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Recent News

Friday, January 24, 2020

PUBLIC AGENDA: New city-MidPen Media Center agreement; school board vote on parcel tax

A preview of Palo Alto government meetings for the week of Jan. 27.

Friday, 12:28 PM | No comments yet
High school shakeup: Paly's Adam Paulson to resign, Gunn's Kathie Laurence to leave for district job

Both Palo Alto and Gunn high schools will lose their principals at the end of the school year, the district announced on Friday.

Friday, 11:08 AM | 15 comments
You've just been named California's homelessness czar — what's your first move?

Gov. Gavin Newsom has taken grief for failing to fulfill what seems like an achievable campaign promise: appointing a homelessness "czar" to help Californians living in shelters and on the streets.

Friday, 9:28 AM | No comments yet
Setting the bar: Nine seniors who exemplify the meaning of being selfless

This year's Avenidas Lifetimes of Achievement honorees have gone beyond the call of duty to create positive changes in their communities by donating countless hours to local organizations.

Friday, 8:49 AM | 3 comments
Auditors slam plan to reform their office

A proposal to reform the City Auditor's Office is facing pushback and a threat of a lawsuit from employees of the department, which has been hobbled for years by leadership turnover and internal bickering.

Friday, 6:53 AM | 3 comments

Thursday, January 23, 2020

Former teacher sentenced to nearly 7 years in prison for sex acts with minor

A former Palo Alto teacher who pleaded no contest to engaging in sex acts with a minor was sentenced by a San Mateo County judge to six years and eight months in state prison on Jan. 17.

Thursday, 10:54 AM | 3 comments

Wednesday, January 22, 2020

Downtown Streets Team executives accused of sexual harassment, creating drinking culture

Former employees of Downtown Streets Team allege they were subjected to inappropriate behavior that went on for years at the nonprofit, pointing to disturbing patterns of behavior.

Wednesday, 2:20 PM | 24 comments
To fix housing shortage, city weighs the return of the controversial 'PC' zone

Stuck in a housing drought, city leaders are exploring more drastic actions to encourage home construction, including reviving a zoning tool that allows developers to construct taller and denser buildings.

Wednesday, 1:22 PM | 22 comments
School board to reflect on its own function, effectiveness

The Board of Education will hold a special meeting Thursday to reflect on its own performance and discuss how they can make meetings more efficient. The superintendent will also be evaluated.

Wednesday, 11:36 AM | 6 comments
Despite time pressures, Palo Alto opts to study more rail design options

Palo Alto's never-ending effort to pick new designs for rail crossings got a little more complicated on Tuesday, when the City Council added two new options to the list.

Wednesday, 1:27 AM | 21 comments

Tuesday, January 21, 2020

Recycled water, community engagement and clean energy: State Senate candidates weigh in on ideas to tackle climate crisis

Five of the seven candidates running for state Senate in District 13 vied to win over Peninsula voters by showing their passion and knowledge on a range of environmental topics at a panel last week.

Tuesday, 9:00 PM | 9 comments
State Senate candidate's mom puts $460K toward son's campaign

A candidate seeking to represent South San Francisco to Sunnyvale in the state Senate received a major boost when his mother created a $460,000 independent expenditure committee to aid his campaign.

Tuesday, 8:46 PM | 9 comments
Update: Palo Alto shooting victim dies from injuries

A man who was shot in the stomach at a south Palo Alto parking lot early Tuesday morning has died, police said. A $20,000 reward is being offered for information related to the shooting.

Tuesday, 7:57 AM | 7 comments

Monday, January 20, 2020

Chan Zuckerberg Initiative awards $3.5M to tackle pressing community needs

The Chan Zuckerberg Initiative distributed nearly $3.5 million in grants to 40 Bay Area organizations working to address critical community needs in East Palo Alto, Belle Haven, North Fair Oaks and Redwood City.

Monday, 4:42 PM | 13 comments
Standard practice or 'misleading'? Mayor's official letter in support of SB 50 rankles council colleagues

With a passionate endorsement of Senate Bill 50, Palo Alto's new Mayor Adrian Fine set himself apart from most of his colleagues -- and ruffled some feathers in the process.

Monday, 4:25 PM | 123 comments
Study: When it comes to polarization across the globe, America leads the way

America's widening political divide stands out above other nations, according to a new cross-country polarization study by Stanford University economists.

Monday, 2:43 PM | 8 comments
Newsom's big move on homelessness may be just in political time, new poll suggests

Gov. Gavin Newsom kicked off 2020 by pledging to plow an extra $1.4 billion into homeless services and proposing a state constitutional amendment to make it easier to sue cities that fail to shelter their unhoused populations.

Monday, 2:01 PM | 12 comments

Sunday, January 19, 2020

Palo Alto to commemorate Martin Luther King Jr. Day

We've compiled a list of agencies that will be adjusting their schedules on Martin Luther King Jr. Day throughout the Palo Alto area, plus events honoring the civil rights leader.

Sunday, 8:43 AM | 7 comments

Saturday, January 18, 2020

Stanford student found dead at fraternity house identified

The Stanford University sophomore who was found dead at a the Theta Delta Chi fraternity house last Friday was Eitan Michael Weiner, son of a university professor and Stanford associate vice president, the university announced Monday.

Saturday, 3:53 PM | No comments yet
Around Town: Pompeo dines at Palo Alto Italian restaurant; Firefighter launches 625-mile hike

In this week's Around Town column, news about Secretary of State Mike Pompeo's meal with Stanford leaders and a Palo Alto firefighter's trek to aid veterans' and first responders' mental health.

Saturday, 7:39 AM | 26 comments

Friday, January 17, 2020

Behind the Headlines: A tidal phenomenon

City Naturalist Corinne DeBra speaks with Weekly staff about how king tides occur and how the local flora and fauna are impacted. Another round of these tides is expected on Feb. 9.

Friday, 5:57 PM | No comments yet
Music school faces civil suit over sexual abuse of student

School of Rock, a private music school in Midtown Palo Alto, is facing a civil lawsuit stemming from incidents of sexual abuse against a 15-year-old student by one of its instructors in 2017.

Friday, 5:05 PM | 2 comments
Serial bank robber who took $69K across Northern California sentenced

An Oakland man convicted of committing bank robberies in Palo Alto, Mountain View and others in Northern California -- taking a total $69,002 -- was sentenced in federal court in San Francisco on Wednesday.

Friday, 4:58 PM | 2 comments
Palo Alto boosts affordable-housing project with $10.5 million loan

A 59-apartment affordable-housing project known as Wilton Court got a $10-million lifeline on Jan. 13 from the city of Palo Alto -- after expected state funding to build the complex didn't come through.

Friday, 4:04 PM | 5 comments
In Palo Alto, houses of worship get ready to welcome car campers

For Peninsula Bible Church, the increasingly prominent issue of people living in their cars is more than just a citywide problem: For the congregation, it's personal.

Friday, 9:41 AM | 9 comments
What's bringing over 1,000 people to the Palo Alto Baylands? Rare bird sightings, thanks to the king tides

More than 1,000 people recently flocked to the Palo Alto Baylands to see king tides, during which rare birds were spotted in the marsh, unafraid of the visitors with zoom lenses and binoculars.

Friday, 6:58 AM | No comments yet
Editorial: 'Safe parking' program is a very small first step

As communities throughout the state try to respond to the growing crisis of homelessness, it is disappointing that it has taken Palo Alto almost a year to adopt a watered-down version of the initiative.

Friday, 6:57 AM | 5 comments
Guest Opinion: Why not try ideas that work?

Palo Alto's Comprehensive Plan has a goal to build 300 housing units per year. How do we get there? The short answer is we need approaches that work financially and at scale.

Friday, 6:57 AM | 45 comments

Thursday, January 16, 2020

PUBLIC AGENDA: Potential changes to city auditor's office; school board operations discussion

A preview of Palo Alto government meetings for the week of Jan. 20.

Thursday, 4:35 PM | No comments yet
Condo owners upset as board approves their new neighbor: A five-story hotel

Despite heavy pushback from residents, a proposal for a hotel on the southern edge of Palo Alto scored a significant win Thursday when the Architectural Review Board threw its support behind the project.

Thursday, 4:25 PM | 60 comments
Group tasked with cutting rail-redesign options instead adds 3 more

When Palo Alto established a committee last year to work on a proposed redesign of local rail crossings, the goal was to winnow down the menu of options. Instead, much like the panel, the list of possibilities has only expanded.

Thursday, 9:37 AM | 63 comments
Families want Palo Alto schools to offer Hindi as a foreign language. The school district says it's complicated.

Palo Alto Unified parents are eager to work with the school district to offer Hindi as a world language at its two high schools.

Thursday, 9:24 AM | 68 comments

Wednesday, January 15, 2020

New Planned Parenthood clinic opens in Mountain View after months of delays

Mountain View's Planned Parenthood clinic, which shuttered last year for a redevelopment project, reopened on Monday at a new site that will provide reproductive health and specialty services.

Wednesday, 6:46 PM | 2 comments
After decades downtown, Tallman's House of Foam calls it quits

Tallman's House of Foam has ended its reign as downtown Palo Alto's go-to place for foam, upholstery work and mattresses.

Wednesday, 9:39 AM | 20 comments

Tuesday, January 14, 2020

Seeking grants, Palo Alto designates downtown as ripe for growth

Despite a shared desire to direct new development toward the transit-rich downtown area, members of the Palo Alto City Council clashed on Monday over the role that regional planning agencies should play in shaping that vision.

Tuesday, 5:09 PM | 13 comments
'There's more work to be done': County pushes to find safe parking for people living in cars

The Board of Supervisors agreed Tuesday to help find new sites in Palo Alto and Mountain View for those without permanent homes.

Tuesday, 4:54 PM | 9 comments
Feeling Sacramento pressure, Palo Alto eases rules for new 'granny units'

Prodded by new state laws, the Palo Alto City Council voted Monday to further relax local rules pertaining to accessory dwelling units, which are starting to proliferate around the city.

Tuesday, 2:09 PM | 33 comments
Santa Clara County Superior Court puts out call for volunteer watchdogs

The Santa Clara County Superior Court is looking for volunteers to serve on the 2020-2021 civil grand jury panel, a group that takes a critical look at how local governments can better serve the public.

Tuesday, 12:41 PM | 1 comment
School district sees overall improvement but also concerning performance by specific groups, state data show

The Palo Alto school board will review on Tuesday the district's performance on the California School Dashboard, a state data tool that the district has increasingly turned to as an accountability measure for its highest-level goals.

Tuesday, 9:33 AM | 5 comments
Palo Alto OKs letting people live in cars in parking lots of houses of worship

Responding to a growing population of vehicle dwellers on neighborhood streets, Palo Alto on Monday became the latest Peninsula city to launch a "safe parking" program.

Tuesday, 12:28 AM | 56 comments

Monday, January 13, 2020

Acrimony breaks out over alleged slights, 'barbs' on Human Relations Commission

A Palo Alto Human Relations Commission deliberation to select a new chair and vice chair turned acrid on Jan. 9, with two members of the commission saying they felt they were being targeted.

Monday, 5:54 PM | 25 comments
Women fleeing from Stanford Shopping Center with $5K worth of merchandise arrested

Four women who allegedly stole arms full of clothing and shoes from Macy's at Stanford Shopping Center were arrested Sunday after officers found them with over $5,000 in goods, police said.

Monday, 5:34 PM | 8 comments

Sunday, January 12, 2020

Palo Alto power outage affects about 2,500 customers

Power went out for a few hours Sunday afternoon in the Barron Park area of Palo Alto, which impacted about 2,500 customers, according to a tweet from Palo Alto Utilities.

Sunday, 1:27 PM | 20 comments
$10K offered for leads on Midtown Safeway armed robbers

Palo Alto police have announced a $10,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of three men who violently robbed the Safeway store pharmacy in the Midtown neighborhood of Palo Alto early Friday morning.

Sunday, 10:21 AM | 19 comments
California's flu season started early, but Santa Clara County cases are low ... so far

More people are showing up at state clinics and hospitals with flu-like symptoms this year, signaling a rough start to the flu season. But Santa Clara County appears to be largely spared from the trend so far.

Sunday, 8:54 AM | No comments yet

Saturday, January 11, 2020

Around Town: 'Safe parking' program ready to launch; DeLorean drifts for science

In the latest Around Town column, the Palo Alto City Council's vote on a program for RV dwellers and news about Marty, an autonomous vehicle learning how to drift.

Saturday, 10:16 AM | 6 comments

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