Since the Weekly began publication in 1979, hundreds of issues and events have occurred in the communities it covers. Some highlights over the years follow. If you would like to suggest others, e-mail to email@example.com.
• Palo Alto Weekly begins publication Oct. 11.
• Cubberley High School closes.
• Palo Alto City Council rejects proposed rent-control ordinance prohibiting annual increases of more than 7 percent.
• Palo Alto council decides to close Palo Alto Yacht Harbor.
• College Terrace rapist" apprehended after months of community concern.
• “Medfly Wars” declared to eradicate Mediterranean fruit fly invasion, but Palo Alto rejects intensive Malathion spraying in favor of stripping fruit from trees.
• After fruit-trees fails, aerial spraying from low-flying helicopters wins the Medfly war.
• City agrees to buy closed Terman Middle School site for $9 million for a community center and, later, leases it to the Jewish Community Center.
• Palo Alto voters reject gay-rights ordinance.
• Three Palo Alto elementary schools close.
• Palo Alto council invites private groups to submit bids to
operate cable TV system.
• Stanford proposes 1,200-unit Stanford West housing project
and extension of Sand Hill Road to El Camino Real -- renewing
a decades-long effort.
East Palo Alto incorporates as a city after close election.
• Winter storms flood Barron Park and other creekside areas.
puts Stanford West on hold after Palo Alto council imposes
• Reagan administration approves Stanford's
terms to build Ronald Reagan presidential library in Stanford
• Olympic soccer games held at Stanford Stadium.
• Palo Alto council OKs extension of Sand Hill Road to El Camino
Real; Menlo Park council files suit.
• Jordan Middle School closes, leaving Wilbur the sole middle
• San Francisco 49ers win Super Bowl at Stanford
• Cable Communications Cooperative (“Cable Co-op”) selected
to operate four-community cable television franchise for Palo Alto, East Palo
Alto, Menlo Park and Atherton.
• Palo Alto council OKs regulations to discourage construction of huge homes.
• Festival Theater, the Hamilton Avenue movie house where customers sat on beanbag
• Palo Alto council imposes growth restrictions
on commercial development downtown.
• Tinsley school-desegregation lawsuit settled when Palo Alto
and other Midpeninsula districts agree to accept Ravenswood
City School District students.
• Dr. Edith Eugenie Johnson Park opens in Downtown
Park North neighborhood.
• Palo Alto begins to clamp down on gas-powered leaf blowers
due to noise.
• Palo Alto school district proposes merging its two high schools
at Paly and converting Gunn to the district's only middle school.
• Reagan Presidential Foundation declines to
build its library at Stanford.
• Joaquin de Monet proposes high-rise office,
hotel and shopping complex for Whiskey Gulch neighborhood of East
• Plan is abandoned after Palo Alto, Menlo Park
and neighborhood groups sue. Voters reject ballot measure calling
for Palo Alto to become nuclear-free zone.
• After contentious
election, Palo Alto school board in early 1988 reverses decision
to merge the high schools.
• St. Patrick's Seminary in Menlo Park
proposes to sell part of its 88-acre property for construction
of about 140 homes.
• Two-year drought forces Palo Alto to activate old wells for backup water.
• Loma Prieta earthquake causes estimated $150
million in damage at Stanford, additional damage at the Veterans
Affairs Hospital in Palo Alto and topples brick chimneys throughout
the area -- as well as bookstacks in Menlo Park main library.
• Palo Alto, Menlo Park and Atherton separately enact new rules
to assure houses aren't too big for their lots.
• Palo Alto school board adopts plan to reopen Jordan as a
middle school and include sixth-graders at both middle schools.
• After $6 million renovation, Stanford Theatre reopens as
a temple to classic movies of yesteryear.
• Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev visits
• After four years of drought, Palo Alto mandates 25 percent
cutback in water-use levels and hires bicycle-mounted "gush busters" to
warn and cite water wasters.
• Federal officials tighten flood-protection rules, affecting
4,000 residents in designated flood-zone areas.
• A year of controversy over improper billing
by Stanford on federal research grants culminates with Donald
Kennedy's decision to resign as university president.
• Palo Alto council approves 45,000-square-foot expansion of
Palo Alto Medical Foundation, but a referendum quickly qualifies
for the ballot.
• Citizens group forms to protest night-time noise in Palo
Alto from Mountain View's new Shoreline Amphitheatre.
• Drug-related crime and street violence in
East Palo Alto peak with shooting of 11 people, one fatally,
in a 15-hour period.
• Palo Alto Medical Foundation's expansion proposal is approved
in referendum election, but foundation announces move to El
Camino Real site instead.
• Stanford unveils new plan to extend Sand Hill Road to El
Camino, along with major expansion of shopping center and construction
of 1,200-unit housing project.
• Two months after celebrating 100 years of
publishing in Palo Alto, the Peninsula Times Tribune closes
• The Palo Alto Weekly launches its Friday “Weekend
and its parent company, Embarcadero
Publishing Co., acquires
covering south San Mateo County.
• East Palo Alto approves Gateway 101, its first major redevelopment.
• Paly boys basketball team captures its first state championship.
• Palo Alto Animal Services receives anonymous call that a
black mamba snake is missing, but the deadly reptile is never
found -- a possible hoax.
• Weekly becomes first newspaper to publish its entire editorial content on the World Wide Web (Timeline of online publishing)
• Weekly gets second “sister paper,” the Mountain View Voice.
• Palo Alto celebrates its centennial at 275 events that attract an estimated 350,000 attendees.
• World Cup soccer comes to Stanford. Brazilian fans charm locals with their drums and dancing, and the U.S. team loses to Brazil, 1-0, in a July 4 match.
• Varsity Theatre shows its final film, "Cinema Paradiso," and a developer announces plans to convert the Spanish-style landmark to a bookstore and cafe.
• Palo Alto voters reject Measure R, which
would have frozen the city's building limit for 20 years and
prevented the rezoning of residential property to commercial.
• Palo Alto voters approve Measure B, a $143 million bond to
finance the repair and renovation of district schools.
• Serial rapist sexually assaults five women and attempts to
attack two others in less than three weeks in Menlo Park, Palo
Alto and Sunnyvale -- suspect is arrested in January 1996.
• Palo Alto council places strict limits on demolitions of old homes, while work begins on a new historic-preservation law.
• David Packard, one of the fathers of Silicon Valley, dies at age 83.
• Bloomingdale's opens its first store west of the Rockies, at Stanford Shopping Center.
• Stanford trustees and University of California regents approve a merger of two Stanford and two UC San Francisco hospitals and medical centers.
• Weekly launches a community Web site, www.PaloAltoOnline.com.
• Palo Alto voters approve Stanford's Sand
Hill Road development projects, but Menlo Park files a lawsuit
to block them.
• Early morning arson fire rips through an East Palo Alto home,
killing nine people, including five children, and injuring
eight others, including four firefighters -- launching campaign
to ban non-removable bars on windows.
• NASA scientist Herbert "Bert" Kay is kicked
and beaten to death as he takes an evening stroll through downtown
Palo Alto -- six gang members arrested.
• Palo Alto approves ordinance making it an offense to sit
or lie on downtown streets.
• Chelsea Clinton begins freshman year at Stanford.
• Palo Alto council approves Medical Foundation's plan to move to new, $130 million campus on at 795 El Camino Real area.
• El Nino Feb. 3 flooding damages hundreds
of Midpeninsula homes and, in Palo Alto, sparks criticism over
• East Palo Alto council approves University Circle office,
hotel and retail project for Whiskey Gulch.
• Menlo Park ordinance banning gas-powered leaf blowers is
rejected in a referendum.
• First store opens at East Palo Alto's Gateway redevelopment
project, renamed the Ravenswood 101 Retail Center.
• After three years of contentious debate,
the Palo Alto council passes new historic-preservation ordinance;
but a referendum quickly qualifies for the March 2000 ballot.
• Cable Co-op board approves sale of system to AT&T
for $70 million in cash and $20 million in other considerations.
• Merged operations of Stanford and University of California,
San Francisco hospitals lose $66 million in one year, prompting
calls to end the merger.
• Stanford general use permit, with 2 million
square feet of new academic buildings, approved by Santa Clara
hard fight over the Stanford's foothills lands.
• Former Palo Alto mayors Joe Simitian and Liz Kniss move
up, respectively, to the state Assembly and Santa Clara County
Board of Supervisors.
• The Weekly gets a third “sister paper” with
the launch by Embarcadero Publishing Co. of the Pleasanton
• Palo Alto voters reject fee increase for storm-drain replacement
and renovation -- no sunset clause or cap for proposal to double
fee to $9 per month.
Alto music teacher Kristine Fitzhugh is found dead in her Escobita
• Dot-com economy implodes -- Silicon Valley
loses 200,000 jobs in what is called the worst regional economic
downtown in the United States since the Great Depression; local
governments and school districts feel the pain, but rental-housing
market is a bright spot (for renters) as apartment vacancies
abound for first time in 20-plus years.
• Former Chief
Planning Officer Nancy Lytle elected to Palo Alto City Council
in 2000, launches stealth bid to take over council majority.
Fitzhugh is convicted of second-degree murder for killing his
wife, Kristine Fitzhugh, whose body was discovered in their
Escobita Avenue home in May of 2000.
• Palo Alto voters reject $49.1 million “library
build new Mitchell Park Library and renovate Children's Library.
• IKEA is built and opens in East Palo Alto,
virtually completing Ravenswood Shopping Center, –touted
as the economic engine of the city's future. Widely predicted massive
traffic jams fail to materialize.
• Weekly settles 2002 lawsuit
against Palo Alto over secret council-to-staff e-mails and answers
back to council members settlement creates statewide precedent
for open electronic communications.
• Palo Alto Online launches Master
Community Calendar to
make it easier for the community and organizations to plan ahead.
• Former Judge LaDoris Cordell elected to the City Council via
unconventional campaign, using hand-drawn lawn signs and refusing
to accept donations. Nancy Lytle loses re-election bid, retires
from local politics.
• Land-use projects hit rough going in Palo Alto: City halts
projects for nine-month Charleston Corridor study and road redesign;
Hyatt Hotels pulls the plug on the city's venerable but aging Hyatt
Rickey's, “Palo Alto process” gets blamed, some
say unfairly -- for project delays.
• East Palo Alto celebrates its 20th anniversary of incorporation,
maturing but still facing economic challenges because of a down
economy and with a growing concern about increasing crime.
• “800 High St.,”large housing project in downtown
Palo Alto, narrowly approved by voters after a hard-fought, expensive
campaign over growth and size.
• Jewish Community Center (JCC) plans for major new “Center for Jewish Life” unveiled
for former Ford Aerospace/Sun Microsystems site in southeast corner
of Palo Alto, coupled with a Bridge Housing proposal for below-market
• Palo Alto opens two new downtown parking garages, but has trouble
filling them due largely to a commercial vacancy rate exceeding
25 percent in the area.
• Weekly gets a fourth “sister paper,” the Pacific Sun in Marin County, coincidental to celebrating its 25th anniversary of the Weekly and its 10th year of publishing its content online.
• Palo Alto Online surpasses 2.8 million page views and more than 180,000 unique users per month.
25th Anniversary • 1979-2004