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May 21, 2004

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Palo Alto Online

Publication Date: Friday, May 21, 2004

News digest News digest (May 21, 2004)

Embarcadero Bike path opens

A bike path more than 10 years in the making made its debut along Embarcadero Road in Palo Alto on Tuesday.

Mayor Bern Beecham officially opened the Embarcadero Bike path, a newly completed off-street bicycle and pedestrian facility.

The path starts near the Palo Alto High School Track along Churchill Avenue and follows the railroad alignment from Churchill to the University Avenue Caltrain Station. It features a new bicycle/pedestrian bridge spanning Embarcadero Road and can be accessed at Embarcadero, Encina Avenue and the Palo Alto Medical Foundation.

An extension to the Homer Avenue undercrossing is slated for completion in the fall.

Palo Alto Transportation Projects manager Amanda Jones said the new path will get use from school commuters, bicyclists and pedestrians using the University Caltrain station and downtown Palo Alto -- as well as residents, employees and visitors who want to stretch their legs and take advantage of a peaceful path away from vehicle traffic.

The Embarcadero Bike Path is unusual due to its proximity to the railroad alignment, transportation officials said, but is separated from the Caltrain tracks by a 6-foot iron fence.

--Bay City News
Parking hours extended

Shoppers in downtown Palo Alto will have an hour of extra parking to savor during the next 10 months, thanks to the City Council.

On Monday night, the council approved extending the limits in three downtown parking garages from two hours to three hours. The Chamber of Commerce requested the extension, hoping it would attract more business to downtown.

The limits will be extended until Feb. 28, 2005. A similar extension has been in place without council approval since the city's two newest parking garages opened in December 2003, but the elected officials needed to approve the extension for it to continue.

The garages in question are located on High Street (between University and Hamilton avenues), on Bryant Street (between University and Lytton avenues) and on the corner of Ramona Street and University Avenue.

Because of the extension, the city is expecting to lose approximately $180,000 in parking tickets. City parking officials are also concerned downtown employees, and not shoppers, will monopolize the extended hours.

-- Bill D'Agostino

Neighborhood meeting Tuesday for Campus for Jewish Life

Two meetings will be held next week to preview plans for the Campus for Jewish Life and Bridge Housing projects, slated for 901 San Antonio Road, Palo Alto. The first meeting will be on Tuesday, May 25 at 7 p.m. at Unity Church, 3391 Middlefield Road. The second meeting is scheduled on Saturday, June 5 at 10 a.m., also at Unity Church.

Both presentations will be the same. Speakers from both organizations will give overviews and answer questions. The project is the largest development currently proposed in Palo Alto.

--Jocelyn Dong
Prepare for a wild fire season

A wet winter and early, dry spring have set the stage for a potentially devastating fire season, according to local fire departments.

The La Honda Volunteer Fire brigade will sponsor a Wildfire Awareness Day on May 22 from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at post offices in La Honda, Pescadero, Loma Mar and San Gregorio. These areas routinely receive many visitors from Palo Alto, and Whitney is encouraging members of the community to attend the event.

Palo Alto homeowners can also take home valuable ideas to protect their property at the awareness day, he said.

The Santa Clara County Fire Chiefs will also sponsor a countywide program in the near future to raise awareness of fire dangers, said Palo Alto Fire Chief Ruben Grijalva.

Department personnel will conduct individual inspections of homes in the hills prior to mid-June, when the fire season begins, he said. His department protects 10 square miles of open space and wild lands.

Grijalva recommends residents maintain a 30-foot "greenbelt" around homes, and limb trees that overhang roofs.

Call 329-2184 for brochures on fire prevention. For information about Wildfire Awareness Day, call 747-0381.
Dentists hold event to "tooth print" children

National Missing Children's day is May 25, and three local dentists will mark the occasion by offering a service they hope their patients will never use.

Tooth printing is a new procedure that captures a dental impression and saliva sample, which can help find or identify a missing person. This Saturday, as many as 200 children will be tooth printed and fingerprinted at an event hosted by Drs. Robert Kim, his wife, Noel Moser, and his partner, Raymond Lim.

The Mountain View School District sent out 4,000 fliers to promote the local tooth-printing event, which will take place on May 22 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Kim and Lim's Mountain View office. Representatives from the Mountain View Police Department will be on hand to fingerprint children.

Call (650) 968-9186 for more information.

-- Cross Missakian

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