|• With an astronomically successful initial public offering, Palo Alto-based VMWare launched into public consciousness and trading markets simultaneously in August. And its employees -- either biking to work in VMWare-logo jerseys or commuting in the leather seats of a complimentary shuttle -- are enjoying the now-standard Silicon Valley treatment.
• The 67-year-old Children's Library re-opened after two years of renovations on Sept. 29. The $4.1 million library renovation became a model for public-private partnerships: residents and donors shared costs with the city.
• In a bid for a healthier and greener Palo Alto, a coalition of health, transportation, environmental, business and neighborhood groups sponsored a weeklong campaign --Palo Alto Walks and Rolls -- to promote biking, walking and alternative transportation. The October campaign came on the heels of prior challenges, which pitted the walking habits of city officials against neighborhood leaders'.
• After four years, Heritage Park became more than just an oversized lawn. On Sept. 23, new play structures were unveiled at the Channing Avenue park. In a public-private partnership, the city paid $75,000 and the Friends of Heritage Park raised $245,000.
• Oct. 7 marked the ground-breaking ceremony for the $270 million Taube-Koret Campus for Jewish Life, which will house the Jewish Community Center and 193 units of senior housing. The campus is scheduled to open in 2009.
• From quiet street to bustling market, a new Sunday-morning Farmers Market transformed California Avenue this June. It draws between 2,700 and 3,200 visitors weekly with about 60 merchants, according to Sanford Forte, a businessman who helped see the market through organizational red tape.
• How to honor Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and Coretta Scott King? After initial ideas of renaming a street were nixed by the Palo Alto City Council in January, the honor settled in October on Civic Center Plaza on Hamilton Street. The plaza is scheduled for re-dedication on Jan. 21, 2008.
Sue Dremann, Arden Pennell, Jocelyn Dong
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