AGING TOWER OF PALY ... Attendees at the Palo Alto school board meeting last Tuesday got a history lesson when Chief Business Official Bob Golton talked about Palo Alto High School's iconic Tower Building. It opened for classes on Christmas Eve 1918, Golton said, noting that because of World War I, only Christmas and New Year's days were observed as holidays. The international influenza epidemic was also raging, he added. Students marched to the shiny, new building — which has seen a bit of a downturn since, he said. Rooms are so small that present-day Superintendent Kevin Skelly has to duck to fit, and bathrooms haven't changed much since that long-ago day, he said. The building would be renovated or replaced if the proposed $378 million bond measure on the June 3 ballot is approved. There may be a battle between preservationists and those ready to raze the decrepit structure, however, Skelly said Tuesday.
BANDING TOGETHER ... When challenged during the Innovation Tournament at Stanford's Entrepreneurship Week to create value from rubber bands, a team of Stanford students came up with "Rubber Band Together," an endeavor backed by a Web Site — http://www.rubberbandtogether.com — designed to collect signatures. With every online signature, the team of students added a real rubber band to a rubber-band ball. Site visitors were also given the option of donating to the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation. "Each rubber band represents someone standing up against breast cancer and trying to find a cure," freshman Richard Lo said. For 24 hours, ending last Thursday morning, 3,056 people joined Rubber Band Together, resulting in a 6-pound ball measuring 55 centimeters around. The group raised approximately $500, including donations by Loopt, a social-networking service, and the Stanford Bookstore. The Rubber Band Together team said their effort was intended to create "social value" by spreading breast-cancer awareness, "economic value" by encouraging donations towards Susan G. Komen for the Cure, and "entertainment value." The Rubber Band Together team — including Christophe Chong, David Brody, Dennis Jiang, Richard Lo, Brian Lumpkins, Aditya Mittal, Palomi Ochi, Bernice Pang, Vivian Wang, Ricky Yean and others — won the honor of Best Marketing at the Innovation Tournament, according to Lo.
SHORELINE NOT AS LOUD ... Since Palo Alto's 1993 agreement with the managers of Shoreline Amphitheatre, the number of noise complaints has dropped, according to a report by the Palo Alto Police Department. During the 2007 season, which ran from May to October, August's Rush concert generated 18 complaints, more than any other show. Bjork, Toby Keith and the Family Values Tour produced one complaint each. The 1996 season generated the most complaints — 1,297 — with 10 concerts that received more than 45 complaints.
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