Palo Alto Weekly

News - September 10, 2010

Around Town

A TALE OF TWO TIGERS ... There are many brown-and-gray tabby cats in the world, but only one Tiger Samson. And if he could talk, he'd have quite a tale to tell. Tiger, a nearly 2-year-old tomcat belonging to the Samson family of Palo Alto, embarked on a weeks-long adventure when he escaped from Palo Alto's Classic Pet Grooming on Arastradero Road in early August — where he was to stay while his human family was on vacation. When Mark Samson and his kids, Emma and Craig, ages 10 and 6, returned to pick up Tiger, they were presented with one who looked similar to Tiger. But the Samson children insisted he was not their beloved pet. Besides, he was growling at the family. At first, Samson said the owner of Classic Pet Grooming said it was indeed their cat, but she eventually admitted that Tiger had escaped his kennel and disappeared shortly after arriving. The impostor cat turned out to belong to a neighbor. He was found in the yard to which the real Tiger had escaped and was presumed to be the right cat, the owner said. "We had hardly seen Tiger because he had been in his carrier and then escaped so quickly," she said of the mistaken identity. An opening in the ceiling through which Tiger escaped has now been sealed off to prevent any future escapes, she added. She apologized, waived the boarding fee and put up lost-cat posters in the area. Then, a miracle: After 21 days of "heartache, tears and several false leads," Samson said, a Mr. Sakazaki of Los Altos called the Samsons. He had recognized Tiger as a cat he'd seen hanging around his neighborhood, taken a photo of the "lost cat" poster with his iPhone to compare it, and tracked down the Samsons. A short trip to Los Altos later, with Sakazaki leading the way and Samson's wife and children calling Tiger's name, the wayward feline was joyfully reunited with his family and is now back home. Sakazaki has earned the Samsons' gratitude — and a $200 reward. "He's a hero," Samson said of Sakazaki.

MEN OF INFLUENCE ... He has conquered the world of social media and united 500 million people under his banner. It's no wonder then that Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg now tops Vanity Fair's list of 100 most influential people of the Information Age. In anointing Zuckerberg as its "new Caesar" this month, the magazine alludes to a toga party he threw two years ago, when the company attracted its 100 millionth user, and mentions his sweaty, uncomfortable June interview with Wall Street Journal columnists over privacy issues. Zuckerberg isn't the only notable local presence on the magazine's 16th annual list, the Vanity Fair 100. Palo Alto resident and Apple CEO Steve Jobs is second on the list, while Google founders Sergey Brin and Larry Page (who met at Stanford University and had their office in Palo Alto before moving into the company's current Mountain View headquarters) share third spot with the company's CEO Eric Scmidt. In its introduction, the magazine acknowledges Palo Alto's prominent role in the Information Age and calls the city "the Rome of our nascent millennium."

WANTED: A CLEAN, WELL-LIGHTED PLACE ... It's been a rough month for Friends of the Palo Alto Library, a group of volunteers that sells books and raises money for the city's library system. On Aug. 9, a fire damaged the group's headquarters at Cubberley Community Center, scorching walls, singeing thousands of books and leaving the group scrambling to find a new place for its book sales. Despite the setback, the plucky group will proceed with its monthly book sale, which will be held this Saturday and Sunday. The group announced that its main sale area would now be located next to the temporary Mitchell Park Library at Cubberley. In addition to this "main" room, the Friends group will also be selling books from the Children's Room and the Bargain Room. Meanwhile, the group is seeking a permanent headquarters to accommodate future sales. Friends want the new place to be about 4,000 square feet, to have parking and to be located near Cubberley so that books and volunteers could be easily transferred between sales locations. Anyone with knowledge of such space is asked to e-mail info@friendspaloaltolib.org.

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