If it is local and useful, it is on en-us Copyright 2021 Palo Alto Online <![CDATA[State employees, health care workers must show proof of vaccination]]> Amid climbing numbers of hospitalizations and a test positivity rate of 80% for the COVID-19 delta variant, state employees and health care workers must show proof of vaccination, state officials announced Monday.<br /> ]]> <![CDATA[Bullet train budget battle: Should California spend more on urban transit, not high-speed rail?]]> Gov. Gavin Newsom wants $4.2 billion to finish the Central Valley link for the bullet train, but legislators aren't sold.]]> <![CDATA[Around Town: Palo Alto Utilities cautions customers about phone scams]]> In the latest Around Town column, news about a phone scam that demands Palo Alto Utilities customers pay a purportedly overdue bill and former Menlo Park Mayor Mickie Winkler, who's no longer running for governor.]]> <![CDATA[Matadero Creek diesel spill, still under observation, appears to be waning]]> The May 6 diesel spill that contaminated Matadero Creek in Palo Alto continues to show signs that it is abating, according to a joint update published Monday by the city and VA.]]> <![CDATA[Seven new 'breakthrough' COVID-19 cases reported at Stanford in a week]]> Seven vaccinated students at Stanford University have tested positive for COVID-19 this week, university leaders said in an announcement to students and staff on Thursday.]]> <![CDATA[High school students challenge own political beliefs through domestic exchange program]]> This week, 11 students arrived in Palo Alto as part of the American Exchange Project, a program in which U.S. teens can confront political polarization head-on and discover they have more in common. ]]> <![CDATA[Opinion: California reopened, and it's time to return to health]]> While all of us need to remain vigilant regarding COVID-19, especially as new variants enter our communities, we also need to be vigilant when it comes to taking care of our health.]]> <![CDATA[PUBLIC AGENDA: No City Council meeting this week]]> A preview of Palo Alto government meetings for the week of July 26.]]> <![CDATA[San Mateo County to start requiring face masks at county facilities on Monday]]> Face coverings will be required at San Mateo County facilities regardless of vaccination status "out of an abundance of caution" due to rising COVID-19 case rates.]]> <![CDATA[Santa Clara among 3 Bay Area counties urging employers to implement vaccination policy]]> As the Bay Area experiences an increased rate of COVID-19 cases, particularly among the unvaccinated population, three county health officers urged employers on Thursday to consider implementing a vaccination mandate in the workplace.]]> <![CDATA[To create more equitable communities, Chan Zuckerberg Initiative updates Community Fund program]]> Now in its fifth year, the program is taking applications for grants that will benefit local organizations addressing socioeconomic gaps.]]> <![CDATA[Inspired by the pandemic, Menlo Park women create phone buddy program for isolated seniors]]> As the threat of the pandemic has dropped for those who are vaccinated, the acute loneliness crisis faced by seniors in lockdown may also wane, but the overall issue of loneliness isn't going anywhere.]]> <![CDATA[As housing bills advance in Sacramento, critics and advocates amplify the debate]]> After a series of crushing defeats in the 2020 legislative session, housing advocates in Sacramento are hoping for better luck next month, when lawmakers return from their summer recess and take on dozens of pending housing bills.]]> <![CDATA[State launches $40M grant program to encourage COVID-19 vaccines in doctors' offices]]> The CalVaxGrant program will make $40 million in grants available to help doctors' offices and small practices safely store and administer more COVID-19 vaccines.]]> <![CDATA[San Mateo County supervisors approve millions in relief for small businesses]]> To support small businesses impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, San Mateo County supervisors on Tuesday approved small business relief funds and passed a law that would allow home food sales.]]> <![CDATA[School district fires contractor after trapped ground squirrels die]]> Palo Alto Unified terminated its contract with a pest control company on July 14 after ground squirrels that it trapped were recently found languishing in so-called live or humane traps.]]> <![CDATA[Palo Alto looks to revamp review process for housing projects]]> Palo Alto is preparing to overhaul its process for approving new housing developments by leaning on "objective standards" -- clear rules that, if followed, will allow housing projects to win approval under a streamlined process.]]> <![CDATA[How to stay safe and prepare for looming threats of unhealthy air quality]]> With hotter, drier temperatures and an anticipated increase in wildfires, the Bay Area is bound to have some unhealthy air quality this summer. So, what are the best ways to keep yourself safe?]]> <![CDATA[Developer drops housing plan near California Avenue]]> Smith Development, which was preparing to build 75 apartments near the California Avenue Caltrain station, has dropped the proposal and is now looking to construct an office complex at the site.]]> <![CDATA[Newsom signs $12B funding package to support housing for homeless residents]]> Gov. Gavin Newsom signed a $12 billion funding package for housing and homelessness on Monday, the largest such investment in sheltering and supporting homeless residents in the state's history.]]> <![CDATA[Only 60% of Palo Alto police report being vaccinated]]> Despite getting early access to COVID-19 vaccines, inoculation rates among local law enforcement agencies fall below the Santa Clara County average, with only 60% of Palo Alto Police Department personnel reporting they're vaccinated. ]]> <![CDATA[Federal funds to help Palo Alto build museum, respond to mental health emergencies]]> Palo Alto's plans to build a history museum and launch a program for mental health emergencies has received a boost from the federal government, with Rep. Anna Eshoo announcing that she was able to secure funding for both efforts.]]> <![CDATA[National Weather Service cancels red flag warning for Bay Area]]> The National Weather Service has canceled a red flag warning as thunderstorms anticipated in the Bay Area are now unlikely to show up at all.]]> <![CDATA[Around Town: Free soccer class offers community space to kick it]]> In the latest Around Town column, news about a third grader sharing his love for soccer with the community and Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm's virtual visit to the SLAC laboratory.]]> <![CDATA[Health officers encourage masking indoors regardless of vaccination, stop short of new mandate]]> On Friday, a coalition of Bay Area health officials urged residents to resume wearing a mask indoors following an uptick in COVID-19 cases.]]> <![CDATA[Universal basic income? California moves to be first state to fund pilot efforts]]> Once the bill is signed, cities and counties can apply for funding from a $35 million pool to support current or new initiatives.]]> <![CDATA[Thunderstorms may come to Bay Area on Sunday, with chances of dry lightning]]> Thunderstorms with chances of dry lightning might make their way to the Bay Area on Sunday and Monday, according to the National Weather Service.]]> <![CDATA[How diverse are cities' water supplies — and are they enough?]]> The deepening drought and recent calls for Californians to voluntarily reduce their water use by 15% have residents starting to wonder: Just how resilient are local water systems in the event of a long-term drought or an emergency?]]> <![CDATA[PUBLIC AGENDA: No City Council meeting this week]]> A preview of Palo Alto government meetings for the week of July 19.]]> <![CDATA[New children's book by locally grown author encourages youth activism]]> Marissa McGee, who grew up in East Palo Alto, was shopping for shampoo one day when she saw something that bothered her. Little did she know that the experience would spur her to craft a book.]]> <![CDATA[VTA's revised light-rail plans delay reopening past July]]> Light-rail service has been suspended since a May 26 mass shooting at a VTA facility. Officials told the transit agency's board that they plan to reinstate service in phases, but it won't happen this month.]]> <![CDATA[San Mateo County raises concerns over COVID-19 delta variant]]> As the delta strain jumps to the head of the line of COVID-19 variants, San Mateo County leaders are urging unvaccinated residents to get their shots if they have been delaying immunizations.]]> <![CDATA[Bike plan runs into opposition from East Meadow residents]]> Months after the City Council enthusiastically endorsed the creation of new bikeways south Palo Alto, the effort has run into a tricky obstacle: opposition from residents concerned about the loss of 80 parking spaces.]]> <![CDATA[Parent sues Palo Alto Unified for barring student from attending class without a mask]]> The father of a rising senior at Palo Alto High School is suing the Palo Alto Unified School District after his son was prohibited from attending an in-person summer class without a mask.]]> <![CDATA[PAMF, Sutter Health face suit over allegedly racist workplace]]> An eye surgeon who was once the highest-ranking Black physician in a leadership role at Palo Alto Medical Foundation has filed a lawsuit alleging PAMF and Sutter Health maintained a racially toxic workplace.]]> <![CDATA[Palo Alto sets the stage for 'smart meter' switch]]> After eight years of wavering, debating and planning, Palo Alto is preparing to begin its switch to "smart meters," a $20 million move that city leaders believe will make utilities more efficient.]]>