Around Town | November 18, 2022 | Palo Alto Weekly | Palo Alto Online |

Palo Alto Weekly

News - November 18, 2022

Around Town

FAMILY TIES ... "We sometimes call ourselves a blueberry in a bowl of tomato soup," John Hamilton, mayor of Bloomington, Indiana, told about 200 people during a climate summit at Gunn High School on Nov. 12, referring to his city's liberal politics in a red state. Hamilton was part of a sizeable Hoosier contingent representing Palo Alto's only domestic "sister city" that came to town last week for a series of events that included, among other events, tours of the Palo Alto Art Center and Stanford's d.school; a dinner organized by the Rotary Club; an economics roundtable with the Chamber of Commerce; a discussion on civil discourse coordinated by Vicki Veenker, founder of Sibling Cities USA; and a concert featuring Indiana University's Onia Quartet and Stanford's Emerging String Quartet. During the climate summit, Hamilton highlighted some of the differences and similarities between the two cities, which last year formalized their "sibling city" relationship. "We have lots of water, we don't have forest fires, but we have lots of challenges," he said, citing Indiana's recent cuts to the credit people get for generating electricity and selling it to their local grid. For Bloomington leaders and their Palo Alto counterparts, this was the biggest face-to-face gathering after a year of Zoom meetings. In the coming year, the two cities plan to build on their partnership by holding virtual and in-person conversations with members of the broader communities in the two cities, which includes faith-based institutions and libraries. The goal is to improve civility through conversation.

A STUDENT FOR THE STUDENTS ... A 19-year-old Stanford University sophomore, Sathvik Nori, is set to become the youngest member of the Sequoia Union High School District board of trustees. Nori was elected over Jo-Ann Byrne Sockolov, a consultant at Transform Collaborative, to represent the district's area D, which includes Atherton, much of Menlo Park and parts of Redwood City and North Fair Oaks. During an October debate, Nori said the district would benefit from his "fresh and diverse perspective" if he was elected. Nori was previously a student trustee for the board while enrolled at Menlo-Atherton High School, where he graduated in 2021. His resume includes serving as chair of the San Mateo County Youth Commission and editor-in-chief of his high school's newspaper, the M-A Chronicle. He was also one of two teens to represent California in the 59th annual United States Senate Youth Program last year. As of the Nov. 15 update from San Mateo County, Nori has expanded a significant advantage over his opponent, leading 57% to 43%, a gap of more than 1,400 votes. "Now the real work starts in ensuring that every student, no matter what their background is or what middle school they went to, has a rigorous, challenging, and fun high school experience," Nori wrote in a text to this news organization.

SOAKING UP THE VIEW ... Graduate Palo Alto, the luxury hotel located in the historic building that once housed the President Hotel apartments, is set to open a cafe and a rooftop bar next month. Starting in December, Graduate Palo Alto will offer two new food and drink businesses: Lou & Herbert's, a casual all-day cafe, and President's Terrace, a rooftop bar with downtown views, according to a press release. The cafe will offer simple breakfasts in the mornings and light bites at night. Coffee will be sourced from Saint Frank Coffee, and the breakfast menu will include items such as pancakes and pastries from Manresa Bread. In the evenings, it will offer snacks, local beer and wine and classic cocktails. The revamped hotel is moving forward more than two years after the Palo Alto City Council permitted the 75 apartments the building previously housed to be converted into 100 hotel rooms. That decision in itself was the result of a two-year legal battle.

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