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Message From the Mayor
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Arts in Palo Alto bring to life the creativity and vibrancy of our community.

Our community has an abundance of opportunities to enjoy the arts that bring to life the creativity of the community. We share those benefits with all generations and the many cultures we have here at home. I invite you to enjoy a variety of artistic endeavors that occur throughout the year: art exhibition and galleries, dance, live theater performances, film festivals, storytelling and author events, public art installations, live music, festivals and special cultural presentations, and many classes and books on just about any artistic endeavor imaginable.

On October 6, this month’s focus on the arts is highlighted by the highly anticipated re-opening of the Palo Alto Art Center! The newly transformed space includes a new Children’s Wing with more classrooms, welcoming exhibition galleries, new lobby spaces and public areas and beautifully landscaped outdoor spaces for all to enjoy! Check it out at the free community celebration on October 6 listed below – come enjoy a wonderful facility dedication with hands-on art activities, demonstrations, and music and dance performances for all ages.

I am also pleased to announce this year’s final Mayor’s Challenge: Bike Palo Alto on October 7 from 1 to 4 PM. This series has focused on renewing the relationship between neighbors through athletic events. Building on the previous Bike Palo Alto events, I’m encouraging families and community members to bike together from their neighborhoods to El Carmelo Elementary School and add a dot to the neighborhood map before heading out on one of three routes highlighting bike-friendly ways to get around town. Several Councilmembers will be organizing their neighborhoods for rides, and you can do the same.

Activities at El Carmelo, organized by neighborhood Green Teams and City staff, include a free bike maintenance check, guidance on how to fit bike helmets, and expert answers to route questions. The City table will provide information on sharing the road safely and current initiatives to encourage bicycling in Palo Alto. There will also be a special kid-friendly bike-themed obstacle course hosted by the YMCA, and a raffle with great prizes for participants. More event details are provided in the calendar below.

Yiaway Yeh Signature

Mayor Yiaway Yeh

Wednesday, October 3 

Brown Bag Book Club: 12:10 - 12:50 PM
Palo Alto Reads returns with the community reading To Kill a Mockingbird, the Pulitzer Prize winning novel by Harper Lee. Join the conversation at this or the two other discussions this month, October 17 at noon and October 24 at 7 PM. Sponsored by the Friends of the Palo Alto Library. For more information, click here. Location: Downtown Library, 270 Forest Avenue.
Utilities Advisory Commission Monthly Meeting: 7 PM
Hear the latest about important issues at this meeting. Tentatively scheduled topics for this regular monthly meeting in the City Hall Council Chambers include the 10 Year Electric Efficiency Report and an update on the Palo Alto CLEAN solar program(feed-in-tariff). To see the final agenda topics, click here. Location: Council Chambers, 1st floor, 250 Hamilton Avenue.

Thursday, October 4

Tree Care in Water Conserving Landscapes: 7 - 9 PM
A low water use landscape is important to help you reduce consumption, maintenance and labor, as well as utility costs. Instructor Scott McGilvray of WaterAware will address proper irrigation techniques, care and maintenance for preserving the long-term vitality and growth of trees in your landscape even with a water conserving design. Free class sponsored by the City Utilities. Due to space limitations, pre-registration is required. Call (650) 329-2241. Location: Lucie Stern Community Center, Community Room, 1305 Middlefield Road.

Friday, October 5

Opening Reception for Graphite, Inks and Other Means Exhibition: 5 - 7 PM
The upcoming exhibition entitled “Graphite, Inks and Other Means,” highlights the 22 artists currently in residence at studios at the Cubberley Center in Palo Alto. This event coincides with the highly anticipated reopening of the Palo Alto Art Center on October 6, 2012. Exhibition runs from October 3 - October 30; viewing hours are Monday to Friday, 8:30 AM to 5:30 PM. For more information, call Colleen Sullivan, (650) 200-5243, email or click here. Location: Palo Alto City Hall Lobby, 250 Hamilton Avenue, Palo Alto.

Saturday, October 6

Annual Costume Sale: 8 AM - 1 PM
The Friends of the Palo Alto Children's Theatre's Costume Sale gives you a great opportunity to purchase costumes and accessories from past Children's Theatre productions. Check out the costumes of animals, fantasy characters and vintage clothing - just in time for Halloween! Proceeds benefit the Children's Theatre. For more information, call (650) 463-4930. Location: Lucie Stern Community Center Ballroom, 1305 Middlefield Road, Palo Alto.

Palo Alto Art Center Grand Reopening Celebration: 11 AM - 5 PM
Join the community in a FREE celebration featuring hands-on art activities, performances, and demonstrations for all ages. The Palo Alto Art Center welcomes the public back to its newly transformed space after eighteen months of renovation. Enjoy a dedication, hands-on art activities, demonstrations, music, and dance performances for all ages. Refreshments will be served. For more information, click here, call (650) 329-2366 or email Location: 1313 Newell Road, Palo Alto.

Sunday, October 7

Bike Palo Alto: 1 - 4 PM
Join Mayor Yiaway Yeh at Bike Palo Alto, a family-friendly annual event to encourage residents to discover great routes to bike around town.  Ride with your neighbors to El Carmelo School, then choose one of three routes to local destinations using the City's bike network and "hidden" bridges or tunnels that provide an alternative to busy arterial roadways.  Stops at local parks and shops along the way provide refreshments and activities. On-site: maps, helmet fitting, bike maintenance, safety tips. For more information, click here. Location: El Carmelo Elementary School, Loma Verde and Bryant

EcoHome Open House--Bike Tour Palo Alto   1 - 4 PM
The EcoHome will be one of the fun stops on the Palo Alto Neighborhoods Green Team’s Bike Tour of Palo Alto. Visitors of all ages can take advantage of this open house to check out the state-of-the-art energy and water-saving technologies inside and out. The tour starts at El Carmelo Elementary School, so ride on over and let the adventure begin!  For details click here.

Tuesday, October 9

Foothills and Wildland Urban Interface Safety, Personal Emergency Preparedness & Crime Prevention: 7 - 8:30 PM
The City and Stanford University Department of Public Safety are presenting information for property owners, tenants, businesses, students, faculty, staff, and other community members who spend time in the Palo Alto and Stanford foothills. Even if you don't live or work there, the information presented will be of value, since the presenters will cover personal/family emergency preparedness and crime prevention tips. RSVP to Location: Stanford Campus Recreation Association, Community Room, 875 Bowdoin, Stanford campus.

Saturday, October 13

FREE Financial Planning Day: 10 AM - 5 PM
Are personal finance questions keeping you up at night? Then come to Silicon Valley Financial Planning Day. Certified Financial Planners (TM) will be available to answer any questions you have on budgeting, managing credit card debt, investing, saving for retirement and college, and other important personal finance topics.  Classroom style presentations on these subjects will be held throughout the day. The event is hosted by the Financial Planning Association of Silicon Valley and sponsored by the CFP Board, Financial Planning Association, Foundation for Financial Planning and The United States Conference of Mayors. For more information and to register, click here. Location:  UUCPA, 505 East Charleston Road, Palo Alto.

Worm Your Way Into Composting
Workshop:  10 AM - 12 PM
Attend this FREE workshop and learn how easy worm composting can be. Worms will eat your kitchen scraps and create a nutrient rich soil amendment for indoor and outdoor plants. This is a no fuss, no smell and low maintenance way to compost.  Location: Cubberley Community Center, 4000 Middlefield Road, Palo Alto.
Solar Home Tour—The Road to Net Zero: 1 - 4 PM
See how solar works in a family home. In addition to the awesome line-up of innovative solar system installations throughout Palo Alto, you’ll have another chance to visit the City’s EcoHome on this home tour sponsored by Acterra and SunWork. More info about this free event here.

Sunday, October 14 

Repair Cafe, Palo Alto Kick-Off Event: 11 AM - 3 PM
Check out the new Repair Café in Palo Alto, a volunteer-run organization focused on helping people repair broken household goods rather than throw them away. The goal is to reduce the waste that ends up in our landfill and to support the growing interest in living a more environmentally-sustainable lifestyle. Help shape Palo Alto’s entry into the worldwide Repair Café movement. If you’re a fixer, have things to repair, are customer service oriented, or are just curious, come join us. For more information, contact organizers at Location: Palo Alto Museum of American Heritage, 351 Homer Street, Palo Alto.

Wednesday, October 17

Energy/Compost Facility Public Meeting: 5 - 7 PM
The City will present the draft performance specifications for the Energy/Compost Facility Consideration Project. Performance specifications are the details about the facility. They determine the material it will process, how much material it will process, acceptable processing technologies, form of energy it will create (e.g., biogas, electricity), etc. Once finalized, these performance specifications will be used to prepare the draft RFP for the construction of the Energy/Compost Facility. For more Information, visit Energy/Compost Facility Consideration. Location: Downtown Library, 270 Forest Avenue.

Thursday, October 18

15th United Nations Association Film Festival Opens: 6:45 PM
Join movie buffs at this year's UNAFF festival to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the signing of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Featuring more than 70 films and five award categories, UNAFF celebrates the power of films dealing with human rights, environment, women’s issues, homelessness, racism, disease control, universal education, war, and peace. This year's theme is “HUMAN DIGNITY.” The festival will run October 18-28. For more information, click here. Location: various including the Aquarius Theater, AOL/PATCH, Oshman Family Jewish Community Center and Girls Middle School in Palo Alto, Stanford University, East Palo Alto, San Jose  and San Francisco.

Saturday, October 20

Backyard Compost Workshop: 10 AM - 12 PM
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. Call (650) 496-5910 for more information. Location: Almost Eden Garden, 701 East Meadow Drive, Palo Alto.

Jack and the Beanstalk: Noon
On one weekend each month, local high school performers bring a beloved folk or fairytale to life on stage for 3 to 6 year olds. Audience participation is encouraged during all Playhouse shows. Shows last about 45 minutes and tickets are $10 for children, and $12 for adults. Sponsored by the Teen Arts Council. For more information, call the box office at (650) 463-4970 or click here. Location: Magic Castle Stage, Lucie Stern Community Center, 1305 Middlefield Road, Palo Alto.

Tuesday, October 23

Barron Park Elementary Safe Routes to School Meeting: 7 - 8:30 PM
The City is developing Walk and Roll maps to highlight suggested routes for students walking and biking to school. A draft map will be presented for review at this community meeting.  Findings from field surveys and community input will be used to prioritize short term signage and striping updates and future capital improvement projects. For more information about the City's Safe Routes to School program, click here. Location: Barron Park Elementary School, Multipurpose Room, 800 Barron Avenue, Palo Alto.

Saturday, October 27

Defining Peace in Your Home: Family Craft Evening: 6 - 8 PM
Palo Alto Reads presents an evening of crafts around the book What Does Peace Feel Like? by Vladimir Randusky. Families will create collages about peace and what it means for them. Light refreshments will be served. Registration recommended. For all ages. Sponsored by the Friends of the Palo Alto Library. For more information, click here. Location: Downtown Library, 270 Forest Avenue.

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Watch It Now

Here's what Thomas Fehrenbach, Palo Alto's Economic Development Manager, says about the Art Center's offerings and wonderful sense of place that enhances quality of life. invites the Palo Alto community to kick-start a wi-fi project in Cogswell Plaza. TopCorner is a non-partisan service enabling people to come together to fund lobbying and other efforts to get the changes they want, whether at a campus, local or national level.

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Check out the Palo Alto City Library catalog on your mobile phone and interact with the library anywhere, anytime!

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Recent Happenings

EcoHome Tours Are A Big Hit 

The City-sponsored EcoHome had one of its most successful Open House events so far on August 30, attracting nearly 50 visitors and resulting in a front page article the next day in the Daily News. Word is spreading about this totally unique structure, designed inside and out to demonstrate the latest and most innovative energy and water efficient technologies. Adults appreciate the mounted posters explaining the costs and savings of the different measure involved, and the entire family enjoys the fun EcoHome guidebook and the hands-on experience of seeing everything from clover-leaf-shaped solar panels and blue-jean insulation to recycled glass countertops and rain barrel catch systems. Guided tours and open houses are scheduled regularly throughout the year, including two this month (see events above). For more details on the EcoHome, click here

Valuing Youth

October’s Asset of the Month is Positive Family Communication

Young people who experience positive family communication experience higher self-esteem,
decreased substance use, less anxiety and depression, and greater school engagement.
However, in Santa Clara County, only 63% of 4th-6th grade students and 33% of 7th-
12th grade students reported in Project Cornerstone’s 2011 survey that they and their
parents communicate positively, and that they are willing to seek advice from their parents. To
help promote this valuable asset, October is Positive Family Communication month in Silicon

To learn about activities that foster positive family communication, click here. For more information about this important initiative, click here.

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