Palo Alto Weekly

News - July 9, 2010

News Digest

Burglars raid Palo Alto home — family sleeps

Burglars stole a 50-inch television, other electronic equipment and a mini-van while a family of four slept in the home in the 1500 block of Hamilton Avenue last weekend, Palo Alto police reported Wednesday.

Detective Brian Philip said the burglars entered the residence through an open side window on a warm evening, apparently loaded the electronics into a Toyota Sienna mini-van and drove away. The tan 1998 mini-van is still missing, he said.

Besides the television, stolen items included a camera, watch, cell phone and laptop computer, Philip said.

The home had an alarm system, but it was not activated at the time of the burglary, which occurred Saturday (July 3) between 3 and 6 a.m.

"This is an unusual burglary in that the suspects entered an occupied home and removed several items without waking the residents," Philip said.

He said warm summer evenings require normal precautions, from locking doors and windows to using deterrents, such as alarm systems and lights.

Philip said anyone with information may contact him by calling 650-329-2408. Anonymous tips may be sent by e-mail to paloalto@tipnow.org.

$50,000 reward offered in David Lewis homicide

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger's office announced Wednesday it will issue a $50,000 reward to anyone with information leading to the arrest and conviction of those responsible for the murder of 54-year-old David Lewis, who was fatally shot at the Hillsdale Shopping Center in San Mateo on June 9.

Lewis was a community leader in East Palo Alto and co-founded the nonprofit Free at Last, which provides substance abuse treatment and transitional housing.

San Mateo police spokesman Lt. Mike Brunicardi said investigators are still working "tirelessly" on the case. With the approval of David Lewis' family, San Mateo police chief Susan Manheimer asked that a state reward be offered to encourage individuals with information about the crime to contact law enforcement officers.

"We greatly appreciate the prompt actions of Gov. Schwarzenegger, who (Wednesday) issued a $50,000 reward upon our request," Manheimer said in a statement. "We believe that this reward will help generate critical leads."

The governor's office has offered 265 rewards since the program began in 1967, and 20 of those have been paid, Schwarzenegger spokeswoman Rachel Arrezola said. In order for a person to claim a reward, a law enforcement chief must put in a written request and have approval from the victim's family.

Anyone with information about the shooting is asked to contact the San Mateo Police Department by calling the investigations team at 650-522-7650 or dispatch at 650-522-7700, leaving an anonymous tip at 650-522-7676, texting an anonymous message to 650-262-3473 or e-mailing an anonymous message to sanmateo@tipnow.org.

Night safety work planned at Caltrain crossings

Eight Caltrain crossings in Palo Alto, Mountain View and Sunnyvale will get safety upgrades within the next year, the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority (VTA) announced Wednesday.

The work, which started Wednesday in Sunnyvale and will occur between 8 p.m. and 4 a.m. Wednesdays through Mondays, is designed to make the crossings safer for pedestrians, cyclists and motorists.

Among the safety features are modified railroad-crossing gates and new guardrails, fences, pedestrian and emergency swing gates, sidewalks, crossing panels, and warning tactile panels to assist visually impaired persons.

The crossings are at Alma Street, Churchill Avenue, East Meadow Drive and Charleston Road in Palo Alto; Rengstorff Avenue and Castro Street in Mountain View; and Mary Avenue and Sunnyvale Avenue in Sunnyvale.

Each crossing is expected to take about three months to upgrade, and the improvement project is scheduled to wrap up in late June 2011. Palo Alto's will be the last.

One lane in each direction will be closed during construction and the sidewalk will be closed on one side of the street.

For questions about construction activity call VTA community outreach at 408-321-7575 or visit www.vta.org.

Three named to California Hall of Fame

Three local residents are among 14 Californians chosen as this year's inductees into the California Hall of Fame.

Woodside venture capitalist John Doerr, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and Hoover Institution Fellow and former U.S. Secretary of State George Shultz will receive medals from Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and California first lady Maria Shriver in a December ceremony.

Shriver launched the California Hall of Fame project in conjunction with the California Museum in Sacramento in 2006 "to honor legendary people who embody California's innovative spirit and have made their mark on history."

Other inductees this year are entertainers Barbra Streisand, Merle Haggard and Betty White; filmmaker James Cameron; painter Wayne Thiebaud; writer Anne Lamott; historian Kevin Starr and tennis player Serena Williams.

Posthumous inductees are blue-jeans inventor Levi Strauss, former Gov. Edmund "Pat" Brown and Bank of America founder A.P. Giannini.

Honorees are selected by a committee representing the California Museum, the California Arts Council and the Governor's and first lady's Offices.

The 65 honorees named since 2006 include former Intel CEO Andy Grove, Apple CEO Steve Jobs, Stanford University graduate and astronaut Sally Ride and former Stanford student Tiger Woods.

Posthumous honors have gone to David and Lucile Packard, Leland Stanford and the late Nobel Prize winner and local researcher Linus Pauling.

The California Hall of Fame Exhibit at the California Museum includes large scale portraits of the inductees and artifacts of each inductee's contribution.

The current exhibit, from 2009 inductees, includes an interactive display on the creation of an Intel microprocessor; props from the films of George Lucas; a time capsule from the late gay-rights activist and San Francisco Supervisor Harvey Milk; and kettle bell weights from fitness and body-building pioneer Joe Weider.

— Chris Kenrick

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