Around the block | January 18, 2013 | Palo Alto Weekly | Palo Alto Online |

Palo Alto Weekly

News - January 18, 2013

Around the block

IF YOU HEAR CHAIN SAWS ... A 100-year-old California live oak crashed down in Rinconada Park on Friday, Jan. 11, and landed on Embarcadero Road and the Walter Hays Elementary School grounds. No one was injured, but city officials at Monday night's Palo Alto City Council meeting said that public-works crews would be checking the root systems of other trees in the park to safeguard the public. Trees that are found to have compromised root systems could be culled, officials said.

WEED WAXING ... What's so good about weeds? As the Palo Alto City Council considered its annual resolution Monday night that identifies weedy patches around the city and orders them removed, one member of the public stood up in defense of the sometimes unsightly plants. Not all weeds are created equal, said Bob Moss. Depending on where they are located, weeds can make a property appear more pleasant, covering up otherwise bare patches, for example. Despite Moss' tribute to weeds, the council passed the resolution, and landowners must now whack their weeds or else pay the cost for the county to do it. A list of the 43 properties and their owners can be viewed at

BURGLARY SPIKE ... Police Chief Dennis Burns gave a rather eyebrow-raising assessment of the state of that crime when he appeared before the city's Human Relations Commission on Jan. 10. Burns told commissioners that overall crime was down for 2012, but daytime residential burglaries rose by 80 percent. Six officers were reassigned to cover residential burglaries. There has been some payoff: More arrests were made in 2012 related to the burglaries than in any other year, Burns said.

NEWELL PARKING ISSUES ... Residents living along Edgewood Drive and Newell Road could soon get a bit of a respite from parking woes. Palo Alto Chief Transportation Official Jaime Rodriguez said on Wednesday that some short-term measures include parking restrictions from the west side of the bridge on Newell to Edgewood. Red curbs have been painted along corners and in front of fire hydrants, and a crosswalk will be added at the intersection. Over time, Rodriguez said additional measures could be tried.

Send announcements of neighborhood events, meetings and news to Sue Dremann, Neighborhoods editor, at Or talk about your neighborhood news on Town Square at


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