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Palo Alto Weekly

News - January 28, 2011

News Digest

InnVision Clara-Mateo shelter to close

The Clara-Mateo Alliance shelter for homeless families and single adults will close, its parent organization, InnVision, announced Wednesday (Jan. 26).

The closure of the Menlo Park shelter will take effect April 30 after a 3-month phase out, according to a statement released by the board of directors and CEO.

Directors said their decision came after several months of analysis. The shelter has been in jeopardy for some time. In 2006, the Palo Alto VA Healthcare System told InnVision that the shelter would be evicted in 2010 because the building is seismically unstable and the VA planned to add sports fields and recreational facilities for its veterans.

Clara-Mateo Alliance has 70 beds, and about 67 percent of its single residents are veterans. It was opened in 1999 on the grounds of the Veterans Affairs campus on Willow Road.

It is also home to the Elsa Segovia Center, which provides resources for self-sufficiency for women, children and families. Programs include children's educational and extra-curricular activities, adult education, food boxes and other supportive services.

In 2008, reduced funding threatened to close the facility — which also provides services for families and mothers — due to a decrease in donations. CEO Christine Burroughs said at the time that the shelter would probably be closed because of the high cost of real estate. Some municipalities also have zoning restrictions on where shelters can be placed.

Clara-Mateo Alliance merged with InnVision in 2004. InnVision is Silicon Valley's largest nonprofit provider of housing and services to homeless and at-risk families and individuals and serves more than 27,000 homeless and severely at-risk people annually from San Jose to Redwood City.

Audrey Rust to retire as open space trust head

Audrey Rust, who has led the Peninsula Open Space Trust for 24 years, will retire as president this summer, she announced Wednesday (Jan. 26).

"During my time at POST, we've saved 53,000 acres of open space out of a total of 64,000 acres since our founding in 1977," she said in the announcement. "We've raised more than $325 million to save stunning scenery, world-class recreation, productive farmland and vulnerable wildlife habitat in one of the world's most expensive real estate markets."

Executive Vice President Walter Moore will take over as president when she leaves on July 1, Rust said. Moore has been with POST for 16 years.

Major quake could hit within 30 years — or minutes

Two "micro-earthquakes" that hit south of Portola Valley in the past five days were too weak to merit updating the United States Geological Survey's (USGS) "probability" prediction for the Peninsula's getting hit by a major quake, a public information officer said Tuesday (Jan. 25).

A 1.7-magnitude earthquake hit the Kaiser Permanente quarry east of Portola Valley on Jan. 20 at 2:24 p.m. A weaker quake followed in a section of the San Andreas fault southeast of Portola Valley in the early hours on Jan. 24.

"They were too small to know" if a larger quake may hit, Public Information Officer Susan Garcia said.

The USGS's 2008 forecast for the Bay Area estimated a 63 percent likelihood that a major earthquake measuring at least 6.7 will shake the region within the next 30 years. For years, USGS scientists have cautioned that such a quake could hit any time, even within 30 minutes.

The probability is highest for the Hayward-Rodgers Creek Fault system at nearly one in three and lower at the San Andreas Fault, responsible for the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake, at around one in five.

"There's always the reminder that we do live in earthquake country — be prepared," Garcia said.

— Sarah Trauben

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