Around Town | September 8, 2023 | Palo Alto Weekly | Palo Alto Online |

Palo Alto Weekly

News - September 8, 2023

Around Town

by Palo Alto Weekly staff

In this week's Around Town column, a student broadcaster hits the big time and a fiery fundraiser.

FROM LOCAL NEWS TO NATIONAL NEWS ... If you watched CBS Mornings on Thursday morning, Aug. 31, you may have caught sight of Palo Alto's own Payton Lee on-screen. The eighth grade student at Fletcher Middle School reported a special back-to-school edition of the show's Talk of the Table segment.

It wasn't the 13-year-old's first time on camera. She's a student journalist who shoots, edits and anchors Fletcher's morning program, Tiger News. "I'm really excited to be here today," she said at a roundtable with co-hosts Gayle King, Tony Dokoupil and Nate Burleson before highlighting three school-related news stories. The first was a teacher spending survey by that found 90% of teachers spend their own money to buy supplies for their classrooms.

The next story was a viral video of an emotional mother sending off her son for his first solo school bus ride. Other students lining up for the bus reassured the woman that they'll watch her boy. Payton's final story was a TikTok trend where teachers share how they look before and after the first day of school. When asked by King about what she likes about the news business, Payton said, "I like how I can connect with other people through broadcasting and I just love talking to other people."

Before the segment wrapped up, the middle school student said hello to her teachers, Mr. Rosenblatt and Ms. Chang, and principal, Melissa Howell. She also thanked her parents, who proudly waved to the camera as they watched their daughter in action.

THEY'RE FIRE ... Hundreds of pears, apples, mushrooms, pumpkins and other gourds will be ripe for the picking this Friday and Saturday, but you won't find them at a farmers market. No, these are hand-blown glass pieces created by students, instructors and alumni of the Palo Alto High School Fiery Arts program. The public high school is among the few in the nation that has a glass-blowing studio, and to fund its operating budget, the studio hosts an annual fall sale.

Over 90 students enrolled in the sculpture and advanced sculpture classes have the opportunity to blow glass at Paly, according to the Paly Fiery Arts Boosters.

Student Stephane Finot said he finds bowls particularly fun to blow. "I like to make bowls because they seem easy but they are hard to make. It is very satisfying when you produce a good one."

The sale will run from 3 to 6 p.m. on Sept. 8 and from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sept. 9 at 50 Embarcadero Road. Items start at $10. A new, separate silent auction will feature special pieces from renowned visiting artists such as Afro Celotto, Tom Philabaum, Fritz Driesbach, and Bobby Bowes. More details about the auction are posted at More information is posted on n


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