A 23-year-old man who allegedly sexually assaulted his 2-year-old niece was beaten Wednesday by the child's mother until officers arrived to the East Palo Alto home and took him into custody.
Police said Joel Aguilar Guizar was found cowering inside a home at an undisclosed address after officers responded around 1 p.m. to a report of a domestic battery in progress.
The officers found two women inside who were holding their children and were visibly upset, police said. The officers determined the women had discovered that Guizar had sexually assaulted his niece, police said.
The victim's mother assaulted Guizar, who confessed to the sexual assault during a police interview, according to police. He was booked into San Mateo County Jail on three counts of sodomy of a child and one count of lewd acts with a child.
Anti-stress plan targets winter-break homework
In a new anti-stress measure for students, the Palo Alto school district may add a message to the school-year calendar to tell teachers not to assign work during the December break.
"The winter break is intended to be a time that is free from schoolwork for students and staff," Assistant Superintendent Scott Bowers said in a draft message presented to the school board Tuesday night in a study session. The issue is to be discussed again and possibly voted on in October.
"There should be no expectations on the part of students or staff that schoolwork is done over this period," Bowers wrote.
The message instructs teachers not to assign projects that are due the first week back from break.
Without homework, the winter break could allow busy students a real and healthy rest, board Vice President Barb Mitchell said.
Board members were divided as to whether the board should take a stronger stance and adopt the message as an actual policy.
Melissa Baten Caswell said there was no reason not to, if the board already endorsed the message. Barbara Klausner suggested waiting a year, then gathering community input to see if the message alone worked.
Superintendent Kevin Skelly said students could enforce the quasi-policy themselves.
"Classroom communities will do some policing on this," he said. "The students do have some power."
Board members did agree, however, on the difficulty of settling on a homework schedule that pleases everyone.
"It's a tough thing to construct. There is no perfect solution," board President Dana Tom said.
State provides key $240 million to construct BART extension
A state commission pledged to provide $240 million to extend BART to San Jose and Santa Clara Thursday morning, said Carl Guardino, a member of the California Transportation Commission.
The commission's unanimous vote secures all necessary state funding — a total of $760 million — for the $6.1 billion, 16-mile project, said Guardino, also the president and CEO of the Silicon Valley Leadership Group.
"This is the missing puzzle piece to secure the federal piece to have rapid rail around the entire Bay Area," Guardino said.
Measure B on the November ballot asks voters to consider a one-eighth of a cent sales tax that would be used to pay for the operation and maintenance of the BART connection in San Jose. If passed, it would only go into effect if all state and federal financing is secured to construct the massive project.
Federal authorities have said they want to ensure money is available to operate the extension before providing funding for its construction, Guardino said.
Construction could begin in 2013 and complete in 2017, he said.
"Nearly 50 years ago, folks in this valley missed the opportunity to link the Bay Area [via transit]. Our generation has a chance to fix it," Guardino said.
On Wednesday, the Palo Alto Chamber of Commerce's Government Action Committee voted to recommend its board support Measure B. Others, including Palo Alto Councilwoman Yoriko Kishimoto, oppose Measure B because they believe the money could be used to improve Caltrain or for other transportation projects.
Two-thirds of voters on Nov. 4 must approve Measure B to pass the sales tax.