Upfront A June 19 fire caused $850,000 of damage to the popular Hobee's Restaurant</em> in Town & Country Village Shopping Center in Palo Alto, and also caused smoke and other damage to a half-dozen other businesses. The owners hoped to reopen the restaurant within four months, but by the end of the year the reopening date had been pushed back to April 1997. Another fire swept through three businesses on Hamilton Avenue downtown on Dec. 21. The Pacific Mountaineer, Frame-O-Rama and House of Bagels were all destroyed in the blaze, which caused an estimated $3 million in damage.
Publication Date: Wednesday Jan 1, 1997

Upfront A June 19 fire caused $850,000 of damage to the popular Hobee's Restaurant in Town & Country Village Shopping Center in Palo Alto, and also caused smoke and other damage to a half-dozen other businesses. The owners hoped to reopen the restaurant within four months, but by the end of the year the reopening date had been pushed back to April 1997. Another fire swept through three businesses on Hamilton Avenue downtown on Dec. 21. The Pacific Mountaineer, Frame-O-Rama and House of Bagels were all destroyed in the blaze, which caused an estimated $3 million in damage.

After months of deliberations, the East Palo Alto City Council and San Mateo County reached agreement June 17 on a police services contract, which will keep county sheriff's deputies patrolling the city's streets in support of the city's police officers.

The longtime successful partnership between downtown Palo Alto developers Jim Baer and Chuck King ended in an exchange of lawsuits and recriminations. Baer sued King March 18 and King countersued Baer the next day. The lawsuits were later settled out of court in August, with the two men dissolving their partnership. They had combined on some $57 million of downtown projects, including Ramona Plaza, the Ross Store, and Star's Restaurant.

Palo Altans got a little starry-eyed when President Bill Clinton came to town for a dinner with political supporters on Aug. 7. The dinner was at the home of Steve Jobs and attracted 100 or so curbside gawkers hoping for a glimpse of the chief executive. Clinton did not disappoint, strolling over after the dinner to shake hands and exchange greetings with reporters and well-wishers.

An unusual midsummer power outage left Palo Alto and neighboring cities in the dark Aug. 10 as part of a massive outage from Canada to Mexico. The outage was caused by a failure in a Western power grid due to overload.

A 23-year-old Menlo Park man was arrested Sept. 20 and charged with the murders of Edward "Red" Colley of Atherton Aug. 19 and of Vincent Damante of unincorporated Menlo Park Jan. 11. Both victims were 71 years old. Joseph Charles Miller Jr. was formally charged with the two murders Dec. 9 and is scheduled for a preliminary hearing in January. Robbery is believed to be the motive in both killings.

The Menlo Park City Council voted Aug. 20 to pass a law limiting the size of signs that protesters can carry. The law was passed in response to an outcry over graphic posters anti-abortion protesters were using in front of a Planned Parenthood clinic on Middlefield Road. Two of the protesters filed a lawsuit against the city, challenging the constitutionality of the city's law, but a federal judge sided with the city in a preliminary ruling Oct. 3 when he denied a request for a temporary restraining order.

Students and teachers at Mid-peninsula High School in Palo Alto were shocked Feb. 8 when a distraught student drove onto campus, shot two students, and then shot himself. Two students were injured by broken glass. Another bullet hit a 14-year-old student in the leg. The student with the gun was taken to Stanford Medical Center, where he died of gunshot wounds to the head the next morning. The youth was identified as 16-year-old Douglas Bradley of Mountain View. Mental health professionals converged onto the campus to help the students with the healing process.



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