News Digest | February 3, 2012 | Palo Alto Weekly | Palo Alto Online |

Palo Alto Weekly

News - February 3, 2012

News Digest

And then there were three…

Former Saratoga Mayor Kathleen King has withdrawn from the race for Liz Kniss' seat on the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors, leaving state Sen. Joe Simitian — a former Palo Alto mayor — as one of three candidates vying to replace Kniss.

King, who serves as executive director of the Santa Clara Family Health Foundation, announced that she is withdrawing from the race because of health issues involving her son. According to campaign-finance documents released Jan. 31, she had received more than $55,000 in contributions.

Simitian, who served on the Board of Supervisors before his election to the state Assembly and, later, the state Senate, raised more than $96,000 as of the end of 2011.

Simitian's campaign funds came from a broad range of contributors, including local developers, businesses, labor unions, individual donors and other political campaigns.

Simitian drew $500 contributions from politicians, including from state Senate campaign funds of Alan Lowenthal, Juan Vargas and Kevin de Leon, and former Palo Alto Mayor Gary Fazzino; from unions, including the California Association of Highway Patrolmen, the California Nurses Association and the California Professional Firefighters; from companies, including Applied Materials and Union Pacific Railroad; and local developers Charles "Chop" Keenan and Roxy Rapp. Developer Jim Baer gave Simitian's campaign $300.

Simitian also loaned $10,000 to his own campaign.

The campaign-finance documents also show Simitian spent $14,924 as of Dec. 31.

Cupertino Councilmen Kris Wang and Barry Chang are also running for Kniss' seat.

Police nab burglary suspects in Duveneck neighborhood

Palo Alto police chased down and arrested two Menlo Park men who police said were planning to burglarize a residence in the Duveneck neighborhood Monday night, Jan. 30.

Officers received a call Monday from a resident in the 600 block of Wildwood Lane who reported seeing two men with flashlights prowling around the outside of a neighboring home's entry gate.

When officers arrived, they allegedly saw two men sprinting out of the side yard of a home in the 1900 block of Ivy Lane, a few homes away from the caller. Police asked the men to stop. When they didn't, police chased them and caught them in the 1900 block of Ivy. No one was injured during the foot pursuit.

Police later discovered evidence of an attempted burglary at the original location in the 600 block of Wildwood and arrested the two men, Antonio Barajas and Ricardo Hernandez. The two 19-year-old Menlo Park residents were charged with attempted residential burglary, conspiracy and possession of burglary tools. They were booked at the Santa Clara County Main Jail in San Jose.

Police said they are investigating Barajas and Hernandez for possible involvement in other burglaries that have occurred in the Duveneck/St. Francis area over the past week. That investigation is ongoing.

Armed man invades Atherton home

A man armed with a gun and a knife got away with $322,000 in jewelry and watches after invading an occupied house in the 200 block of Atherton Avenue in Atherton and confronting the residents shortly after 8 p.m. Friday, Jan. 27, police said.

The residents, a couple in their 60s, managed to escape the house without injury and drive to the police station, Lt. Joe Wade of the Atherton Police Department said in a telephone interview.

Police responded to the scene in force and with a police dog and set up a perimeter, but the robber was gone, Wade said. It's not clear where the burglar entered the house or how he got to the second floor, Wade said.

The residents described the man as slender, 18 to 25 years old, and wearing a black mask.

The incident unfolded as the husband was climbing the stairs after his wife told him she had heard a noise upstairs. While on the stairs, he met the burglar, who grabbed the husband and demanded money, Wade said.

The wife made a run for it and had started the car when her husband ran out and joined her. He had bargained with the burglar by offering him $100 in cash and escaped somehow, Wade said.

Near a fence in the yard, police found a laptop computer and a model car stolen from the house. In an adjacent property, they found a knife and a pellet gun believed to have been used in the crime.

— Almanac staff


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