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Community Notebook: Available services and closures on Independence Day in the Palo Alto area

Transportation services to accommodate for public firework displays

With the Fourth of July rapidly approaching, here is a roundup of city government and transportation services available in and around Palo Alto during the holiday this Thursday, in addition to some safety tips for the public.

City Government Services

Palo Alto City Library: All library branches will be closed on Independence Day and reopen on Friday, July 5.

City of Palo Alto: All administrative offices will be closed on Independence Day and resume regular hours on Friday, July 5. Waste collection, including recycling, compost and garbage collection services, will operate on a normal schedule.

Palo Alto emergency services: There will be a collection of city staff, consisting of personnel from the Palo Alto Police and Fire Departments, Office of Emergency Services, park rangers from Palo Alto Open Space and Emergency Services Volunteers, who will be on duty. Call the city's 24-hour dispatch center at 650-329-2413 to report suspicious behavior and use of illegal fireworks.

Waste collection: Recycling, garbage and compost collection services will remain the same for the week of July 4.

Courthouse: The Santa Clara County Superior Court will be closed on Independence Day and reopen on Friday, July 5.

Postal Service: Post offices nationwide will be closed in observance of Independence Day.

Transportation Services

Palo Alto Shuttle, Stanford Marguerite's Line U and Dumbarton Express: There will be no service on Independence Day.

Stanford Marguerite: The Hospital Direct, Medical Center, Medical Center: Holiday and Shopping Express: Special shuttles will be will be in service on Independence Day. More information is available at transportation.stanford.edu.

Santa Clara Valley Transportation Agency: On Independence Day, bus and light- rail service will operate on a Sunday/Holiday schedule. More information is available at vta.org.

Caltrain: Caltrain will be operating on a holiday schedule on Thursday, July 4. Caltrain will also provide an extra post-San Francisco fireworks service. The last train will depart San Francisco at 12:05 a.m. More information is posted at caltrain.com.

SamTrans: SamTrans will operate the on its Sunday schedule on Independence Day. More information is available at samtrans.com.

Tips for the public

Fireworks: The use of fireworks is illegal in Santa Clara County. Children should not play with fireworks and sparklers. The county recommends people to celebrate by attending public fireworks displays conducted by professionals.

Freeways: The California Highway Patrol's Maximum Enforcement Period will be in effect from 6:01 p.m. on Wednesday, July 3 to 11:59 p.m. on Sunday, July 7. In a statement, CHP Commissioner Warren Stanley reminded people to drive sober and to fasten their seat belts. If drinking, Stanley urged people to have a plan, whether it be designating a sober driver or using a ride-sharing service.

Pets: The Peninsula Humane Society & SPCA advises pet owners to take some precautions for the Fourth of July holiday, such as keeping pets indoors and away from firework displays. The Palo Alto Humane Society recommends pet owners lower their blinds and turn on the television or play soothing music during fireworks displays. If an animal appears to be anxious, a soothing voice could help them relax. In addition, pet owners should avoid feeding their animals scraps from the grill, which can result in an upset stomach. Certain foods such as onions, avocados and grapes can be toxic.

Looking for ways to celebrate the Fourth of July on the Midpeninsula? Read our guide of fun and festive local events here.

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