AN APPLE A DAY ... One month after they officially unveiled the city's new smartphone tool, PaloAlto311, city officials are pleased with the response from the community. As of June 29, the mobile app has been downloaded 440 times, according to Mayor Greg Scharff's newsletter. That's good news for the city, which was hoping to reach 500 downloads within three months of the app's release. The app, which is still being beta-tested, is loaded with civic tools, including the City Council's calendar, the library index and a feature that allows users to instantly send photos of potholes or graffiti directly to City Hall. The download data also makes one thing clear: Even with Samsung preparing to take over Varsity Theatre on University Avenue, Palo Alto remains largely an Apple town. Of the 440 downloads, 336 were done using an iPhone or iPad, while 104 used an Android-based phone.
LIBRARY 'EXPANSION' ... The construction of Mitchell Park Library and Community Center won't be completed until at least the end of the year, but bookworms in south Palo Alto have at least one consolation prize. The temporary library set up at Cubberley Community Center is once again using the Link+ service, which allows local library users to tap into a network of more than 40 libraries in California and Nevada. Residents can order books and other materials through the library catalog on the city's website and pick up these materials at the temporary Mitchell Park library in two to five days. "The Palo Alto City Library has access to a wide range of items through LINK+," Library Director Monique le Conge said in a statement. "These books can help complete personal research, satisfy academic needs, and support lifelong learning. This service is one that is popular. People know it by name and have been eager to have it resume."
HOT STUFF ... Trendy Palo Altans love to flock to the latest and greatest, and they made no exceptions during the recent heat wave. Fans of the ice cream sandwich and other frozen treats waited up to an hour in line last week outside of Cream, downtown's newest ice cream shop, located on University Avenue. "It's cheap. You can get an ice cream sandwich for about $2.50," one young woman said, explaining the allure of her goal. Those who'd already purchased their sandwiches enjoyed the cool treat in the heat. But a few others expressed exasperation. "This is ridiculous. I'm going to Fraiche," said one passerby, referring to the yogurt shop six blocks away.