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teacher accused of misconduct also taught in palo alto


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palo alto parents join fight against new sex-ed curriculum


a proposed sex education curriculum that caused an uproar among parents of cupertino seventh-graders is now also drawing protests by some middle school parents in palo alto.the parents were shocked to learn this month that although the controversial class failed to gain majority approval from cupertino union school district trustees, it’s already being taught in palo alto schools.on tuesday, the palo alto unified school district school board received a petition signed by more than 1,600 parents and community members concerned that the sex-ed program is age inappropriate, insensitive to the family values of certain cultures and promotes risky behaviors to vulnerable youths.dozens of parents attended the school board meeting carrying signs that read, “parents should have the right to access






palo alto fatal crash on 101 closes nearly all traffic lanes


palo alto — a fatal crash involving a motorcycle and another vehicle had all but one lane closed on northbound 101 in palo alto saturday, according to the chp.the crash was first reported at 8:41 p.m. and had three lanes of northbound traffic blocked as chp investigated the scene.the incident occurred north of the embarcadero road on-ramp in palo alto, chp said.no other details about how the crash occurred was immediately available. chp advised drivers to avoid the area.check back for updates.






palo alto boys start fast to reach d-i final – the mercury news


stockton – palo alto scored the game’s first 11 points, overwhelming st. mary’s-stockton with its full-court press, and went on to a 75-63 victory in a northern california division i semifinal tuesday night.the vikings advance to play james logan in the final saturday at santa clara university.“that’s what we’ve done every game,” palo alto coach peter diepenbrock said.max dorward had a game-high 27 points (18 in the second half) and spencer rojahn had 24 points (20 in the first half via six 3-pointers) to lead palo alto.palo alto led by eight after the third quarter and never let the rams pull closer than that.with palo alto up double digits and 2:30 remaining, st. mary’s coach ken green decided to start fouling. the rams got within eight after a monckton 3 and a jenkins free throw, but th






train hits vehicle at palo alto crossing


palo alto — a southbound commuter train hit an occupied vehicle monday evening in palo alto, according to caltrain.there were no immediate reports of any injuries.the collision was reported at 5:42 p.m. at the churchill avenue crossing, according to caltrain.trains are holding in the area and emergency personnel are at the scene.check back for updates on this developing story.






palo alto boys edge fremont


oakland – max dorward’s shooting came alive in the final quarter of palo alto’s northern california first-round regional boys game wednesday, and the vikings are thankful.the 6-foot-4 dorward scored 10 of his team’s final 11 points as no. 9 palo alto defeated no. 8 fremont-oakland 59-56 at merritt college.“i was just playing my game,” said dorward about his fourth quarter. he finished with 12 points. will schlemmer paced palo alto (24-4) with 14 points.shawn stith scored a game-high 15 points for fremont (21-10). teammate surako follings added 14 points.palo alto will now travel to face no. 1 dublin on saturday 11 at 6 p.m. in a quarterfinal matchup.wednesday’s game had a couple of wild swings to it. palo alto held a 20-15 lead at the end of the first quarter, but fremont outscored the vik






palo alto art center gifted with paula kirkeby press – the mercury news


paula kirkeby was a pillar of the palo alto arts community for more than 40 years. she came to the tree-covered town in 1956, and in 1969 opened a gallery on homer street. ten years later, she was part of a team that opened 3ep press, which in 1984 became smith anderson editions, with kirkeby as sole owner.a dedicated printmaker, she had an oakland shipbuilder make a print press weighing more than a ton that was used by hundreds of artists in the warehouse-like building on pepper avenue in palo alto.after she died, on april 1, 2016, her family decided to donate that press to the city of palo alto and the palo alto art center.the press has been relocated to room f4 of cubberley center, and it will be dedicated on friday, oct. 13, from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m., as the paula kirkeby press.like the pa






gunn high presents 'the music man'


gunn high school will present meredith wilson’s “the music man” april 19 through 23 at the palo alto high school theater, 50 embarcadero road, palo alto.the musical tells the story of charming con man harold hill, who sells residents of river city, iowa, on starting a boys’ band, and who runs up against a doubtful marian paroo, town librarian and music teacher.tickets, from $5 to $25, are available online at gunntheatre.org and at the door.






rhythmic circus brings 'feet don't fail me' to palo alto


take four tap dancers with fun, frenetic choreog hy, back them up with a seven-piece band that plays original funk, blues and rhythmic compositions and you’ve got “feet don’t fail me now!” — a high-energy show that’s played globally and is coming to palo alto’s oshman center for one performance at 7:30 p.m. urday,  feb. 11. tickets, $60-$70, available at 650-223-8649 or www.paloaltojcc.org/circus. the oshman family jcc is located at 3921 fabian way, palo alto.






caltrain hits car at palo alto crossing


palo alto — a southbound commuter train hit an occupied car monday evening in palo alto, according to caltrain.there were no immediate reports of any injuries.the collision occurred at 5:42 p.m. at the churchill avenue crossing, according to caltrain. a southbound train clipped the front end of what appeared to be a nissan altima.the crossing was briefly closed for an inspection, resulting in service delays up to 33 minutes, according to caltrain. train travel in both directions resumed at about 7:10 p.m.






palo alto cited for climate change leadership


the city of palo alto was awarded the first ever platinum level beacon award for climate change leadership on sept. 14 at the league of california cities’ annual conference in sacramento.“we basically focused on climate change, more than any other city in the state,” palo alto mayor greg scharff told the daily news by phone on friday. “climate change is the issue of our time. it’s important we do all we can to combat it.”in 2014, palo alto became the second city to win a beacon award, getting a silver level award for achieving measurable reductions in greenhouse gas emissions, and for energy savings.like the palo alto daily news facebook page for neighborhood news and conversation from palo alto, menlo park, atherton, redwood city and beyond.since then, according to city spokesperson lisa






palo alto sex assault case prompts superintendent evaluation


the palo alto school board will convene for a special meeting today to evaluate the superintendent and other officials amid concerns that the school district mishandled sexual assault-related complaints.the palo alto unified school district is catching heat for allowing a student to continue attending classes at palo alto high school despite being found guilty of a felony charge of forced oral copulation. the incident involved a menlo-atherton student and occurred off-campus in october 2015 at a church youth group outing in palo alto.the 17-year-old male student athlete also had been accused in another sexual assault incident roughly a year later, in october 2016, involving a paly student on that school’s campus.the two victims told the daily news they found little justice in juvenile cour






man exposes himself to woman, toddler in palo alto baylands


palo alto — police are asking for the public’s help in identifying a man who exposed himself to a woman walking with her toddler in the palo alto baylands on wednesday.suspect the incident occurred about 3:30 p.m. on a hiking trail that runs east to west along the northern boundary of the palo alto airport and the palo alto municipal golf course, said agent ryan brennan of the palo alto police department.the woman was walking with her toddler past some bushes when she heard someone clear their throat. she then spotted a naked man in the vegetation, about 20 to 30 feet away, masturbating, brennan said. he made eye contact with her but did not say anything.“she is just out there with her child trying to enjoy the day and that happens,” said brennan.the woman immediately walked away with her






man exposes himself to woman, toddler in palo alto baylands


palo alto — police are asking for the public’s help in identifying a man who exposed himself to a woman walking with her toddler in the palo alto baylands on wednesday.suspect the incident occurred about 3:30 p.m. on a hiking trail that runs east to west along the northern boundary of the palo alto airport and the palo alto municipal golf course, said agent ryan brennan of the palo alto police department.the woman was walking with her toddler past some bushes when she heard someone clear their throat. she then spotted a naked man in the vegetation, about 20 to 30 feet away, masturbating, brennan said. he made eye contact with her but did not say anything.“she is just out there with her child trying to enjoy the day and that happens,” said brennan.the woman immediately walked away with her






palo alto school district mishandled sexual harassment complaints, federal inves


palo alto school officials have not done enough to protect students and faculty who said they were sexually harassed and assaulted, according to a u.s. department of education investigation. the department's office for civil rights investigates cases in which schools are accused of violating federals laws such as title ix, which outlaws sex-based discrimination in schools.after promising to make changes, palo alto unified school district will keep its federal funding under terms of a resolution agreement with the department. this is the first such agreement that the department of education has publicized since donald trump became president. many civil rights advocates fear that the office will be less active now under education secretary betsy devos.the palo alto investigation began in 201






palo alto police nab indecent exposure suspect


a palo alto indecent exposure suspect, whose photo was snapped by what police called a “quick-thinking victim,” is now in custody.police served jonathan dane chestnutt, 28, of palo alto, with an arrest warrant tuesday that charges him with one count of misdemeanor indecent exposure, palo alto police said in a news release wednesday.chestnutt already was in custody at the santa clara county main jail on an unrelated theft charge, police said.palo alto detectives used the photo taken by the victim in the feb. 27 incident and eventually identified the suspect as chestnutt.the victim, a woman in her 20s, was standing in a parking lot near the corner of park avenue and el camino real about 11:04 a.m. in february when a man walked by while “masturbating his exposed penis.”“the victim cursed at t






student in palo alto sex assault controversy to leave school


a 17-year-old palo alto high school student accused of sexual assault will not complete the school year on campus, his attorney said in a statement to the daily news on tuesday.“although the student in question has been in compliance with all court orders, and the fact that the district attorney’s office has declined to file anything against the student other than consensual underage sexual activity as a result of the conduct on campus, the student has elected not to complete the school year on campus,” attorney stephanie rickard wrote on tuesday.the student, a junior at paly, was found guilty of a felony charge of forced oral copulation in juvenile court in december. in this case, the victim, who attends menlo-atherton high school, was at a church youth group outing in palo alto in octobe






49ers help out at school supply drive in east palo alto


east palo alto — less than 24 hours after making three tackles at levi’s stadium in a preseason game, san francisco 49ers outside linebacker dekoda watson stepped inside a classroom at streetcode academy.he was joined on sunday by ex-49ers dennis brown and darryl pollard in support of a school supply drive for boys and girls in east palo alto.“that’s just the standard that we’re trying to set for these kids,” said watson, who signed a three-year, $6 million contract with the 49ers in the offseason. “so it’s nothing but a small sacrifice for tomorrow, for our generation to come.”brown added: “and we’re blessed as athletes. we live a lifestyle where, yes, it’s tough work. dekoda was on the field last night. i was in the radio booth last night. but there’s always that time where you can give






49ers help out at school supply drive in east palo alto


east palo alto — less than 24 hours after making three tackles at levi’s stadium in a preseason game, san francisco 49ers outside linebacker dekoda watson stepped inside a classroom at streetcode academy.he was joined on sunday by ex-49ers dennis brown and darryl pollard in support of a school supply drive for boys and girls in east palo alto.“that’s just the standard that we’re trying to set for these kids,” said watson, who signed a three-year, $6 million contract with the 49ers in the offseason. “so it’s nothing but a small sacrifice for tomorrow, for our generation to come.”brown added: “and we’re blessed as athletes. we live a lifestyle where, yes, it’s tough work. dekoda was on the field last night. i was in the radio booth last night. but there’s always that time where you can give






essential education: getting under the dashboard


palo alto school officials have not done enough to protect students and faculty who said they were sexually harassed and assaulted, according to a u.s. department of education investigation. the department's office for civil rights investigates cases in which schools are accused of violating federals laws such as title ix, which outlaws sex-based discrimination in schools.after promising to make changes, palo alto unified school district will keep its federal funding under terms of a resolution agreement with the department. this is the first such agreement that the department of education has publicized since donald trump became president. many civil rights advocates fear that the office will be less active now under education secretary betsy devos.the palo alto investigation began in 201






truth booth at palo alto city hall


about 12:30 pm wednesday, as a warm sun displaced a blanket of clouds outside palo alto city hall, anita felicelli emerged from the truth booth with a stroller holding her twins, now nearly one year old.could she recall what she said when she followed the booth’s instructions to begin a two-minute recorded spiel with the words, “the truth is…”.?well, yes, said the black-haired woman with a smile, though she couldn’t remember it verbatim.“i just talked about how it was a beautiful day in palo alto and how surreal and strange it is that all these lunatic things are occurring in the world,” she said.“i talked about how hard it was to feel that discrepancy,” she said. “i talked about searching for a bomb shelter.”it might have been as good a summation as you could find of the strange turns of






truth booth at palo alto city hall


about 12:30 pm wednesday, as a warm sun displaced a blanket of clouds outside palo alto city hall, anita felicelli emerged from the truth booth with a stroller holding her twins, now nearly one-year-old.could she recall what she said when she followed the booth’s instructions to begin a two-minute recorded spiel with the words, “the truth is…”.?well, yes, said the black-haired woman with a smile, though she couldn’t remember it verbatim.“i just talked about how it was a beautiful day in palo alto and how surreal and strange it is that all these lunatic things are occurring in the world,” she said.“i talked about how hard it was to feel that discrepancy,” she said. “i talked about searching for a bomb shelter.”it might have been as good a summation as you could find of the strange turns of






assailant in palo alto student sex assault controversy to leave school – the mer


a 17-year-old palo alto high school student accused of sexual assault will not complete the school year on campus, his attorney said in a statement to the daily news on tuesday.“although the student in question has been in compliance with all court orders, and the fact that the district attorney’s office has declined to file anything against the student other than consensual underage sexual activity as a result of the conduct on campus, the student has elected not to complete the school year on campus,” attorney stephanie rickard wrote on tuesday.the student, a junior at paly, was found guilty of a felony charge of forced oral copulation in juvenile court in december. in this case, the victim, who attends menlo-atherton high school, was at a church youth group outing in palo alto in octobe






pantless perp exposes self to girls


palo alto — a man, who wasn’t wearing pants or underwear, was accused of fondling himself in his car as he approached two girls on wednesday afternoon, police said.a man, who wasn’t wearing any pants or underwear, was accused of touchinghimself in front of two girls as he drove around palo alto. sketch ofsuspect provided by palo alto police. palo alto police are still searching for the suspect.at about 4:40 p.m. wednesday,  a 12-year-old girl was walking her dog southbound on newell road toward north california avenue. a man, who sat in a parked car, called out to her and asked if she knew the location of the community swimming pool.the girl told the man she did not know the location and continued walking. she noticed, though, the man was not wearing any pants or underwear and was touching






man exposes himself to woman, toddler in palo alto baylands


palo alto — police are asking for the public’s help in identifying a man who exposed himself to a woman walking with her toddler in the palo alto baylands on wednesday.suspect the incident occurred at about 3:30 p.m. on a hiking trail that runs east to west along the northern boundary of the palo alto airport and the palo alto municipal golf course, according to police.police said the woman was walking with her toddler past some bushes when she heard someone clear their throat. police said she then spotted a naked man in the bushes, about 20 to 30 feet away, masturbating. he made eye contact but did not say anything.the woman walked away with her toddler and found a pair of joggers, who agreed to escort them back through the area where the man had been seen, according to police. when they






man exposes himself to woman, toddler in palo alto baylands


palo alto — police are asking for the public’s help in identifying a man who exposed himself to a woman walking with her toddler in the palo alto baylands on wednesday.suspect the incident occurred about 3:30 p.m. on a hiking trail that runs east to west along the northern boundary of the palo alto airport and the palo alto municipal golf course, according to police.police said the woman was walking with her toddler past some bushes when she heard someone clear their throat. police said she then spotted a naked man in the bushes, about 20 to 30 feet away, masturbating. he made eye contact but did not say anything.the woman walked away with her toddler and found a pair of joggers, who agreed to escort them back through the area where the man had been seen, according to police. when they rea






james logan beats palo alto in ot for d1 title – the mercury news


santa clara — james logan is one win from a state championship.the colts stormed back from a 13-point deficit in the second half saturday to defeat palo alto 65-61 in overtime to win the northern california division boys basketball title at the santa clara university’s leavey center.logan will play roosevelt-eastvale for the d-1 state title friday at golden 1 center in sacramento.the colts had a rough time shooting for the first 2 1/2 quarters but heated up after palo alto opened a 37-24 lead.logan scored the final seven points of the third quarter to pull within 37-31 and kept charging until noah conner’s 3-pointer gave logan a 45-44 lead.the colts went on to stretch its lead to five before palo alto, which won the ccs division i title in dramatic fashion on this court two weeks earlier,






police arrest masseur, say he sexually assaulted 3 female clients


a massage therapist was arrested on suspicion of sexually assaulting clients, and authorities believe there may be additional victims, police said.jose garcia plascencia, 55, of east palo alto, was arrested thursday, accused of sexually assaulting at least three female clients after being interviewed at the east palo alto police station, according to cmdr. jeff liu. he said the victims positively identified plascencia as the suspect.“there are three victims (and ) we anticipate there will be more,” said liu, pointing to a similar case in east palo alto three years ago, in which additional victims came forward after a suspect was arrested.plascencia is a self-proclaimed masseur who operated an unregulated massage therapy business from his home in the 2400 block of illinois street, according






police arrest masseur, say he sexually assaulted 3 female clients


a massage therapist was arrested on suspicion of sexually assaulting clients, and authorities believe there may be additional victims, police said.jose garcia plascencia, 55, of east palo alto, was arrested thursday, accused of sexually assaulting at least three female clients after being interviewed at the east palo alto police station, according to cmdr. jeff liu. he said the victims positively identified plascencia as the suspect.“there are three victims (and ) we anticipate there will be more,” said liu, pointing to a similar case in east palo alto three years ago, in which additional victims came forward after a suspect was arrested.plascencia is a self-proclaimed masseur who operated an unregulated massage therapy business from his home in the 2400 block of illinois street, according






indecent exposure arrest aided by woman's photo


a man suspected of exposing himself to a woman in palo alto has been arrested, police said wednesday.jonathan chestnutt. (palo alto police department) a photo that the woman took was used to identify the suspect as 28-year-old jonathan dane chestnutt of palo alto.the incident occurred at 11:04 a.m. on feb. 27 in the 100 block of park avenue.according to police, a woman in her 20s was in a parking lot near park avenue and el camino real when a man passed her, exposed his genitals and began masturbating.the woman cursed at the man as he walked away, then she used her phone to take a picture of him from behind, police said.on tuesday, detectives served an arrest warrant for chestnutt, who was already in custody at the santa clara county main jail for a theft arrest, police said.detectives hav






sex assault of teen lands palo alto teacher in prison


a former palo alto high school biology teacher has been sentenced to two years, eight months in prison for assaulting a 15-year-old student in his classroom in june 2016.santa clara county superior court judge vincent chiarello also ordered ronnie farrell to do three years of parole upon release from state prison and to register as a sex offender for life.farrell faced nine felony charges, including six counts of lewd and lascivious acts on a minor and three counts of sexual battery, resulting from two separate assaults on the victim.in january, farrell, 47, pleaded no contest to four counts of lewd and lascivious conduct on a child age 14 or 15 and one count of sexual battery. he also resigned as a teacher in the palo alto unified school district that month.the plea meant that farrell cou






amazon's big east palo alto lease means 1,300 new tech jobs


east palo alto — amazon has leased a big office complex in east palo alto in a deal that will give the silicon valley town its largest tech presence, add more than 1,000 jobs and dramatically increase the number of people that work in the city.“the amazon employees will be predominately engaged in software programming and development, and associated ancillary office support,” according to an east palo alto city staff report about the amazon lease of 214,000 square feet at 2100 university ave. in that community.the new lease by amazon and the jobs the tech titan will bring to the city will dramatically reshape the economic landscape of east palo alto.“amazon intends to have up to 1,300 employees at 2100 university ave.,” according to the city staff report. “amazon already has a presence in






suspect in train station assaults turns himself in


a south san francisco man has turned himself in to police after seeing his picture on news and social media reports about two sexual assaults at a caltrain station in palo alto, police said in a news release tuesday.george moubarak, 26, was placed under arrest after he turned himself in at the palo alto police department on friday, according to the san mateo sheriff’s office, which worked with palo alto police on the case.moubarak was booked into the santa clara county jail and faces felony charges, police said.police say moubarak is a suspect in two separate assaults, on march 1 and march 8.on march 1, a woman was waiting near a stop for the stanford university marguerite shuttle on the southbound platform of the university avenue station between 10:45 p.m. and 11:10 p.m., the san mateo c






assault of teen student lands palo alto teacher in prison


a former palo alto high school biology teacher has been sentenced to two years and eight months in prison for assaulting a 15-year-old student in his classroom last june.santa clara county superior court judge vincent chiarello also ordered ronnie farrell to three years of parole upon release from state prison and to register as a sex offender for life.farrell faced nine felony charges, including six counts of lewd and lascivious acts on a minor and three counts of sexual battery, resulting from two separate assaults on the victim.in january, farrell, 47, pleaded no contest to four counts of lewd and lascivious conduct on a child age 14 or 15 and one count of sexual battery. he also officially resigned as a teacher in the palo alto unified school district that month.the plea meant that far






palo alto area a hot spot for auto burglars


auto burglars are having a field day in the palo alto area.they come from as far away as oakland, richmond, emeryville and san francisco, several law enforcement officials say.their preferred m.o is smashing a car window and grabbing whatever valuables they find inside.“it’s a huge problem with no end in sight,” said wayne benitez, a patrol sergeant with the palo alto police department.benitez, who has been on the front lines of law enforcement for nearly 30 years, said that under new laws, particularly propositions 47 and 57, criminals are not going to jail for property crimes, and they know it.“there is no answer, because even if we were to send our detectives out there, and do a stakeout, and we actually see the person, they’re going to run,” he said. “as soon as they jump into the car






palo alto: fire destroys home


palo alto — a voracious fire burned through single-story home in palo alto sunday, destroying the kitchen and spreading into the attic before being extinguished around noon, the fire department reported.deputy fire chief catherine capriles said that at 11:23 a.m. a passerby called in the fire on seale avenue near waverley street. arriving firefighters could see flames coming through the roof. with the tenants not home, crews broke through the front door of the locked home.capriles said crews, hampered by thick smoke inside, forced their way to the back of the home to extinguish the fire in the kitchen and later in the attic.about 40 firefighters from palo alto, mountain view and santa clara county fire departments battled the blaze. no injuries were reported, and no neighboring properties






marquette university building to be named after ex-president


milwaukee — the first residence hall built at marquette university in 50 years will be named after one of its most beloved former presidents who still works on pus in fundraising.president michael lovell announced earlier this month that the two-tower complex will be named in honor of the rev. robert a. wild, the milwaukee journal sentinel (http://bit.ly/2jxhrct) reported.the naming of the residence hall is being made possible by alumni ray and kay eckstein, who have challenged the university to raise another $10 million toward construction. the couple will match that $10 million once that goal is met."we are very happy that there will be a place at marquette that bears his name in recognition of his many contributions revitalizing and building the pus during his presidency," said ray ecks