News Digest
Publication Date: Jan 19, 1994

News Digest

YOU CAN HELP . . . The Palo Alto Red Cross is accepting monetary donations to help victims of the 6.6 earthquake that rocked the Los Angeles area Monday. The donations will provide food, clothing, shelter, medical care, and other essentials such as furniture, rent, minor home repairs, transportation, health, and other emergency needs. Checks made out to the American Red Cross Disaster Relief Fund should be mailed to the Palo Alto Area Chapter, 400 Mitchell Lane, Palo Alto, CA 94301. As of Monday, disaster workers at the Palo Alto chapter of the Red Cross were on standby ready to go to Los Angeles to assist.

A NEW HOME . . . At long last, Bay Area Action has signed a lease to use a Midtown building, formerly occupied by Personnel Pool, to house its offices. The environmental group already has a phone and has begun moving into 711 Colorado Ave., across the street from 7-Eleven. "We want to be more a part of a neighborhood. We want to be closer to people who live here," said Bay Area Action co-director Jim Steinmetz of the move from downtown to Midtown. The organization plans to invite a variety of non-profits and green-oriented groups to share the space in the 5,700-square-foot building.

JAWS III . . . It was a cat's day out at Marine World Jan. 12. Rocky, the Marine World tiger in question, was knocked out by anesthesia while Palo Alto dentists Bob Turner and Paul Brown extracted a tooth. In two weeks, Palo Altan Jan Krieg (better known as Dr. Technology) returns to Marine World with the two dentists to put new teeth into two cats, Rocky and Sampson. Apparently Sampson, a white Siberian tiger, has a new habit of biting through stainless steel buckets. Dentists do not recommend trying this at home.

TRIVIAL PURSUIT . . . Slipping from their usually lofty positions near the top of the heap, Gunn and Palo Alto High came in third and fourth this year in the annual Millard Fillmore Trivia Contest organized by a Carlmont High School teacher. Both Gunn and Paly have consistently had strong showings, going so far as having school-sponsored clubs focused only on the grueling 48-hour contest. Problems run the gamut from history to sports and movies, and challenge students to answer questions such as "who was a famous Artichoke Queen from Castroville?" (Marilyn Monroe) to "who was the first judge of the Millard Fillmore contest back in 1979?" (a woman who worked for Sequoia High School District). San Francisco Chronicle columnist Mark Simon, the judge for this year's contest, read through the questions and answers and determined this year's winner: Woodside High School. Second place went to Sacred Heart Prep, third to Gunn and fourth to Paly. Paly team members had a setback, losing 50 points because they submitted their answers late after having trouble with a computer printer.

UNFAIR JAB . . . The folks at Hyatt Rickey's in Palo Alto, where Vice President Al Gore bedded down during his recent visit, took exception to a bilious remark by one of the veep's staffers--which appeared in a story in this paper--that the nation's second in command would find other accommodations should he return here. The staffer was apparently upset with a temporary snafu with the Hyatt's telephones. In a thank you letter to hotel General Manager Barry Lewin, Gore's staff assistant Peggy Cusack praised Rickey's "for making us feel so welcome." Cusack went on to say that, "we all look forward to the possibility of future stays at the Hyatt Rickey's on upcoming trips to the Palo Alto area."




Menlo Park is going to use its share of last November's Proposition 172 money to hire another community service officer. The new officer will join two others in patrolling the streets of the city on foot and getting to know residents and merchants. One will be assigned to Belle Haven, with the other two dividing the rest of the city.

Many local residents were jolted awake by a moderate earthquake in the predawn hours of Jan. 11. The temblor, 4.2 on the Richter scale and centered near Watsonville, was felt up and down the Peninsula.

The rainy season is half over and the lack of rain is worrying water officials. With a poor snowpack in the Sierra, the prospect of a another drought loomed larger last week. In addition, a water policy group released a report last week that predicted significant water shortages ahead, even with normal rainfall and snowpacks, unless new water sources are found. The Committee for Water Policy Consensus said that demand for water is growing more quickly than supply.

The San Mateo County Board of Supervisors voted last week to add 64 public safety positions, thanks to increased taxes approved last November by voters. The 64 positions will include sheriff's deputies, deputy district attorneys and probation officers. The county has received an additional $17.5 million in sales tax revenues through passage of Proposition 172 last November.

Several hundred Stanford students gathered in White Plaza last Thursday to protest possible cuts in ethnic student centers. The rally, headed by student minority leaders, was aimed at trying to keep the various ethnic centers operating at the current levels while the university is in the midst of cutting another $18-20 million from its annual budget.

Syntex Corp. of Palo Alto won federal regulatory approval last week to introduce an over-the-counter version of its pain reliever drug naproxen. The new drug will sold under the name Aleve and will not require a physician's prescription. It will likely appear in stores this spring.

CalTrain officials are making a push to increase ridership, trying to woo motorists caught in freeway construction traffic snarls. Train officials are starting a ridership campaign to coincide with the construction of the I-280/Highway 101 interchange in San Francisco, which is expected to produce large traffic jams on area freeways.




The rainy season is half over and the lack of rain is worrying water officials. With a poor snowpack in the Sierra, the prospect of a another drought loomed larger last week. In addition, a water policy group released a report last week that predicted significant water shortages ahead, even with normal rainfall and snowpacks, unless new water sources are found. The Committee for Water Policy Consensus said that demand for water is growing more quickly than supply.

Many local residents were jolted awake by a moderate earthquake in the predawn hours of Jan. 11. The temblor, 4.2 on the Richter scale and centered near Watsonville, was felt up and down the Peninsula.

Several hundred Stanford students gathered in White Plaza last Thursday to protest possible cuts in ethnic student centers. The rally, headed by student minority leaders, was aimed at trying to keep the various ethnic centers operating at the current levels while the university is in the midst of cutting another $18-20 million from its annual budget.

Syntex Corp. of Palo Alto won federal regulatory approval last week to introduce an over-the-counter version of its pain reliever drug naproxen. The new drug will sold under the name Aleve and will not require a physician's prescription. It will likely appear in stores this spring.

CalTrain officials are making a push to increase ridership, trying to woo motorists caught in freeway construction traffic snarls. Train officials are launching a ridership campaign to coincide with the construction of the I-280/Highway 101 interchange in San Francisco, which is expected to produce large traffic jams on area freeways.

Menlo Park is going to use its share of last November's Proposition 172 money to hire another community service officer. The new officer will join two others in patrolling the streets of the city on foot and getting to know residents and merchants. One will be assigned to Belle Haven, with the other two dividing the rest of the city.




CELEBRATING ROE VS. WADE . . . A free panel discussion called "Health Care Reform: Will Women's Reproductive Rights be Sacrificed?" will take place Jan. 19 from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the Palo Alto Unitarian Church, 505 E. Charleston Road. Speakers include U.S. Rep. Anna Eshoo, D-Palo Alto, Mary Chung of the National Asian Women's Health Organization, and Dr. Denise Johnson, Chief of General Surgery at the VA Medical Center. For information or to register, call 546-7211.

SAND HILL FORUMS . . . The first of three community meetings began Tuesday to discuss a proposal by Stanford University to widen Sand Hill Road and extend it to El Camino Real and to build several hundred units of housing on open land near Stanford Shopping Center. A second meeting was scheduled for today, from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m., at the Menlo Park City Council chambers, 701 Laurel St. A third meeting is scheduled for Saturday, Jan. 22 from 10 a.m. to noon at the Palo Alto Senior Center, 450 Bryant St.

KINDERGARTEN SCOOP . . . Two meetings have been scheduled to give parents information about the Palo Alto Unified School District's kindergarten program. Teachers will discuss the development of the five year old and describe a typical program, including the ways it accommodates a broad spectrum of children. Parents may attend either on Jan. 24, at the First Congregational Church, 1985 Louis Road, or Jan. 27, in Room 8 of Greendell School, 4120 Middlefield Road. Both programs begin at 7:45 p.m. For information, call 856-0833.

FIRST DAY OF SCHOOL . . . The Palo Alto Unified School District begins its kindergarten registration Feb. 5, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the District Office, 25 Churchill Ave. Parents must provide immunization records, proof of residency, and a birth certificate confirming that the student was born on or before Dec. 2, 1989.

GREAT DECISIONS . . . A discussion group meeting at the Mid-Peninsula YWCA, 4161 Alma St., Palo Alto, will focus on eight world issues chosen by the Foreign Policy Association. The group, Great Decisions, will meet on Fridays at 9:30 a.m. during February and March. There is a fee of $15 for the Great Decisions 1994 briefing book. To reserve a place in the group and order a book, call Xan Bodey at the YWCA, 494-0972 before Jan. 28.

CARING FOR THE ELDERLY . . . A free training program for those wishing to learn how to take care of the frail elderly at home begins Jan. 25, at Palo Alto High School. Classes meet twice a week from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. for eight weeks. For information or to register, call Palo Alto Adult School at 329-3752.

FIX YOUR PETS . . . Pets In Need is offering 100 certificates worth $5.00 each toward spay and neuter operations for your dogs and cats at the Peninsula Humane Society and the Palo Alto Low Cost Spay and Neuter Clinic. For information, call Pets In Need at 367-1405.

COMMISSION POSITIONS . . . The San Mateo County Board of Supervisors is accepting applications for both the Commission on Aging and the Commission on Disabilities. The commissions are responsible for assessing existing services, conducting and promoting programs and advising the Board of Supervisors. Information and applications can be obtained from Richard L. Silver in the office of the Clerk of the Board of Supervisors, 401 Marshall Street, Redwood City, or by calling 363-4566.

ANXIOUS TO VOLUNTEER? . . .Men and women ages 18 to 65 who suffer from panic attacks are eligible to participate in a study of a new anti-anxiety medication, adinozolam, being conducted at the Palo Alto Veterans Affairs Medical Center. The study examines the effect of various doses over a 14- to 16-week period. For information, or to volunteer, call research assistant Cassandra Lehman at 493-5000, ext. 5239.

BE A GOOD FELLOW . . .The State Senate is accepting applications to fill 18 spaces in an 11 month fellowship program providing college graduates with full-time employment. Applications may be obtained from an office of a State Senator, or from the Senate Rules Committee, Room 500, Sacramento, Ca. 95814. The deadline is Feb. 15, 1994.

RECALLING PALO ALTANS . . .The Palo Alto Historical Association is working on a Centennial project about longtime Palo Alto families. The group especially wants to find family members of: Hazel Robertson, Paul Emerson, Ralph Schram, Josephine O'Hara, Dallas Wood, Guy Miller, Mary Grafton Campbell, Jane and Leland Stanford, Lucy Evans, Timothy Hopkins, J.F. Bixby, J.F. Parkinson, Howard Zink, Tom Williams, Edith Johnson, Cyril Elwell. If you are a relative or have information about descendants, please call 322-1994 as soon as possible.

SMOKERS SOUGHT . . . A San Jose-based Stanford University Medical Center health program is seeking adults who smoke at least 10 cigarettes a day to participate in a study. The program uses nicotine skin patches and self-help strategies to help people stop smoking. People interested in participating in the study should call the program at (408) 450-3342.

GRANTS AVAILABLE . . . The East Palo Alto Kids Foundation is soliciting applications for funding from educators and others who provide services for children in East Palo Alto and eastern Menlo Park. The grants are up to $350, and the application deadline is Jan. 31. Applications may be mailed to the East Palo Alto Kids Foundation, P.O. Box 50542, East Palo Alto, CA 94303.

SAVING THE FARM . . . Deer Hollow Farm is suffering financially and may have to cut its Environmental Education Center, which serves 5,000 students annually. Those who would like to help are asked to send donations to the Friends of Deer Hollow Farm, 7550 St. Joseph Ave., Los Altos, CA 94024, or contact your local city government and ask it to support the Deer Hollow Farm program.

LANDLORDS AND TENANTS . . . Effective Jan. 1, landlords have three weeks, instead of the current two, to furnish former residents with statements regarding the disposition of their security deposits. Also, the amount of damages for bad faith retention of the security deposit bas been raised from $200 to $600. For more information about the amended rental housing law, call PAAIRS (Peninsula Area Information & Referral Service, Inc.) at 856-4062.




TAKE A FREE RIDE . . . Samtrans will offer free rides on all of its fixed-route buses Dec. 31 as a means of promoting holiday safety on the roads. Also, Samtrans will have only 11 holiday routes operating on Christmas and New Year's days. For information, call (800) 660-4BUS, or 508-6448.

GRANTS AVAILABLE . . . The East Palo Alto Kids Foundation is soliciting applications for funding from educators and others who provide services for children in East Palo Alto and eastern Menlo Park. The grants are up to $350, and the application deadline is Jan. 31. Applications may be mailed to the East Palo Alto Kids Foundation, P.O. Box 50542, East Palo Alto, CA 94303.

SAVING THE FARM . . . Deer Hollow Farm is suffering financially and may have to cut its Environmental Education Center, which serves 5,000 students annually. Those who would like to help are asked to send donations to the Friends of Deer Hollow Farm, 7550 St. Joseph Ave., Los Altos, CA 94024, or contact your local city government and ask it to support the Deer Hollow Farm program.

LANDLORDS AND TENANTS . . . Effective Jan. 1, landlords will have three weeks, instead of the current two, to furnish former residents with statements regarding the disposition of their security deposits. Also, the amount of damages for bad faith retention of the security deposit bas been raised from $200 to $600. For more information about the amended rental housing law, call PAAIRS (Peninsula Area Information & Referral Service, Inc.) at 856-4062. 


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