TRAIL CLOSURE ... The Adobe Creek Loop Trail at the Palo Alto Baylands has been blocked to visitors since Tuesday for repair work to the Flood Basin Tide Gate that won't be completed until after Halloween. The Santa Clara Valley Water District implemented the closure as its contractor repairs the gate that has sustained structural damage over the years to keep high tide waters out of the basin, which empties out twice a day at low tides. Crews will repair cracks and weakened concrete surfaces, rehabilitate the tide gate structure deck and replace the 36-foot chain-link fence with a longer one that measures 48 feet over the next eight weeks. The fixes will cover an area about a half-mile northeast of the Byxbee Park parking lot at the trail. The work is expected to help protect the Matadero, Adobe and Barron creeks from flooding and protect animals above and below water at the basin. "We apologize for this temporary inconvenience," district board member Gary Kreman said in an email. "It is critical that we complete this project before the rain season so that we may all continue to enjoy the peace and natural habitat of the basin." A detour has been set up for trail visitors that partially parallels U.S. Highway 101 and winds northeast near Mayfield Island. More information on the project can be found by calling the district's public information representative Diego Barragan at 408-630-3063.
LANGUAGE SERVICES ... The Palo Alto City Library has expanded its online resources with two new tools that debuted last month. People who read Chinese and/or Japanese can enjoy the Kono for Libraries tool with articles and periodicals (such as Elle, National Geographic and PCM) published in those languages. They can also catch up on digital magazines in the languages from Taiwan, Hong Kong and Japan. French and English speakers or learners can find amusement with Storyplayr, an online library with hundreds of illustrated books, such as the Caillou book series and classic fairy tale "Jack and the Beanstalk," tailored to children between 3 and 10 years old. The bilingual resource also offers readers a chance to record themselves reading a story aloud and sending the audio to whoever they'd like. Both tools allow library cardholders to make a free account and download content to their PCs, Macs, tablets and smartphones. Readers can choose to read a story in large text and other typefaces such as OpenDyslexic, which is designed for dyslexic readers. "These are significant new resources," library director Monique le Conge Ziesenhenne said in a press release. "It's exciting that so much international content is now freely available to our cardholders." More information can be found online at http://bit.ly/2xSlqFq.
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