In the latest column, read news about a ribbon-cutting ceremony for AbilityPath's new outdoor courtyard in Palo Alto, the City Council's support for a building a skate park and a new outdoor skating rink in East Palo Alto.
MAJOR UPGRADE ... From a bocce ball court to gardens, the new outdoor courtyard at AbilityPath's Middlefield Road campus in Palo Alto is opening up fresh opportunities for people with disabilities and their families.
Community members came together on Tuesday for a ceremony that celebrated the recently renovated area, which was funded by Santa Clara County grants and private donors. The courtyard also includes an ADA-compliant drop-off entryway and stage for events.
Community members can expect another upcoming amenity for the space: a commercial kitchen for those building their experience in the culinary arts and hospitality industry with help from Ada's Cafe. The cafe, which employs people with disabilities, plans to use the kitchen for its catering services and help form its new jam and granola business, Ada's Cafe founder and Executive Director Kathleen Foley-Hughes said in a press release. AbilityPath also plans to use the kitchen for independent living skills classes for people with disabilities.
"This new event space creates an amazing new opportunity for people we serve to work onsite, while also bringing awareness of our mission, and inclusive employment to the broader community," AbilityPath CEO Bryan Neider said in a press release.
Neider was joined by county Supervisor Joe Simitian, whose district includes Palo Alto, as the ceremonial blue ribbon was cut. "With businesses competing for talent in a limited labor pool, adults of all abilities are a valuable resource for local businesses seeking to meet staffing needs," Simitian said.
ROLLING FORWARD ... A grassroots effort by a Palo Alto student to build a new skate park received a lift this week, when the City Council unanimously backed the project, paving the way for fundraising to begin.
The project is the brainchild of Sam Kaplinsky, who two years ago launched a petition in favor of a new skatepark that received more than 2,000 signatures. With support surging, council members Alison Cormack and Greg Tanaka issued a memo last year endorsing the project and supporting further evaluation.
Last month, the Parks and Recreation Commission recommended moving ahead with the project at Greer Park, where new skateboarding features will supplement the existing "bowl."
Numerous commissioners said they would like to see the project begin as soon as possible. "It's a wonderful example of our youth being able to take action within our city and feel like they have agency," commission Vice Chair Jeff LaMere said before the vote. "And I think it's an amazing example of that."
The council's Monday vote is, however, only the beginning. The project is expected to cost over $1 million, with funds coming primarily from private donations. The nonprofit group Friends of Palo Alto Parks will lead the fundraising effort.
WINTER ALREADY? ... Fall has settled in across the Bay Area, where the air increasingly feels crisp, autumn leaves are abundant and Halloween and Thanksgiving are just around the corner. But anyone yearning for a winter wonderland sooner rather than later doesn't have to go far.
The Four Seasons Hotel Silicon Valley at East Palo Alto opened its new synthetic skate rink earlier this month at Après Village. The winter-themed pop-up can be found at the outdoor terrace of Quattro, the hotel's restaurant and bar. Four Seasons touts the skating space as "the only outdoor rink at a hotel in Silicon Valley," according to a press release. The winter scene comes to life through snowfall at the rink where each skate session lasts 45 minutes. There also are rustic wooden chalets, fire tables and brightly lit alpine trees to set the mood.
The village and rink are open to the public from 4 to 9 p.m. on Fridays through Sundays until Feb. 25, but the event will be canceled if there's rain. Skating is open to adults and children ages 3-12, as long as they're accompanied by an adult. For more information, including prices and how to make reservations, visit fourseasons.com/siliconvalley.
Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Oct 29, 2022 at 4:29 pm
on Oct 29, 2022 at 4:29 pm
It may be the only out door ice rink at a hotel in Silicon Valley, but we do have our own Winter Lodge Ice Rink in Palo Alto.