Palo Alto Weekly

News - August 16, 2013

Around town

IT'S FOR REAL, FOLKS ... After several years of threatened closures and liquidation sales, California Avenue's Know Knew Books is leaving Palo Alto next Tuesday for Los Altos. The used-books store, which has been a mainstay on the avenue for 25 years, has struggled since 2007 and hit a low point after the 2008 economic crisis. Co-owners Bill Burruss and Kate Nelson tried everything from poetry readings to art and antiques, and even chinchilla-adoption events at the 415 California Ave. store. But ultimately, the economy, changes to book-purchase habits courtesy of the Internet and Palo Alto's high rent got the best of the venerable store. The new address will be 366 State Street in Los Altos. The store welcomes all to "ring out" its tenure in Palo Alto with a last poetry reading by Sherri Rose-Walker followed by an open-mic session on Aug. 18 from 8 to 10 p.m. The store's last open day in Palo Alto is Monday, Aug. 19.

HELLO, HELLO AND GOODBYE ... Too many Indians and not enough chiefs? Palo Alto's two largest elementary schools — Escondido and Ohlone— which reported enrollments, respectively, of 576 and 605 last year, will get extra help to handle their extra headcount. Aleyda Berrera-Cruz, most recently from the Menlo Park City School District's Spanish Immersion Program, becomes half-time assistant principal at Escondido, home of Palo Alto's Spanish Immersion Program. Barbara Alford, who's been a teacher and administrator in the Cupertino Union School District, will join Ohlone as half-time assistant principal. Palo Alto's smallest elementary school, Barron Park, has an enrollment of 346. Leaving the district is Liat Baranoff, executive assistant to Superintendent Kevin Skelly.

NAME THAT LIBRARY ... As Palo Alto plows forth with an ambitious renovation and expansion of the Main Library, one question continues to puzzle city officials: What to call the Newell Road building once it reopens? City leaders agree that the name is a bit of a misnomer. Library Director Monique LeConge said visitors from other cities often show up late to meetings with her because they assume, reasonably but incorrectly, that the Main Library houses the library administration (in fact, that would be the smaller Downtown branch). Others assume, also reasonably and also incorrectly, that Main Library is the city's largest branch. In fact, that distinction belongs to the soon-to-be-reopened Mitchell Park Library. The Library Advisory Commission recently voted to rename the branch "Rinconada Library" after the prominent park adjacent to it. The city is preparing to do a "master plan" for the entire Rinconada site and the idea is to reintegrate the library as part of the community campus, commission Chair Leonardo Hochberg said at Monday's joint meeting between the commission and the council. This idea didn't sit well with several council members, who urged the commission to go back to the drawing board and consider other names. Councilman Larry Klein, who was the first to propose renaming the Main Library, said he was "intrigued" by the commission's decision to name the branch after a park, rather than a human. He noted that the name of the Mitchell Park branch not only alludes the building's location but also honors Pearce Mitchell, who had served on the council for more than three decades during the Palo Alto's early days. "I'm still in favor of naming it after a person," Klein said. Councilman Pat Burt made a similar point and said the library "deserves its own main identity, other than being subsumed within the park's identity." The name, he said, should be a reflection of community values. "I think most of us will remember for a long time who David Packard was in the community," Burt said. "There are other very prominent figures who I think would be worth considering."

GO NUTS FOR CRONUTS ... Ever since New York City's Dominique Ansel Bakery crafted the Cronut — a croissant-donut hybrid, shaped like a donut but with flakey croissant-like layers hiding within — hipsters and foodies everywhere have gone wild trying to recreate the original. There was the Crullant, the Cronot, the doughssant and even Dunkin Donuts South Korea's "New York Pie Donut." The Cronut copycat craze finally touched down in Palo Alto last week, when Paris Baguette on University Avenue started selling "NYC Croissant Donuts." For $3.50 a pop, distinguished pastry-eaters can see if Paris Baguette's compares to the original.

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