News Digest | July 23, 2021 | Palo Alto Weekly | Palo Alto Online |

Palo Alto Weekly

News - July 23, 2021

News Digest

Federal funds boost museum, mental health program

Palo Alto's plan to build a history museum and create a new program addressing response services for mental health-related emergencies received a boost from the federal government last week, with Rep. Anna Eshoo announcing that she was able to secure funding for both efforts in federal appropriation bills.

The projects are part of a $11.2 million package that Eshoo secured for District 18, which includes portions of Santa Clara and San Mateo counties, including Palo Alto, East Palo Alto, Menlo Park, Mountain View, Woodside and Portola Valley. The bills have already cleared the relevant subcommittees in the House of Representatives, as well as the Appropriations Committee, and will soon be considered by the full House, according to Eshoo.

The allocations include $3 million for the rehabilitation of Roth Building at 300 Homer Ave., a city-owned building that was designed by architect Birge Clark and which is slated to be transformed into the Palo Alto Museum.

Also included in the federal package is $2 million in funding for Palo Alto, Mountain View and Los Altos for response services to mental health-related emergency calls. Eshoo said the funding will make sure these calls addressed with "the appropriate resources rather than law enforcement."

— Gennady Sheyner

State grant brings COVID vaccines to doctors' offices

The California Department of Public Health announced Tuesday that it will make $40 million in grants available to help doctors' offices and small practices safely store and administer more COVID-19 vaccines.

With more than 74% of state residents age 12 and up at least partially vaccinated, the CDPH and its third-party vaccination administrator, Blue Shield of California, are focusing primarily on making vaccine doses widely accessible across the state, particularly in areas that have been hardest hit by the pandemic.

The $40 million CalVaxGrant program will help them do so, according to state officials, by partially reimbursing small doctors' offices up to $55,000 for the staffing and infrastructure needed to set up small-scale vaccination clinics in their offices.

The state is making the grants available to health care practices with up to 200 physicians that apply at phcdocs.org/Programs/CalVaxGrant.

"Californians must take action to protect themselves and those in our communities who cannot get vaccinated, including children under age 12," CDPH Director and State Public Health Office Dr. Tomas Aragon said in a statement. "COVID-19 vaccines are free, safe, and our best tool in stopping the spread and mutation of variants."

— Bay City News Service

County approves relief funds for small businesses

To support small businesses impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, San Mateo County supervisors on Tuesday approved small business relief funds and passed a law that would allow home food sales.

First, the Board of Supervisors allocated $2 million of federal funding for small businesses that have not received other relief funding in the past year. The 2021 SMC Strong Small Business Assistance Program would provide 200 grants of $10,000 each to qualifying small businesses.

Businesses will need to submit a short preliminary application, which will open in August, and then grantees will be randomly selected. The San Mateo Credit Union Community Fund will administer grants on a rolling basis in September and early October.

Second, the supervisors introduced an ordinance that would allow food sales from home kitchens. The "Microenterprise Home Kitchen Operations" ordinance will create a process for permitting home kitchens under the county's Environmental Health Services Division, in accordance with state law.

The ordinance goes into effect in 30 days and will stay in place for a two-year pilot period.

The supervisors also allocated $238,000 of federal funds to the Health Services Division to cover the administrative costs of regulating these home food sales. The county will begin accepting permit applications in August and permits will be issued in October, according to Heather Forshey, the director of the Environmental Health Services Division.

Once the permits are issued, permit holders can apply for grant funding to help with startup costs, like food safety training, advertising, marketing and web presence. Permit holders could receive grants of $2,500, as the Board allocated $62,500 to provide grants to 25 permit holders.

— Bay City News Service

Comments

Posted by commonsense
a resident of Professorville
on Jul 19, 2021 at 10:32 am

commonsense is a registered user.

Converting a rotting building the city has neglected for decades into a history museum, across the street from a history museum, is not a priority for this city. Furthermore, $3m is roughly $10m short of what is likely needed.


Posted by Richard
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Jul 19, 2021 at 10:39 am

Richard is a registered user.

I'd put all the money into improving mental health services. Really, is Palo Alto so great that we need a museum? I doubt people for points distant, let alone for residents of the city, will visit this. Let's get over these delusions of grandeur and spend money on things that actually have value for citizens. If someone is really interested in the history of Palo Alto there are other resources that do not require a building.


Posted by Mama
a resident of Crescent Park
on Jul 19, 2021 at 11:10 am

Mama is a registered user.

The Computer History Museum does a terrific job on history of Silicon Valley, and Stanford has many sites for University history. Exactly what else needs to be covered re Palo Alto? Complete waste of OUR money siphoned off by taxes.


Posted by Roberta Prescott
a resident of Downtown North
on Jul 19, 2021 at 11:41 am

Roberta Prescott is a registered user.

> Converting a rotting building the city has neglected for decades into a history museum, across the street from a history museum, is not a priority for this city.

> Really, is Palo Alto so great that we need a museum?

> Exactly what else needs to be covered re Palo Alto? Complete waste of OUR money siphoned off by taxes.

^ It's called 'civic pride' and some Palo Altans actually feel the need for their city to be recognized for its past accomplishments and significance.

No different than a typical Mayberry-mentality creating its own museum and hall of fame to acknowledge minor trivialities.

The Nuthouse gorilla will greet guests at the door to reaffirm this belief.


Posted by cmarg
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Jul 19, 2021 at 1:30 pm

cmarg is a registered user.

Please consider focusing more on mental health. It would be ideal if the building could actually be converted into a facility for mental health. In my opinion, there are 2 groups that need the mental health Services the most - the youth (12-22) and the elderly. I hope more can be done to help. In my opinion, we don't need a museum.


Posted by Liam J.
a resident of another community
on Jul 19, 2021 at 3:39 pm

Liam J. is a registered user.

> In my opinion, there are 2 groups that need the mental health Services the most - the youth (12-22) and the elderly.

And the homeless.


Posted by Curmudgeon
a resident of Downtown North
on Jul 19, 2021 at 6:13 pm

Curmudgeon is a registered user.

The egregiously uninformed comments here illustrate the critical need for a local history museum. We have a fine historical association, but no venue to educate from


Posted by PA Resident
a resident of Midtown
on Jul 19, 2021 at 7:19 pm

PA Resident is a registered user.

Perhaps if the parents of this town would stop pressuring their children to be above and beyond over working them and stressing them out there wouldn't be so many mental health problems in the young people of this town.

A museum is a wonderful addition to this town. It would cover this city not just general themes like electrical and mechanical technology like MOAH does and general technological history like the computer museum.


Posted by Novelera
a resident of Midtown
on Jul 20, 2021 at 7:43 pm

Novelera is a registered user.

I am thrilled money is now available for the Roth Building history museum. It's a lovely building. And the historical society has some really interesting exhibits. I've seen some of their photographs at the Midtown Residents Ice Cream Socials in years past.

And I am also put off by the nastiness shown by the majority of the commenters on this thread.


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