Recent News

Thursday, September 24, 2020

Santa Clara County acts with $5M to relieve strain on tenants, landlords

Struggling tenants and landlords impacted by COVID-19 may be eligible for a financial lifeline, as the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors, on Tuesday, approved an additional $5 million to help residents stay in their homes.

Thursday, 11:52 AM | No comments yet
Palo Alto Weekly to host City Council debate tonight

Tonight from 7 to 9 p.m. the Palo Alto Weekly will host a debate of the 10 candidates for Palo Alto City Council over Zoom.

Thursday, 9:50 AM | No comments yet
Santa Clara County supervisors approve assistance for COVID-19 quarantines

In an effort to make a positive COVID-19 test less daunting to residents, the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors on Tuesday approved a program that would provide up to $5,000 in financial support and lodging for quarantining.

Thursday, 9:24 AM | No comments yet
COVID-19 case at Lytton Gardens linked to outside caregiver, facility says

An outside caregiver who exposed a Lytton Gardens resident to COVID-19 has brought to light a possible gap in testing of external or contracted workers who visit elderly patients when they are not in skilled nursing or nursing homes.

Thursday, 8:47 AM | 2 comments

Wednesday, September 23, 2020

Despite looming questions over Caltrain and high-speed rail, Palo Alto moves ahead with grade separation effort

As Palo Alto nears a critical juncture to redesign its rail crossings, city leaders are facing the prospect that the effort could be upended.

Wednesday, 2:33 PM | 9 comments
Newsom orders ban of new gas-powered cars by 2035

In a dramatic move to tackle climate change, Gov. Gavin Newsom on Wednesday ordered state officials to ban new gasoline-powered cars beginning in 15 years.

Wednesday, 1:57 PM | 3 comments
CZU August Lightning Complex fires are 100% contained

Now that the CZU August Lightning Complex Fires reached full containment on Tuesday night, we look back on the many ways that locals have aided in the fight against the blaze.

Wednesday, 1:45 PM | 1 comment
Palo Alto Unified to pay $50K to family of bullying victim

The Palo Alto school board approved Tuesday a $50,000 settlement with the family of a former special education middle school student who was repeatedly bullied in 2016.

Wednesday, 12:32 PM | 12 comments
Santa Clara County first in the state to make Juneteenth a paid holiday

Santa Clara County is the first county in the state to make Juneteenth a paid county holiday after a unanimous vote from the Board of Supervisors on Tuesday.

Wednesday, 9:22 AM | 3 comments
'We're asking you to wait.' Reopening plan highlights breakdown of trust between teachers, district

Palo Alto Unified's plan to reopen elementary schools in October has sparked intense anxiety among teachers and staff members who do not feel safe returning to work in person.

Wednesday, 9:14 AM | 36 comments

Tuesday, September 22, 2020

More businesses can open as San Mateo County moves into less restrictive 'red' tier

San Mateo County moved to the less-restrictive red tier of California's COVID-19 classifications on Tuesday, meaning additional businesses can open.

Tuesday, 2:30 PM | 1 comment
COVID testing of teachers, staff hotly debated as California schools reopen

As schools throughout California tiptoe toward reopening, decisions about whether to routinely test teachers, staff and even students for the COVID-19 virus are proving controversial -- and potentially costly.

Tuesday, 1:42 PM | No comments yet
Alleged serial killer lands in hospital before trial

A man charged with killing two young women in the 1970s on Stanford University property has been hospitalized right before his trial was set to begin in San Mateo County.

Tuesday, 11:15 AM | No comments yet
Want to get to know your local candidates? Here's a list of election debates, forums

We've compiled a list of election debates and forums taking place virtually for Midpeninsula voters ahead of the Nov. 3 election.

Tuesday, 10:11 AM | 4 comments
Coronavirus central: Santa Clara County adds 109 more cases

On Thursday, Santa Clara County reported a total of 20,756 cases, 304 deaths and 101 people hospitalized; San Mateo County had a total of 9,714 cases, 144 deaths and 42 people hospitalized as of Wednesday.

Tuesday, 10:08 AM | No comments yet
Palo Alto looks to loosen parking, retail rules to encourage affordable housing

What would it take to get affordable housing built in Palo Alto? It's a question that the City Council wrestled with Monday as it endorsed zone changes aimed at generating construction.

Tuesday, 12:54 AM | 24 comments

Monday, September 21, 2020

State stops accepting unemployment claims for 2 weeks to address backlog

Gov. Gavin Newsom said Monday that California will stop accepting new unemployment insurance applications for two weeks to determine how to reduce the state's vast backlog of claims.

Monday, 3:56 PM | 1 comment
New program would give extra aid for COVID-19 quarantines in Santa Clara County

The Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors at its Tuesday meeting may approve a program to provide extra aid to people having to isolate after testing positive for COVID-19.

Monday, 3:13 PM | No comments yet
East Palo Alto's COVID-19 positivity rate triples the county's, raising concerns among city officials

East Palo Alto city officials are concerned about the city's COVID-19 positivity rate of 15.4%, more than three times higher than the San Mateo County average of 4.1%.

Monday, 11:08 AM | 3 comments

Sunday, September 20, 2020

Inspired by family tragedy, Atherton siblings create book to teach kids about COVID-19

Siblings Sophia and Sean Nesamoney of Atherton have written a children's book which explains the coronavirus pandemic to kids.

Sunday, 8:33 AM | 6 comments

Saturday, September 19, 2020

Around Town: Cities, groups invite locals to make their mark on a 'Wishing Tree'

In the latest Around Town column, news about a Paly student's project that aims to bridge generations, a community "Wishing Tree" project and new and returning members of city commissions.

Saturday, 8:50 AM | No comments yet

Friday, September 18, 2020

As U.S. threatens WeChat ban, local Chinese Americans face loss of tool that's become integral to their lives

WeChat, which has been the main communications lifeblood for local Chinese Americans, could see a mass exodus of its users after the U.S. Department of Commerce threatened to ban it from mobile app stores.

Friday, 9:37 PM | 33 comments
With new deal, communities seek to cement partnership on land use concerns

After banding over shared concerns about Stanford's growth plan, city and county officials in Santa Clara and San Mateo counties are preparing to sign an agreement that would sustain the new union.

Friday, 5:08 PM | No comments yet
Spare the Air alert issued for Saturday

The Bay Area Air Quality Management District issued a Spare the Air alert for Saturday, with smoke expected to drift into the North Bay and the inland East Bay.

Friday, 1:27 PM | No comments yet
Full containment of CZU Lightning Complex fires is expected Sunday

The CZU Lightning Complex fires, which began burning in San Mateo and Santa Cruz counties a month ago and is among the Bay Area's three largest wildfires since that time, is nearing full containment, Cal Fire said late Thursday.

Friday, 10:24 AM | No comments yet
PUBLIC AGENDA: Changes to inclusionary-housing rules; proposed school reopening dates

A preview of Palo Alto government meetings for the week of Sept. 21.

Friday, 10:05 AM | No comments yet
School from an RV: One family's rocky journey through distance learning

The living situations for a small number of homeless students in Palo Alto Unified bring to light deep inequities at play with distance learning.

Friday, 6:59 AM | 28 comments
A long way to go: Retiring Youth Community Service head assesses progress on empowering young people

As Leif Erickson retires, he reflects on the changes facing today's youth. Many challenges still run deep, even as locals have made strides.

Friday, 6:59 AM | No comments yet
Air hugs and weekly testing: Inside one private school's first day back at school

Wednesday was the first day of the new academic year at Synapse School in Menlo Park, one of 21 San Mateo County schools that have been granted waivers to reopen in person for elementary grades.

Friday, 6:58 AM | No comments yet
Guest Opinion: Palo Alto Utilities' dilemma — it's really ours, too

Why are we seemingly so incapable of shifting direction when it's so clear we must stop burning fossil fuels? The story of Palo Alto Utilities and an industry trade association gives a telling example.

Friday, 6:57 AM | 12 comments

Thursday, September 17, 2020

Bridging the gap: Hubs equip Ravenswood students with the support they need for distance learning

About 76 Ravenswood City School District students returned to campuses on Wednesday in free, in-person spaces created by the district in partnership with local nonprofits.

Thursday, 6:05 PM | 2 comments
With new zoning tool, Palo Alto looks to relieve housing drought

As Palo Alto looks to revise its zoning code to encourage more affordable housing, the City Council remains split on a crucial question: Affordable for whom?

Thursday, 12:17 PM | 14 comments
New 'planned home' zone could be put to the test with 119-unit project

With Palo Alto's plan to add housing in the Ventura neighborhood mired in uncertainty, a developer has put forward a plan that would add 119 new residences, as well as office space and retail.

Thursday, 11:27 AM | 8 comments
Local astronomers weigh in on new research that hints at possible life on Venus

A landmark study published this week found a chemical suspended in the clouds of Venus that could be early proof of life on a planet previously thought to be uninhabitable.

Thursday, 10:04 AM | 2 comments

Wednesday, September 16, 2020

This year, your voting center might be staffed by your grandchildren

With the election coming up in less than 50 days, Santa Clara County faces the challenge of getting at least 2,000, healthy community members trained and prepared to staff over 100 centers.

Wednesday, 5:20 PM | 1 comment
To fill long-vacant city auditor role, Palo Alto set to hire international firm

After months of recruiting, Palo Alto is preparing to pull the trigger on hiring a new city auditor, with the City Council picking Baker Tilly to fulfill a function historically overseen by a City Hall employee.

Wednesday, 4:40 PM | 24 comments
Here's when elementary, middle and high school students could return to school under proposed plan

Palo Alto Unified's plan to reopen starts with the district's youngest students in the fall and ends with secondary students in January.

Wednesday, 4:03 PM | 37 comments
Motorcyclist dies in rear-end collision near Dumbarton Bridge toll plaza

A Palo Altan driving a motorcycle near the Dumbarton Bridge toll plaza in Newark died Sunday when he was rear-ended by a driver, who was arrested for DUI, according to the California Highway Patrol.

Wednesday, 3:17 PM | No comments yet
Santa Clara County cracks down on hospitals falling behind on COVID-19 testing

Santa Clara County announced Wednesday a new public health order forcing local health care providers to provide quick and easy access to COVID-19 testing, following widespread complaints that residents have been wrongly denied tests.

Wednesday, 2:12 PM | 8 comments
Fire evacuation warnings sparked confusion for some Palo Alto Hills residents

Palo Alto Hills residents have drawn concern about messages from the city about a possible evacuation warning for their community, which ultimately didn't come through the county's AlertSCC system.

Wednesday, 9:53 AM | 9 comments

Tuesday, September 15, 2020

House fire displaces family, forces evacuations in Palo Alto

A midday blaze that burned a two-story home on Tuesday forced a family of four to flee the building and caused police to evacuate surrounding residences, Battalion Chief Ryan Stoddard said.

Tuesday, 6:32 PM | 2 comments
How to help the homeless and housing-insecure amidst a pandemic? Local leaders compare tactics

As the end of the statewide eviction moratorium draws closer, local leaders convened Saturday to share advice on how to help the needy.

Tuesday, 4:38 PM | 5 comments
To combat vacancies, Palo Alto may repeal 'retail protection' law

With businesses buckling during the economic shutdown, a bitterly divided City Council took a step on Monday toward reversing a law that bars the conversion of ground-floor retail space to offices.

Tuesday, 3:36 PM | 19 comments
Palo Alto faces lawsuit over 'residents-only' policy at Foothills Park

A group of civil rights organizations and residents filed a lawsuit against Palo Alto on Tuesday in a bid to repeal a contentious law that bans non-Palo Altans from visiting Foothills Park unless accompanied by a city resident.

Tuesday, 1:45 PM | 75 comments
Appeals court reverses injunction blocking removal of protected immigrant groups

A federal appeals court in San Francisco on Monday reversed a 2018 preliminary injunction that blocked the Department of Homeland Security from terminating "temporary protected status" designations.

Tuesday, 9:42 AM | 3 comments
Palo Alto green lights 'safe parking' program for people living in cars

A parking lot near the Baylands will turn into a shelter for people living in cars, equipped with a shower, a lot attendant and case managers to help them find stable homes.

Tuesday, 12:43 AM | 11 comments

Monday, September 14, 2020

State will not investigate Tanaka's campaign contributions

The Fair Political Practices Commission has decided to not investigate City Councilman Greg Tanaka for campaign donations from developers before he formed a reelection committee.

Monday, 7:58 PM | 15 comments
By Wednesday, Bay Area will be under Spare the Air alerts for 30 consecutive days

The Bay Area Air Quality Management District has issued Spare the Air alerts through Wednesday because of wildfire smoke, making it 30 straight days of the alerts that ban wood burning.

Monday, 3:15 PM | No comments yet
Business community calls on Santa Clara County to ease public health restrictions

A coalition of business leaders across the county is calling on public health officials to loosen COVID-19 restrictions that they say have crippled businesses for the last six months.

Monday, 1:53 PM | 11 comments
Rangers fighting CZU fires see a silver lining for San Mateo County parks

Two San Mateo County Parks Department workers describe how they've responded to the CZU Lightning Complex fires, which will alter the landscape of some of the region's most iconic forests.

Monday, 10:10 AM | No comments yet

Sunday, September 13, 2020

Around Town: COVID-19 survivor meets man who fought disease with her plasma

In the latest Around Town column, news about two COVID-19 survivors connected through a donation of convalescent plasma that was made at the Stanford Blood Center and sent to an Iowan man.

Sunday, 9:25 AM | No comments yet

Saturday, September 12, 2020

Amid pandemic, California secretary of state details access to voting by mail or in person this November

California Secretary of State Alex Padilla on Wednesday described plans for voting access and safety this year during the pandemic before the Nov. 3 election, which is less than eight weeks away.

Saturday, 8:52 AM | No comments yet

Friday, September 11, 2020

For small groups of Palo Alto students, class is in — in person

The library was dark, the cafeteria was closed and the hallways were eerily quiet, but it was still back to school in person last week for small groups of Palo Alto Unified School District students.

Friday, 7:44 PM | 12 comments
Police search for man in sex crimes less than an hour apart at Palo Alto parks

Police are looking for a man who they believe is responsible for indecent exposure and sexual battery incidents at two Palo Alto parks that happened less than an hour apart on Monday.

Friday, 5:56 PM | No comments yet
Black Lives Matter muralists reflect on art, social justice

The power of public art to bring communities together, foster conversations and amplify racial equity initiatives was the theme of a virtual panel discussion hosted by Palo Alto's Public Art Program on Thursday, Sept. 10.

Friday, 5:01 PM | 6 comments
Want to get to know your local candidates? Here's a list of election debates, forums

We've compiled a list of election debates and forums taking place virtually for Midpeninsula voters ahead of the Nov. 3 election.

Friday, 4:33 PM | 4 comments
Series of Spare the Air alert carries through Monday

As smoke from wildfires continues to cover the Bay Area, officials with the Bay Area Air Quality Management District on Friday extended a Spare the Air alert through Monday, Sept. 14.

Friday, 1:25 PM | No comments yet
Woman pleads not guilty to charges in her toddler's 1993 death

A woman arrested in connection with the 1993 death of her 3-year-old daughter in East Palo Alto pleaded not guilty on Wednesday to charges of murder and child endangerment.

Friday, 9:12 AM | No comments yet
An Alternative View: Is the city keeping information from the public?

It's been 18-plus months and Palo Alto residents still haven't been told officially whether there has been a selection for a new city auditor, or when it will be announced.

Friday, 6:56 AM | 5 comments

Get the most important local news stories sent straight to your inbox daily.

Is there a polite way to say "Too much plastic"?
By Sherry Listgarten | 22 comments | 3,540 views

Community catering: How one SF Malaysian restaurant is delivering food to Peninsula neighborhoods
By Elena Kadvany | 0 comments | 2,594 views

Premarital and Couples: What Does Sex Mean to You?
By Chandrama Anderson | 0 comments | 2,364 views

What I will remember about Ruth Bader Ginsburg
By Diana Diamond | 5 comments | 1,589 views

A Rainbow After the Storm
By Cheryl Bac | 0 comments | 810 views


Who is your local hero?

Whether they're grocery shopping for a neighbor or volunteering for a nonprofit, you can spread the joy and support our journalism efforts by giving them a shout-out.

Learn More