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Message From the Mayor
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Be informed, have a plan and make a kit so you and your family will be prepared when (not if) an emergency happens.

On September 4, your City Council will proclaim September as Emergency Preparedness Month in Palo Alto in honor of the 9th annual National Preparedness Month sponsored by the Department of Homeland Security. We join together to get ourselves prepared as individuals and as a city for emergency situations. Many things compete for our attention every day, so it may feel overwhelming to get prepared; however, we know from experience that taking steps to prepare ahead of time can help all of us respond better and stay safer in an emergency. The time and effort you invest now in preparing will help us and our families navigate through, and recover quickly from, whatever may come our way at the most unexpected moment. The time to act is now, before the next disaster strikes - we can  get prepared with the four actions listed below.

Get informed
Learn more about what to do
• Sign up for Citizen Corps Council training and other special events

Make a plan
Get ideas for making your plan
• Make and discuss your plan with family members

Build a kit
Learn what you should have in your kit
• Make a kit for at home, at work and in your car as well as a kit for family pets

Get involved
Learn how to get involved
Join your neighbors and get involved in emergency preparedness in our community

This summer, the City of Palo Alto partnered with the Midpeninsula Media Center on the exciting new Youth Video Corps. Comprised of Palo Alto's own Dakota Baker, Malia Clark, Alec Furrier, Kenny Jones and Nitya Kasturi, this committed group produced, directed, and edited videos on infrastructure in Palo Alto. Check out their great work in this month's video to the right on the City's efforts to proactively address the national public emergency safety issue of crossbores (when two utility pipes like gas and sewer intersect, resulting in direct contact that could compromise the integrity of either utility or underground structure). These youth are leading the way to raise awareness on essential infrastructure projects and issues in Palo Alto!

This is just a sampling of the free and valuable resources available to keep you informed, prepared and ready for most emergencies. Everyone has a role in volunteering or otherwise helping to improve our community's resilience. Don’t wait until it’s too late and get prepared now.

Yiaway Yeh Signature

Mayor Yiaway Yeh

Wednesday, September 5

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 September, we'll read " Balzac & the Little Chinese Seamstress." Call (650) 329-2436 or click here for more information. Location: Downtown Library, 270 Forest Avenue.

Utilities Advisory Commission Monthly Meeting: 7 PM
Attend this meeting to hear the latest on important issues! Tentatively scheduled topics for this regular monthly meeting include Electric Line Undergrounding, a Solar Energy Resource Contract and the Electric Time-Of-Use Rate Pilot Study. To see the final agenda topics, click here. Location: City Council Chambers, City Hall, 1st floor, 250 Hamilton Avenue.

Thursday, September 6

Parent - Balancing School & Extra-Curricular Activities: 7 PM
Learn how to find the right balance to raise healthy, happy children. Dinner included, registration required. Call (650) 329-2436 or click here for more information. Location: Downtown Library, 270 Forest Avenue.

Saturday, September 8

Backyard Compost Workshop: 10 AM - Noon
Attend this FREE workshop and learn how easy it is to compost. Discover how easy it is to use composting techniques to create a vibrant, healthy and beautiful garden. Backyard composting conserves energy and reduces pollution and waste. Learn how to turn your food and yard waste into a wonderful soil amendment or mulch that will help your garden thrive by suppressing weeds, protecting the soil, improving soil structure and conserving water. Attendees may purchase reduced cost backyard composting and/or worm bins following the workshop. Worms will also be available for purchase. Workshop requires pre-registration since space is limited, click here to register. Location: Murphy Park Building, 250 N. Sunnyvale Avenue, Sunnyvale.

Monday, September 10

City Council to Recognize Linköping, Sweden, Sister City: 7 PM
City Council will recognize 25 years of a Sister City relationship and will proclaim the week of September 9 - 16 as Linköping, Sweden Week in Palo Alto. Through Neighbors Abroad, the City of Palo Alto and the City of Linköping, Sweden established a Sister City relationship on January 26, 1987 to foster friendship, appreciation, understanding, collaboration and citizen exchanges. The City Council will welcome the Mayor and other delegates from Linköping. Click here for meeting agenda, when posted. Location: City Council, City Hall, Council Chambers on 1st floor, 250 Hamilton Avenue.

City Council to Review Preliminary Plans for 395 Page Mill Road: 7 PM
Learn more about the preliminary plans for five sites within the boundaries of the California Avenue Concept Plan. The proposal includes an office development at 395 Page Mill Road, a public safety building/parking structure at 3045 Park Boulevard, a public parking structure at 250 Sherman Avenue, a public park at 350 Sherman Avenue, and a high-density residential development at 450 Sherman Avenue. Click here for meeting agenda, when posted. Location: City Council, City Hall, Council Chambers on 1st floor, 250 Hamilton Avenue.

Saturday, September 15

Coastal Cleanup Day: 9 AM - Noon
Bring family, neighbors and friends to the annual cleanup of one of the three Palo Alto creeks. Sign up on the Creek Connections Action Group website and help keep our creeks clean and healthy. Location: varies.

Smart and Attractive Lawn Alternatives: 9 AM - Noon
Tired of watering, mowing and fertilizing your lawn, but not sure what attractive alternatives are out there? Explore dozens of ways to create a beautiful and sustainable landscape that conserves water and resources, while reducing your utility bill and maintenance costs. Join instructor Deva Luna, EarthCare Landscaping, in the Community Room at Lucie Stern Community Center, 1300 Middlefield Rd, Palo Alto. There is no fee to attend but due to space limitations, pre-registration is required; call (650) 329-2241 for more information.

Sunday, September 16

Opening Ceremony for Palo Alto Echelon Challenge and Cycling Gran Fondo: 8 AM - 5 PM
Enjoy two events on one great day! If you like to ride, join cyclists of every skill level at the Echelon Gran Fondo, and choose the 30, 75 or 95 mile route. Or, try the Echelon Challenge, a fun .6 mile circuit in downtown Palo Alto for cyclists, runners, walkers and striders.

Tuesday, September 18

Bay-Friendly Garden Workday: 10 AM - Noon
Join us for a free educational workday at the 1-year old, beautiful Bay-Friendly Demonstration Garden at the Lucie Stern Community Center. Learn how to maintain a native garden and get hands-on experience. For more information and to register, click here. Location: Behind Lucie Stern Community Center near Girls' Scout House, 1305 Middlefield Road.

Planning and Transportation Commission Reviews the Rail Corridor Study: 6 PM
Attend this meeting to learn more about this important topic. The Rail Corridor outlines a vision for land use, transportation and urban design components of the corridor, particularly relative to potential improvements to rail service for the areas between and adjacent to Alma Street and El Camino Real along the Caltrain tracks. The plan focuses on providing for safe pedestrian, bicycle and vehicular connections across the tracks, Alma and El Camino, and enhancing access to public facilities and commercial services for neighborhood residents. For more information, click here. Location: City Council, City Hall, Council Chambers on 1st floor, 250 Hamilton Avenue.

Friday, September 21

Annual Gunn-Paly Football Game: 5:15 PM
Watch Paly and Gunn at their annual football rivalry! The frosh/soph game starts at 5:15 PM; the varsity game at 7:30 PM. At this year’s game there will be opportunities to meet staff from the Palo Alto Unified School District building program and take tours of the Paly campus to learn about construction projects underway and completed. Go Titans!  Go Vikings!  Go Palo Alto! Location: Palo Alto High School, 50 Embarcadero Road.

Saturday, September 22

Backyard Compost Workshop: 10 AM - Noon
Attend this FREE workshop and learn how easy it is to compost. Discover how easy it is to use composting techniques to create a vibrant, healthy and beautiful garden. Backyard composting conserves energy and reduces pollution and waste. Learn how to turn your food and yard waste into a wonderful soil amendment or mulch that will help your garden thrive by suppressing weeds, protecting the soil, improving soil structure and conserving water. This workshop is sponsored by Zero Waste Palo Alto and taught by UCCE Master Gardeners. Call (650) 496-5910 for more information. Location: Master Gardener’s Palo Alto Demonstration Garden, 852 Center Drive, Palo Alto.

Airport Day in Palo Alto: 10 AM - 4 PM
Bring your family and friends to enjoy this FREE event. See interesting aircraft that includes some of the latest models and experimental aircraft from light sport aircraft up through high performance aircraft. Check out Stanford Life Flight Eurocopter and the doctors and nurses who provide critical card and emergency medicine. Parking and admission are FREE. Bicyclists are encouraged with convenient bike parking. For more information, click here. Location: 1925 Embarcadero Road.

Quakeville: 2 - 5 PM
As part of National Preparedness month, Palo Alto ESV (Emergency Service Volunteers) will hold our annual Quakeville event. Quakeville is an annual event that is an opportunity to involve all community members in Palo Alto, Stanford University and guests to become aware of what is involved in preparing for evacuation and finding alternative shelter. In the past, shelters were set up in parks as tent cities, however, this year, we are partnering with the Red Cross to open an indoor shelter. Palo Alto Animal Shelter will also be participating to exercise their part. Bring a stuffed animal of any size to shelter at our simulated disaster shelter. As part of the exercise, Emergency Services Volunteers will be conducting injury and damage assessments, search and rescue, medical triage and simulated emergency communications. Our newly formed Emergency Medical Unit will be conducting simulated medical treatment. Informational booths will further Emergency Preparedness education. Click here for more information. Location: Cubberley Community Center, 4000 Middlefield Road.

Monday, September 24

Teen Craft: 4:15 - 5:15 PM
Teens!  Make a ‘Banned Books’ Book Bag and take a ‘mug shot’ of you holding your favorite banned book. Registration required. Call (650) 329-2436 or click here for more information.  Location: Downtown Library, 270 Forest Avenue.

Wednesday, September 26

Afterschool Special: 3:30 - 4:30 PM
International Food Fest for kids in grades 2-5. Attendees will sample yummy international snacks & learn about different cultures at the same time. Registration required. Call (650) 329-2436 or click here for more information. Location: Children's Library, 1276 Harriet Street.


Thursday September 27

Opening Night of Palo Alto International Film Festival: 6 PM
Join us at the 2nd film festival, with outdoor screenings in downtown Palo Alto through September 30. A unique feature added this year is the expansion of the Outdoor Village to all four evenings. Filmmakers from all over the world will be joining us as well as local high school students. On Friday, there will be a showing of E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial (1982) and a panel discussion with the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences. Music and movies at the Outdoor Village, as well as daytime panels at the Talent House are free to the public. For more information, click here. Location: “Outdoor Village” to be set up in Parking Lot P at 541 High Street between University Avenue and Hamilton Avenue.

Friday, September 28

28th Annual Moonlight Run & Walk: 6 PM
It’s that time of year again for Palo Alto’s ever popular 5k and 10k run under the full harvest moon. The 5K walk starts at 7 PM; the 10K run starts at 8:15 PM; and the 5K run starts at 8:45 PM. Pre-registration rates are $30 for adults (12 and up); $20 for youth (ages 6 - 11) through September 14, which includes a long-sleeve race shirt. Event day registration is $40 ($30 for youth) and includes a t-shirt only while supplies last. Family package: children five and under run free with an adult, with signed waiver online or at race-night registration. Call (650) 463-4920 or email for more information. Sports teams/clubs group rate available. This event is co-presented by the City of Palo Alto and the Palo Alto Weekly. Click here for more online registration. Location: Baylands Athletic Center, 1900 Geng Road, Palo Alto.

Saturday, September 29

Palo Alto Black and White Ball: 7 PM - 1 AM
The Palo Alto Recreation Foundation is pleased to present the 2012 Palo Alto Black and White Ball, the city’s largest and most spectacular fundraiser since 1987. Sponsors and attendees will come together at this highly anticipated event to support the values that make Palo Alto great. The Palo Alto Recreation Foundation uses the proceeds from the Ball to support programs and organizations in Palo Alto, such as YCS, Middle School Athletics, the Palo Alto Library Foundation and Partners in Education (PiE). This year’s theme is “Vintage Vegas” and promises to be an extraordinary, elegant, fun, and not-to-be missed party! An anticipated 1500 guests will enjoy live bands, food from top local Bay Area restaurants and dancing till 1 AM, all in an amazing setting created by combining unique décor and artistry in one great location. For more information, click here. Location: Lucie Stern Community Center, 1305 Middlefield Road.

Great Glass Pumpkin Patch: 10 AM - 5 PM
The Great Glass Pumpkin Patch returns to Palo Alto! Don’t miss the largest glass pumpkin patch in California at Rinconada Park this year. Exhibition dates: September 24-27, 10 AM - 7 PM and September 28, 10 AM - 5 PM. Pumpkin sales: Saturday and Sunday, September 29 and 30. For more information, click here. Location: Rinconada Park, 777 Embarcadero Road.
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Watch It Now

The City's Utilities Department is halfway through completion of its first-in-the-nation sewer and natural gas pipeline (crossbore) safety program. (Video produced by the Mayor's Video Youth Corps.)

app of the month
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Smart citizens plus smart phones equals smart policing with this new MyPD app. Features Palo Alto Police's contact information, current Tweets, and link to website as well as the ability to submit a crime tip, commend an officer, or ask a question.

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Recent Happenings

French Students Visit Palo Alto through European Center for Leadership and Entrepreneurship Education Tour

Last month, the City of Palo Alto hosted ten exceptionally bright and talented French high school students from the European Center for Leadership and Entrepreneurship Education (ECLEE) Summer 2012 STEM Pilot Program. STEM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics and these programs exist all over the world essentially to expand these disciplines in the workforce.

The students were led by Director of ECLEE Dr. Mahamouda Salouhou and senior advisor Professor Peter Koestenbaum, Founder of the Leadership Diamond©, a leadership model that serves as the foundation for the program. This particular STEM Program focuses on invention, innovation and creativity, and adds components like inspiration, globalization, language and culture.

The students were here for the month of July traveling throughout Silicon Valley to become immersed in English communication, American culture and an entrepreneurship mindset. The students spent one week in Palo Alto touring some of our City facilities, Stanford campus, and several of our local start-up companies and established businesses. Click here to view a video documenting their visit here to Palo Alto. (Video produced by summer intern, Gunita Singh).

Valuing Youth

September’s Asset of the Month is Parent Involvement in Schooling

Research shows that youth whose parents are actively involved in their schooling are more engaged in school. Students are less likely to be delinquent or drop out, and more likely to achieve higher grades and standardized test scores. Studies show that students from poor families whose parents are highly involved with their education do about as well as students from wealthier families.

Parents whose schedules don’t allow volunteering can still support their children’s academic success through parenting, communication, and learning at home. Unfortunately, Project Cornerstone’s 2011 survey revealed that only 52% of 4th-6th graders and 35% of 7th-12th graders reported that their parents are involved in their education. To help raise awareness of this important asset, September is Parent Involvement in Schooling month in Silicon Valley.

To learn more about activities that fosters parent involvement in schooling, click here. For more information about this important initiative, visit

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