same slot by the Los Angeles Sparks in 2012.]]>
<![CDATA[Stanford's Huestis invited to basketball showcase]]> Stanford senior forward Josh Huestis has been invited to participate in the 62nd annual Portsmouth Invitational Tournament, which runs Wednesday-Saturday at the Churchland High School Sports Complex in Portsmouth, Va.]]> <![CDATA[Menlo School's Price sets the bar high in girls 400 meters]]> Weekend prep roundup
Whatever plans Maddy Price has for the remainder of the 2014 track and field season, she's probably already ahead of schedule to achieve those goals following a sensational effort in the 400 meters at the Arcadia Invitational.]]>
<![CDATA[Hochstatter pitches Stanford to conference win over Huskies]]> Sunday's Cardinal corner
Stanford gave starting pitcher John Hochstatter a four-run lead before he threw a pitch and he made it stand up in helping the Cardinal avoid a sweep with a 6-3 Pac-12 Conference win at Washington on Sunday.
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<![CDATA[Wilson overtakes Rodgers to earn blue letter jacket]]> Hours before The Masters champion was cloaked with a green blazer, Cameron Wilson donned the blue letter jacket awarded to the Western Intercollegiate champion after winning the event by two strokes over teammate Patrick Rodgers.
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<![CDATA[Teammates tied atop the leaderboard at golf tournament]]> Stanford junior Patrick Rodgers will be looking to close in on Tiger Woods' school-record 11 individual titles on Sunday at the Western Intercollegiate. Senior teammate Cameron Wilson will be looking for his own title. They are currently in a three-way tie for first in the Western Intercollegiate at the par-70 Pasatiempo Golf Club in Santa Cruz.
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<![CDATA[Sanders has a solid game in Stanford spring contest]]> Barry Sanders couldn't hide his enthusiasm after Saturday afternoon's Cardinal and White Spring Game at sun-splashed Stanford Stadium. The rising-junior running back has been itching to receive more carries, and got his name called 17 times, collecting 72 yards, including a 29-yard scamper on a draw, and juked defenders on two screen passes.]]> <![CDATA[Stanford clinches top seed at MPSF water polo tournament]]> Cardinal corner
Junior Kiley Neushul scored six goals, four in the first period, as the Stanford women's water polo team downed host Cal State Bakersfield, 19-6, in a Mountain Pacific Sports Federation game Saturday. The victory clinched the No. 1 seed for the Cardinal in the upcoming MPSF tournament.
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<![CDATA[SHP ruins no-hit bid while upending Menlo-Atherton]]> Sacred Heart Prep's Danny Cody beat out an infield single with two outs in the top of the eighth inning to end Menlo-Atherton's Matt McGarry's no-hit bid and give the Gators a 1-0 victory over the Bears on Friday in PAL Bay Division baseball action. ]]> <![CDATA[Book review: Major-league mystery]]> "The Setup Man," the new novel by South Bay author (and Palo Alto Online blogger) T.T. Monday, is about 35-year-old world-weary Johnny Adcock, a left-handed relief pitcher.]]> <![CDATA[The cocktail craftsman]]> If you find yourself thirsty in downtown Palo Alto, you might wander into the Epiphany Hotel's restaurant, Lure + Till, and order the Peninsula Punch, made with Kappa pisco, lemon juice, pineapple and basil.]]> <![CDATA[Review: 'Draft Day']]> It says something about the culture that the latest American sports-themed movie has almost nothing to do with game play and everything to do with wheeling and dealing: dealmaking itself has become a sport worthy of analysis.]]> <![CDATA[Review: 'Rio 2']]> Rio 2, like its predecessor, is a run of the mill CGI-animated kid flick, Palo Alto film critic Peter Canavese says. Yet, while the story is "pretty much boilerplate at best and unpleasant at worst," the animation is a "colorful, advanced 3D spectacle." ]]> <![CDATA[RECENT HOME SALES - April 9]]> ]]> <![CDATA[Charleston Gardens]]> When Betty and Jim Krahenbuhl first purchased their Charleston Gardens home in 1973, they had no idea that it would eventually be their place of retirement. ]]> <![CDATA[Movie review: 'Captain America: Winter Soldier']]> Give this to the films of the "Marvel Cinematic Universe": they have a consistency of quality. By treating their comic-book-derived films more as regular "issues" than film events, Marvel may never produce a film as great as "The Dark Knight," but it'll never sink to a low like "Batman and Robin" either. And there we have "Captain America: The Winter Soldier."]]> <![CDATA[Movie review: 'The Raid 2: Berandal']]> There's a moment in "The Raid 2" when a goon begs, "Please have mercy," and his assailant responds by raising his pickax. It's that kind of movie. And I'm half-joking when I say that if you gleefully identify with the assailant in that scene, this is the movie for you. Others may feel more like the goon.]]> <![CDATA[RECENT HOME SALES - April 2]]> ]]> <![CDATA[No cookie-cutter homes here]]> "A 3-story tower and roof deck emerges among vibrant evergreens, providing a unique vantage point of the surrounding townscape."]]> <![CDATA[Movie review: 'Bad Words']]> There's an old showbiz adage that directing is 90 percent casting, and that's also true of casting the directors themselves. Take "Bad Words," the directing debut of actor Jason Bateman.]]> <![CDATA[Movie review: 'The Lunch Box']]> The way to a man's heart is through his stomach, so they say. And so says writer-director Ritesh Batra in his debut feature "The Lunchbox." Though considerably more understated than a Tom Hanks-Meg Ryan movie, one might call this wry-at-times romantic drama "You've Got Lunch."]]> <![CDATA[RECENT HOME SALES - March 26]]> ]]> <![CDATA[Artwork to 'chair'-ish]]> Discovery of 60 wooden folding chairs dating back to the 1930s hidden in ancient rolling drawers underneath a stage has inspired The Woman's Club of Palo Alto to give new meaning to recycling and repurposing.]]> <![CDATA[Movie review: 'Muppets Most Wanted']]> A self-aware sequel to the 2011 film "The Muppets," "Muppets Most Wanted" provides more testament to the enduring appeal of the post-Vaudeville likes of Kermit the Frog, Miss Piggy, Fozzie Bear and the Great Gonzo, as well as the love and care they inspire in generation after generation of performers and audiences.]]> <![CDATA[RECENT HOME SALES - March 19]]> ]]> <![CDATA[Hitting the Mother lode]]> As the age-old adage goes, "One man's trash is another man's treasure." Turning this idea on its head is a group of 330 volunteers who put together the biennial Treasure Market on Stanford University's campus.]]> <![CDATA[Movie review: 'The Grand Budapest Hotel']]> If there were a valid critique to be given of "The Grand Budapest Hotel" -- writer and director Wes Anderson's latest, highly stylized ode to a place that might have been -- it would be that Anderson has fallen victim to his own tropes. But you won't hear that here.]]> <![CDATA[Movie review: 'Need for Speed']]> Manifestly overlong at 130 minutes, "Need for Speed" includes some eye-popping racing scenes of some very pretty high-performance sports cars. But in a world with thousands of cable channels and six "Fast & Furious" movies (with a seventh on the way), fast cars aren't enough.]]> <![CDATA[Who you gonna call?]]> The perfect utopian home would be something like this: light bulbs that never went out, living room paint that remained forever crisp and vibrant, drains that never backed up and doors that never got stuck.]]> <![CDATA[Movie review: '300: Rise of an Empire']]> Both blood-bathetic and deliriously entertaining high camp, this prequel-sequel-parallel plotline to Warner Brothers' 2006 hit will appeal mainly to meatheads, but those with a tolerance for over-the-top violence may appreciate it on other levels.]]> <![CDATA[Movie review: 'Tim's Vermeer']]> Watching paint dry has never been more fascinating than it is in "Tim's Vermeer," a documentary produced by the magicians Penn & Teller.]]> <![CDATA[Real Estate Matters]]> If last year was any indication, 2014 should be another exceptional year for home sellers across the Bay Area.]]> <![CDATA[RECENT HOME SALES - March 5]]> ]]> <![CDATA[Garden Tips]]> What is a garden anyway? Why do gardens make so much difference in our lives and why do we fall in love, raise our children and grow old together in them so much better than if we live our whole lives indoors?]]> <![CDATA[Movie review: 'Gloria']]> Audiences are programmed to expect escapism in movies about romantic relationships, whether they be foregone happily-ever-after comedies or doomed-to-death tragedies. But SebastiŠn Lelio's "Gloria" — Chile's official Oscar submission — insists upon unsettling realities without either stomping on its hero's indomitability or tacking on a deus ex machina.]]> <![CDATA[Movie review: 'The Wind Rises']]> "All I wanted to do was to make something beautiful." So said aeronautical engineer Jiro Horikoshi, whose Mitsubishi A5M and A6M Zero served the Empire of Japan during WWII. Amid some controversy, living-legendary animator Hayao Miyazaki has written and directed his own latest "something beautiful," this one a hand-drawn fantasia about Horikoshi: "The Wind Rises."]]> <![CDATA[RECENT HOME SALES - Feb. 26]]> ]]> <![CDATA[Green Acres]]> When Catherine Shen moved into her Green Acres home in 2008, she was welcomed with open arms by the other residents who she described as "polite and courteous." ]]> <![CDATA[Review: 'Pompeii']]> The new action picture "Pompeii" is a bit like its own villain, Mount Vesuvius: massive, full of hot air and brainless.
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<![CDATA[RECENT HOME SALES - Feb. 19]]> ]]> <![CDATA[Real Estate Matters]]> Why is it so darn hard to find a house to buy on the mid-peninsula? I remember long ago (or it seems like long ago) when an agent got a new client, we would pack them in our car and give them "the big tour."]]> <![CDATA[Review: 'Winter's Tale']]> If your girlfriend, boyfriend or spouse asks you to take them to "Winter's Tale" for Valentine's Day, my relationship advice is to immediately say yes. But leave a copy of this review lying around, and you may get a chance at making better plans.]]> <![CDATA[Review: 'RoboCop']]> Word leaked two years ago that Josť Padilha, director of the new "RoboCop" remake, was struggling mightily against studio suits to achieve his vision for the film. "It is hell here," the Brazilian director told a filmmaker friend. Now the film has arrived, and it's fairly clear that this "RoboCop" is a product of unhappy compromise.]]> <![CDATA[Review: 'The Lego Movie']]> Kids' toys and games have a poor track record as the basis for films. Since the broad-ranging "Toy Story" franchise doesn't really count (and with apologies to "Transformers" fans), the bar hasn't been set any higher than "Kit Kittredge: An American Girl," "Clue" or perhaps "G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra." But, in a minor miracle of pop cinema, "The Lego Movie" changes all that.]]> <![CDATA[Review: 'The Monuments Men']]> Say this for George Clooney, film director: He consistently makes films for adults. So it's too bad that, with his new WWII film "The Monuments Men," he sometimes treats that adult audience like children in need of a spoon-feed.]]> <![CDATA[RECENT HOME SALES - Feb. 5]]> ]]> <![CDATA[Letting nature do the work]]> It's nearly spring and time to confront a common gardening problem: How can one create healthy soil while keeping the weeds at bay?]]> <![CDATA[Review: 'Labor Day']]> One name for Hollywood that's stuck is "The Dream Factory," implying a big-screen projection of our fantasies. The trend of late favors the fantasies of tween-age boys (of all ages), as played out in "genre" pictures, but the new drama "Labor Day" steps out in other directions.
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<![CDATA[University South]]> Which Palo Alto neighborhood has access to a library, grocery store, coffee shop, City Hall, the police department and University Avenue, all within walking distance?]]> <![CDATA[RECENT HOME SALES - Jan. 29]]> ]]> <![CDATA[Review: The Invisible Woman]]> History, they say, is written by the victors. Indeed, popular English novelist Charles Dickens was a winner who jealously protected his legacy. But don't they also say the truth will out? ]]> <![CDATA[Winter 2014 Home & Garden Design]]> This edition of Home & Garden Design features a remodel that added up, without sacrificing yard space, a major remodel of a Craftsman home stressing aging in place, a winemaking accessory building and how to create flexible living spaces.]]> <![CDATA[RECENT HOME SALES]]> ]]> <![CDATA[Review: 'The Nut Job']]> OK, so you didn't plan ahead, but don't worry. The new animated flick "The Nut Job" has squirreled away enough lame nut puns to get you through the winter. More than enough.]]> <![CDATA[RECENT HOME SALES]]> ]]> <![CDATA[Electrically eclectic Eichlers]]> Often described as "having character" or "being interesting," old homes can just as often be described as "challenging" -- both to maintain and to renovate.]]> <![CDATA[Review: 'August: Osage County']]> It may be 30 below in Cass County this week, but on screen it's 108 degrees in "August: Osage County." And as the old story goes, when the day is hot, there's no escaping a brawl.]]> <![CDATA[Review: 'Lone Survivor']]> One word you won't see used to describe "Lone Survivor," the fact-based movie about a FUBAR Navy SEALs operation: "contemplative."]]> <![CDATA[Review: 'The Secret Life of Walter Mitty']]> Reborn as a flashy but soppy new adventure directed by and starring Ben Stiller, the film is sentimental claptrap about (to paraphrase a character) "courage and going into the unknown."]]> <![CDATA[Review: 'The Past']]> In 2012, Asghar Farhadi's "A Separation" became the first Iranian picture to win the Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film. This is his follow-up.]]> <![CDATA[RECENT HOME SALES]]> ]]> <![CDATA[When is a comp not really a comp?]]> We've all heard a version of the same story at a dinner party or on the sidelines of our child's soccer game. It goes something like this: Someone's neighbor/friend/coworker got a knock on his or her door offering $5 million cash for a house this neighbor/friend/coworker paid only $3 million for just last year.]]> <![CDATA[RECENT HOME SALES]]> Home sales are provided by California REsource, a real estate information company that obtains the information from the County Recorder's Office. Information is recorded from deeds after the close of escrow and published within four to eight weeks.]]> <![CDATA[Remodeling: In da Houzz]]> What happens when you combine the words house and buzz? The answer is the online community "Houzz," a website and mobile app for home remodeling and design.]]> <![CDATA[Review: 'The Wolf of Wall Street']]> "The Wolf of Wall Street" charges out of the gate with immediate evidence of Martin Scorsese's skill, abetted by Terence Winter's whip-crack screenplay and Thelma Schoonmaker's brilliant editing. ]]> <![CDATA[Review: 'Her']]> All people in romantic relationships want to know their love is real. But when half of the intelligence involved is artificial, can love be real? ]]> <![CDATA[Review: 'Saving Mr. Banks']]> There's enough spin at work in "Saving Mr. Banks" -- a Walt Disney Pictures account of the making of the 1964 Disney musical "Mary Poppins" -- to make audiences dizzy, which is essential to the film's design.]]> <![CDATA[Palo Alto market remains hot heading into winter]]> As winter approaches, we typically expect Bay Area and Peninsula home prices to start cooling along with the weather, as buyers replace their house-hunting expeditions with holiday-shopping trips. ]]> <![CDATA[Review: 'American Hustle']]> "American Hustle" is a dark-comedy lark with flair, letting the best (con) man win.]]> <![CDATA[Review: 'Inside Llewyn Davis']]> Like a rolling stone, singer-guitarist Llewyn Davis tumbles through the Greenwich Village folk-music scene of the '60s. It's the Coen Brothers' most compelling character study to date.]]> <![CDATA[Review: 'The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug']]> Peter Jackson's grandiose vision of J.R.R. Tolkien's Middle-earth reaches a crescendo with this thrilling second installment in "The Hobbit" trilogy.]]> <![CDATA[Review: 'The Great Beauty']]> It is, perhaps, impossible to make an ode to Rome without invoking Fellini. Though Paolo Sorrentino does so only indirectly in "The Great Beauty," it's impossible not to think of how he pales in comparison to the maestro.]]> <![CDATA[Review: 'Out of the Furnace']]> What, one might ask, is the point of understated melodrama? It's a bit like decaf coffee or near-beer. But understated melodrama, for the most part, is the stuff of "Out of the Furnace."]]> <![CDATA[Review: 'Homefront']]> Standard Statham action gets a solid acting boost courtesy of James Franco in the Louisiana-based "Homefront." We can put this in the "co-stars you thought you would never see" category.]]> <![CDATA[Review: 'Nebraska']]> It's never too late to play a few grace notes. With Alexander Payne's "Nebraska," this proves true for two septuagenarians: addled heartland grump Woodrow "Woody" Grant and the Hollywood royal who plays him, Bruce Dern.]]> <![CDATA[Review: 'Philomena']]> The film "Philomena," starring Judi Dench, takes the perspective of a wronged Irish mother coerced, in 1952, into giving her baby away. Co-producer and co-screenwriter Steve Coogan plays a journalist investigating the story.
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<![CDATA[Review: 'The Book Thief']]> There will, of course, never be enough Nazi Germany-set dramas to fill the awards-season maw. Unfortunately, "The Book Thief" is conspicuously phony in its ruthless attempt to manipulate audiences.]]> <![CDATA[School documents and source materials]]> In addition to documents and other original source material linked within news stories, other material obtained from the Palo Alto school district in the course of our reporting that may be of interest the public is posted here.]]> <![CDATA[Review: 'Delivery Man']]> This tale of an accidental (multiple) father manages to be high-concept and squishy at the same time. At least the star power of Vince Vaughn adds some comedy.]]> <![CDATA[Review: 'The Hunger Games: Catching Fire']]> It would be easy to damn "The Hunger Games: Catching Fire" with the faint praise of calling it a competent sequel, which it is. But the film gives audiences more to chew on than its predecessor.]]> <![CDATA[Review: 'Dallas Buyers Club']]> Classic "Oscar bait," this film falls into some of the common traps of exploiting a true story. But it's also lively, funny and scary, bristling with the most compelling drama of all: the grasping will to live and make it count.]]> <![CDATA[Review: 'The Armstrong Lie']]> The title of Alex Gibney's film derives from a 2005 headline in the French paper "L'Equipe." The paper alleged what many had assumed to be true: Banned substances had fueled Armstrong's endurance and speed.]]> <![CDATA[Review: 'Blue Is the Warmest Color']]> This movie is billed as "The story of a young lesbian couple's beginning, middle and possible end." It's also an NC-17 film with a seven-minute sex scene that has made it cinema non grata in Idaho.]]> <![CDATA[Review: 'Last Vegas']]> At first glance, "Last Vegas" seems like "The Hangover" for the 60-and-over crowd (minus the raunch). But the class-act cast and a solid script keep the film fresh and funny.]]> <![CDATA[Review: 'Kill Your Darlings']]> An oft-overlooked chapter in literary history comes to life in "Kill Your Darlings," a lurid yet penetrating look into Allen Ginsberg's formative influences.]]> <![CDATA[Review: 'About Time']]> Though you'll feel like you've seen this movie before, the film's strength is the ensemble cast effortlessly exuding affection for one another.]]> <![CDATA[Review: '12 Years A Slave']]> This is the story of a man: another tale of physical and emotional survival that, unlike "All is Lost" and "Gravity," derives from a true story.]]> <![CDATA[Review: 'Muscle Shoals']]> There must be something in the water. That cliche gets taken seriously in "Muscle Shoals," the documentary about two legendary recording studios nestled near the Tennessee River.]]> <![CDATA[Review: 'All Is Lost']]> Batten down the hatches for the unusual new sailing drama "All Is Lost." The only actor on screen for 106 minutes is Robert Redford, and words are pared down to a bare minimum, but all is riveting.]]> <![CDATA[Review: 'A.C.O.D.']]> "A.C.O.D." stands for "Adult Children of Divorce," a demographic big enough to ensure this dry-witted indie comedy a wide audience.]]> <![CDATA[Review: 'The Fifth Estate']]> This slickly edited drama plays like the account of a jilted lover, with the would-be dazzle attempting to misdirect from the ordinariness of the personal melodrama.]]> <![CDATA[Review: 'Romeo and Juliet']]> Call it the "Drunk History" version of "Romeo and Juliet." -P.C.]]> <![CDATA[Review: 'Captain Phillips']]> The "real-life thriller" "Captain Phillips" may be obvious and it may be clumsy, but it's also a little bit thoughtful, and there's never a dull moment. -P.C.]]> <![CDATA[Review: 'Runner Runner']]> Sadly, there's no actual running here -- or anything else that might raise your pulse. -P.C.]]> <![CDATA[Review: 'Gravity']]> Life is one hell of a ride, as George Clooney's character puts it. So is "Gravity." -P.C.]]> <![CDATA[Review: 'Rush']]> The director of "Frost/Nixon," Ron Howard, brings us in "Rush" another Morgan match-up: 1970s Formula One racers James Hunt and Niki Lauda. -P.C.]]> <![CDATA[Review: 'Enough Said']]> Two powerhouse performances and some nicely written scenes that, in tandem, provide some of the most enjoyable romantic and comedic moments of the year. -P.C.]]> <![CDATA[Review: 'Prisoners']]> An array of A-list talent tries its best to elevate a flawed screenplay into a work of moral complexity. -S.T.]]> <![CDATA[Review: 'Afternoon Delight']]> Jill Soloway's new comedy-drama about clambering to stay above the yawning pit of middle-aged ennui. -P.C.]]> <![CDATA[Review: 'Short Term 12']]> Writer-director Destin Cretton bears witness to the agony and the ecstasy of foster care in "Short Term 12," a film inspired by his own experiences working in a group home. -P.C.]]> <![CDATA[Review: 'Riddick']]> The man with the night-vision eyes is back. -P.C.]]> <![CDATA[Review: 'Closed Circuit']]> You've seen worse than the new boilerplate legal thriller "Closed Circuit," but you've also seen a lot better. -P.C.]]> <![CDATA[Review: 'The Grandmaster']]> If there's one thing not to expect from cinematic grandmaster Wong Kar Wai, it's a driving plot. But that's what we love about the languorous director. -P.C.]]> <![CDATA[Review: 'Austenland']]> The new romantic comedy "Austenland" casts a skeptical eye on the fantasy of romantic comedy itself, dating all the way back to the divine Miss Jane. -P.C.]]> <![CDATA[Review: 'The World's End']]> You can go home again, but it's going to involve drinking. That's the starting point of "The World's End," the latest from the most exciting team in film comedy. -P.C.]]> <![CDATA[Review: 'The Spectacular Now']]> A mature film tenderly performed by its young leads and skillfully adapted from Tim Tharp's YA novel. -P.C.]]> <![CDATA[Review: 'Jobs']]> This biopic about Apple co-founder Steve Jobs gets the look right in design and casting. But even Jobs, a dedicated aesthete, knew looks weren't everything. -P.C.]]> <![CDATA[Review: 'We're the Millers']]> Nothing to see here -- please move along. -P.C.]]> <![CDATA[Review: 'Elysium']]> Matt Damon gives a galvanizing performance that reminds us why he's a movie star. -P.C.]]> <![CDATA[Review: '2 Guns']]> By not being instantly dismissible with a comparison to some other movie, "2 Guns" wins some audience goodwill right out of the gate. -P.C.]]> <![CDATA[Review: 'Blue Jasmine']]> Cate Blanchett is a force of nature: the beating heart that keeps the conspicuously schematic picture alive and kicking, and a shoo-in for an Oscar nomination. -P.C.]]> <![CDATA[Review: 'Still Mine']]> Like its aging hero, the straightforward "Still Mine" has its integrity. -P.C.]]> <![CDATA[Review: 'Fruitvale Station']]> Writer-director Ryan Coogler wants us to know BART shooting victim Oscar Grant III as more than a victim frozen in time. -P.C.]]> <![CDATA[VIDEO/MULTIMEDIA: Palo Alto Online archive]]> A compilation of video content from the Palo Alto Weekly and Palo Alto Online staff.]]>