Around Town
Publication Date: Wednesday Jan 1, 1997

Around Town

HOLD YOUR FIRE . . . The Menlo Park Police Department, along with other law enforcement agencies throughout the Bay Area, urges New Year's Eve revelers to refrain from firing guns in celebration. To show they're serious, the Menlo Park Police Department is offering a $500 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of anyone illegally firing a gun. "The practice of celebratory gunfire is dangerous and illegal," said Commander Dominick Peloso. "A descending bullet is moving with enough force to penetrate roofs and human skulls." In 1989, a seven-year-old Daly City girl was struck in the head by such a bullet. In 1990, an Atherton woman watching fireworks was grazed in the leg by a bullet.

SHORT AND SWEET . . . One of Palo Alto school board member John Tuomy's first moves since being elected president of the board in December has been to create stricter parameters for the open forum portion of board meetings. Open forum, one of the first items on the agenda, is when the public may speak on any non-agendized topics for up to three minutes. With lots of controversial topics arising in the last few months, more people have been taking advantage of the opportunity. But that means the board doesn't get to its actual agenda until sometimes an hour after the official start of meetings, which often last until close to midnight. Tuomy hopes to get the board to stick to the three-minute limit and not tolerate long-winded speakers. If numerous individuals wish to speak on the same topic, he proposes that the board president be allowed to reduce the total time allocated to them. To compensate and not restrict debate, the board will add a second open forum time at the end of meetings. As usual, any member of the public is welcome to speak on specific agenda items as they come at the meetings.

A BETTER LUNCH . . . Jordan Middle School sixth grader Rebecca Shepherd got tired of the hot lunches she had to eat at school and decided to go to the top, writing a letter to the school district. "I would just like to say that the hot lunches here really are awful," she wrote. The hamburgers, she said, are crispy and burnt on the sides, and have too much barbecue sauce. "Sometimes there's corn dogs for lunch and they are all soggy with grease and are really nasty. I think that you should get rid of this gross lunch and get a much better lunch so that kids can enjoy a delicious lunch with their friends." We'll let you know if she gets any results.

ONE MORE DAY . . . If you're a Cable Co-op customer, you have one more day (through New Year's Day) to watch the unscrambled versions of all of its premium and tier services--from the Disney Channel to Showtime. In addition, Cable Co-op is also offering free cable installation and one month of free basic service to new subscribers who donate to Second Harvest Food Bank.

NAMES AND NOTES . . . Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI) Vice President Karl Stahlkopf has been chosen by U.S. Energy Secretary Hazel O'Leary to serve on an advisory panel charged with evaluating and reporting on the reliability of the nation's electric power system.

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