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Message From the Mayor
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Partnerships build community and interdependence that make Palo Alto a great place to live, work and play.

In the context of several years of tight budgets, the City of Palo Alto has benefitted from the ongoing commitment of many community partners. Community partnerships bring out the best from each partner by focusing skills like fundraising, program management, and hands-on volunteering toward meeting our community’s needs. It is an engaging way for members of our community to get involved in our civic life and to work together with neighbors and City staff to maintain Palo Alto’s quality of life.

Fundraising efforts by the City’s “Friends of” groups and community foundations are essential for projects like the Magical Bridge in Mitchell Park, park structures, the Art Center, and our libraries, to name a few. Discussion of the formation of two new Friends of groups this year reflects the difficult reality of limited budget resources to support our animal shelter and bike infrastructure, but demonstrates the deep community commitment to continued delivery and development of these important services.

The City’s community partners assume key leadership roles in community programs and organized recent events like the Holiday Tree Lighting, Palo Alto Celebrates the Arts, the United Nations Association Film Festival, and the Fourth of July Chili Cook Off. These community programs are Palo Alto’s traditions and create lasting memories for everyone involved, contributing to what makes our community special.

Community partners volunteer their time and expertise, in many ways such as serving on the City’s Boards and Commissions.  For those interested in serving as advisors to the City Council in a variety of important program and policy areas, the City Clerk’s Office is currently recruiting for a vacancy on the Library Advisory Commission. You can always volunteer to help with creek clean up days, be a zero waste block coordinator, serve as a neighborhood emergency block coordinator, or various City advisory committees.

There are so many ways to get involved and the City of Palo Alto and our community all benefit from the tremendous efforts of our community partners.

Yiaway Yeh Signature

Mayor Yiaway Yeh

Saturday, August 4

Twilight Concert at Mitchell Park: 6:30 PM
Bring the family with a picnic dinner to enjoy the lively music of Wayne Wallace Latin Jazz Quintet. Enjoy the sultry sounds of Latin Jazz at this fun event. Visit this page for more information on the Twilight Concert series. Location: Mitchell Park, 600 East Meadow.

Wednesday, August 8

Back to School Swap: 3:30 PM
Get ready for a new school year! Bring in your used backpacks, books, clothes, shoes, & toys to swap with other Palo Altans. Registration is required. To sign up, click here. Location: Children's Library, 1276 Harriet Street.

Thursday, August 9

Author Elizabeth Dowling Taylor: 7 PM
Join us for an evening with Elizabeth Dowling Taylor, author of the New York Times bestseller, A Slave in the White House, an inspiring true story of a presidential slave's long struggle for freedom in a troubled time in America's history. She was interviewed by Jon Stewart on The Daily Show - watch clip here. The free event includes a book signing and is provided through a partnership between the Palo Alto City Library and Books, Inc. Location: Books, Inc., at Town & Country Village, 855 El Camino Real #74.

Saturday, August 11

Twilight Concert on California Avenue: 6:30 PM
Bring the family with a picnic dinner to enjoy the lively music of The Unauthorized Rolling Stones. This group gets the crowd going with many familiar songs from the 1960s to present day. Visit this page for more information on the Twilight Concert series. Location: California Avenue.

Wednesday, August 15

Brown Bag Book Club: 12:10 - 12:55 PM
Bring your lunch and join us for a new lunchtime book discussion group on the 1st and 3rd Wednesdays of each month. One book will be discussed per month. In August, we'll read "Love in the Time of Cholera." Call (650) 329-2436 or click here for more information. Location: Downtown Library, 270 Forest Avenue.

Saturday, August 18

Twilight Concert at Mitchell Park: 6:30 PM
Come watch local youth bands showcase their talent at this "Teens on the Green" event! Visit this page for more information on the Twilight Concert series. Location: Mitchell Park, 600 East Meadow.

Tuesday, August 25-26

Palo Alto Festival of the Arts: 10 AM - 6 PM
This high quality, community-friendly event is sponsored by the Palo Alto Chamber of Commerce and the City of Palo Alto. Now celebrating its 31st year on tree-lined University Avenue in beautiful downtown Palo Alto, this festival attracts over 150,000 people. The festival features 300 quality artisans, Italian street painting, entertainment, gourmet food, fine wines and microbrews, as well as a kids' art studio. Admission is free. For more information, call (650) 324-3121 or click here. Location: University Avenue.

Tuesday, August 28

Community Meeting on Scott Park Design: 5 - 6 PM
The community is invited to review the proposed design for Scott Park Improvements. For more information, email or call (650) 496-5916. Location: Scott Park, 911 Scott Street.

Thursday, August 30

EcoHome Open House and Tour: 3 - 5 PM
If you haven’t checked out this inspiring “mini-home” showcasing sustainable building materials, now you have another chance! Come tour the EcoHome at Lucie Stern Community Center and get inspired for your next remodeling or new construction project. Innovative features include recycled glass countertops, permeable paving, blue-jean insulation, clover-leaf solar electric (PV) panels and water and energy efficiency appliances. The exhibit is free and though pre-registration is encouraged, walk-ins are welcome. Call (650) 329-2241 or click here. Group tours on other days can be arranged as well. Location: 1120 Hopkins Avenue, Palo Alto (next to the Girl Scout House).

Friday, August 31

Art Installation Event at Tower Well: 8 PM
Attend a unique event, a  temporary art installation by Ben Wood that will be projected on the water tower building on Alma Street and Hawthorne Avenue. The projection entitled, "The Tower Well," will provide a unique community event that showcases Palo Alto’s important role in both the advent of the motion picture and the larger landscape of California history. For more information about the installation or the public meeting, please call (650) 329-2366. Location: Tower Well, Alma Street at Hawthorne Street.

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Connect with us!
Watch It Now

The City's new website is more user-friendly, informative and engaging according to City Manager Keene in this brief welcome video.

Walt and Kay Hays chat about how they lowered their home energy use through a City Utilities program in this video.
app of the month
Freegal Music is a free app allowing you to download up to 3 songs each week with your Palo Alto library card.

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Recent Happenings

Refreshed and More User-friendly Website Launched

Last month, the City released its new and vastly improved website at /. The website redesign project reflects the City’s commitment to improve the way residents, businesses and visitors access and get information on City services. The breadth of information and connectivity our community requires has evolved as technology has advanced. The City hopes you will find this improved website helps meet those demands.

The redesign process was a collaborative effort between City staff from 13 different departments and a dozen community volunteers with specific expertise in web design, management, and analysis. This “hard launch” follows a two-month beta-test period that began in May 2012. During this period, visitors to the old website could easily “click their way” to the new, redesigned version and once there, surf around and provide comments. Nearly 5,000 users took the City up on their offer to test drive the new website and input from many of them helped us improve the website even more. First time visitors may wish to start by personalizing the website with their own preferences using our new "My Palo Alto" feature. You can easily access this feature from the new home page.

The new website represents several design and technology changes intended to improve navigation, offer better organization of content, and provide improved interactive communication functions incorporating current web technologies. After trying out the new website, please feel free to send any comments or questions you have by using our website feedback form.

Valuing Youth

August's Asset of the Month is Caring Neighborhood

Research shows that youth who reside in caring neighborhoods have higher grades, better self-esteem, reduced crime, and less drug use. And, caring neighborhoods are safer: a study of 343 Chicago neighborhoods discovered that in a caring community, youth experience less acts of school absence, graffiti, and violence. Other benefits of a strong neighborhood include a greater sense of community and easier conflict resolution among neighbors. A caring neighborhood creates a better environment for everyone regardless of age. Unfortunately, in Project Cornerstone’s 2011 survey, only 52% of 4th-6th graders and 37% of 7th-12th graders reported that they feel that their neighborhood is caring. To help raise awareness of this important asset, August is Caring Neighborhood month in Silicon Valley. To learn more about activities that foster a caring neighborhood, click here. For more information about this important initiative, visit

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