Note: The Fall edition is mailed to BPA members only. The web editions are normally created long after the paper editions are mailed to members, and are not as complete.

-- Will Beckett, President

by Maryanne Welton, Chair

by Inge Harding-Barlow


by Gwen Luce

by Art Bayce, Chair

by Sue Luttner

By Art Bayce. Co-Chair

-- by Katie Edwards

-- by Art Bayce

-- by Ken Poulton

-- by Nancy Hamilton






If you wish to become a Barron Park Association Member, email the Membership Chair and I'll fax you a form or,


Community Update

Will Beckett, President

Street construction is again the main topic of conversation in our neighborhood. Many have endured more than their share of dust, noise and frustration. The only good news is that it looks as though we are coming to a conclusion soon, and many have newly paved streets with valley gutters that should eliminate the ponding problems of years past.

El Camino
El Camino Real is booming. In addition to the projects currently under construction there are many being planned. Many of the uses seem to be consistent with current zones and the needs of the neighborhood. There are some, though, which do not fit and developers will need to go back to the drawing boards (details in next article).

Changes inside the neighborhood are coming as well. When school starts many will notice a big drop in traffic around the new Barron Park Elementary School. In this first year it will be the lowest enrollment in the district. Until a few kindergarten classes move through the grades we should expect this. However, a high percentage of Hoover students live in Barron Park and so our morning traffic will be very heavy crossing at Los Robles and Maybell between 7:45 and 8:15am. Please be careful to drive at safe speeds (25 mph or less) and encourage children to walk or bike to school in groups.

Traffic safety continues to be a concern for our neighborhood. There are still many people that continue to race through the neighborhood well above the speed limit thinking only of the appointment they will be late for instead of the walkers and bikers. The problem with newly paved roads is that people feel they can drive faster on them. The police tell us that they continue to write many tickets to people that run the stop signs. Please respect your neighbors by driving at or below the speed limit and by observing all traffic controls.

New traffic Leasing has begun on the new apartments on Los Robles. Please realize that we will now have cars going in and out of this new driveway. It has been many years since we have seen traffic on this part of Los Robles, so please be careful.

Blockbuster & Foodini's are not expected to be open until well into the winter so we should see a gradual increase that will allow us time to get used to this new traffic. Construction should be starting on the Cameo Club site this fall and Vista residents should expect some additional traffic when the Goeble Lane project begins soon.

Membership is way up this year and we hope to see this trend continue. There will be some changes in the timing of newsletter distribution to help reduce the distribution costs of our two major spring events. The plan is to move our full neighborhood distribution time to April (was December), with only members receiving the quarterly newsletter during the rest of the year. We also feel that it is more likely to be read in April since it will not be among the stacks of holiday mail.

Welcome to fall, school and football!

Zoning & Land Use (ZALU)

by Maryanne Welton

There has been a lot of activity along El Camino with proposals for new development, changing uses and renovated storefronts. The most prominent projects are:

Blockbuster Video: Blockbuster is working with Foodini's on plans to renovate the former All American Market. Blockbuster would occupy the portion of the building closest to Los Robles and Foodini's would take the remaining 5,000 s.f. Foodini's is operated by Chevron and features prepared food items for customers to take home and eat.

You may remember that the original plans submitted to the City by Blockbuster were rejected by the Architectural Review Board. The new plans were recently reviewed by BPA and the ARB. While the plans were an improvement, there were still recommendations to reduce the height and amount of signage and make other revisions to make the project more pedestrian friendly and appropriate for our neighborhood. The revised plans will be resubmitted for review by both ARB and BPA.

Goodwill Trailer Site (vacant lot at 3606 El Camino between Kendall and Matadero): Jim Baer's proposal for building 12 studio apartments and a 40-unit, extended-stay hotel was scheduled for a preliminary ARB hearing in August. He postponed the hearing while he works out technical issues regarding the underground parking garage meeting flood plain requirements and neighborhood concerns about the appropriateness of a hotel use on the site.

The plans would be submitted to the City for a Planned Community permit because the current zoning for the site does not accommodate the proposed uses. This process allows BPA and community members to express their concerns about the project during the planning stages. The Commercial Neighborhood zone allows retail uses that serve the neighborhood (such as a bakery, coffee shop, or market). Changing the allowed use to a regional-serving hotel does not fit in with the desires of the community expressed in the survey this year.

Classic Communities on the Cameo Club Site: City Council approved the development of 26 for-sale townhouses and construction should start in September.

Kids Park (3825 El Camino): Plans were reviewed last month by ARB to renovate the former NCA Computer store into a drop-in day care center. The 5,500 s.f. building will be repainted, a new awning and signage installed, and a handicapped ramp and revised entry constructed. The ARB required some modifications to the plans and proposed colors, which will need to be resubmitted for review before approval.

Orthopedic Facility (3401 El Camino): This project received ARB approval and is currently under construction.

Quality Inn: The plans for renovation were approved by ARB and construction will start soon.

Goebel Lane Condos: The tentative map for 13 condos was approved by Planning Commission and is scheduled for a City Council hearing in September. Design was approved by the ARB and construction is scheduled to start in September. At the request of community members, they included a walkway for Cameo Club residents to walk to Vista Lane.

The ZALU committee is interested in hearing the opinions of community members about these or other projects. Please contact Maryanne Welton at 493-3035 or by e-mail

Barron Park Elementary School Update
Staff and parents have been involved in getting the new school up and running. This year there will be about 120 students with two kindergarten classes and one class each for grades 1 through 5. In addition, a pre-school will be operated at the school by the Palo Alto Community Child Care to serve students who might otherwise not attend pre-school before beginning kindergarten.

The principal, Cathy Howard, and teachers have worked over the summer to create a curriculum and goals for the school to create a "caring community." Several social events have been planned to start the new school year with an open house, first-day-of school coffee, and family pot luck picnic. The PTA is still in the formative stages and will collaborate with the Juana Briones PTA on several fund-raising and other events.

The school is included in the District's first round of renovation and construction under the Building for Excellence program. Preliminary plans were presented at a community workshop on August 20th. In addition to renovating all existing buildings, four new classrooms and a 2,500-square foot library will be built. Construction is scheduled to begin in the summer of 1999 and take about a year.

This year will mark the 50th anniversary of the original opening of the Barron Park school at this site. The school wants to involve students, alumni, and community members in a weekend celebration of this historic event. Anyone who attended the school or has knowledge about its beginnings should get in touch with the school.

One of the school's goals is to make connections with the community. Anybody interested in participating in school activities or helping in the classrooms is encouraged to contact Cathy Howard at 858-0508.

Barron Park Donkeys

By Inge Harding-Barlow

We never cry when we are sad,
We never complain when we feel bad,
We never make huge demands,
We simply wait for living hands,
We only wish we could speak to you,
For we want to say, "WE LOVE YOU TRUE,
(Adapted from Veterinary and Human Toxicology (1998))

Donkey News -- A Sad Farewell and A Welcome
At the beginning of July, we lost Barron Park's best known resident -- Mickey! Mickey was 31 (93 in human years), and had been chronically ill for some time. We will all miss him. Personally, I vividly remember the antics of Mickey's parents and siblings in what became Bol Park, but was then pasture land. The donkey string's many wanderings on Barron Avenue and elsewhere caused many amusing episodes. In later years, Mickey's loud bray always brought a rural feeling to the neighborhood.

Three weeks before Mickey's death we were given another standard donkey, who goes by the name of "Miner Forty-Niner." He spent his first year in the Mojave Desert, followed by 15 very pampered years in this area. At present he still prefers humans to donkeys or dogs.

Perry, our miniature donkey is four, and likes to experiment! He sometimes thinks he is just a big dog and enjoys making friends with dogs and children of all ages. He likes to pose for the camera, often with a flower that he has picked, hanging out of his mouth.

The donkey pasture now has a new owner -- James Witt, who being a Barron Parker, grew up with the donkey traditions of this area (see article next page). The donkeys are cared for by nine volunteer handlers (in alphabetical order) -- Jim Bronson, Inge Harding-Barlow, Mary Jane Leon, Steve Luce, Doug Moran, Pat Rogow, Edith and Leland Smith and Ted Thomas. The food, farrier and vet bills for the donkeys are paid for by donations to a special donkey fund. We would be most grateful for ANY and ALL donations to this fund -- tax deductible checks can be made out to the BPA Foundation - Donkey fund, and sent to Ken Tani, 701 Kendall Avenue, Palo Alto, CA 94306, or given to any of the donkey handlers or BPA Board members.

Donations in memory of Mickey will be deeply appreciated, as we need to build up the donkey fund to ensure the continued well-being of our remaining donkeys. Mickey's name-plate will become part of the new donkey house, when it is built and we hope to incorporate other memorial items as well. Practical suggestions are always welcome!

Please visit with the donkeys in Bol Park, any Sunday morning 9:45 to 10:45 a.m. or at www.bpaonline.org/mickey/

Farewell to the Bols
Welcome to the Witts

Dear Barron Park Friends and Neighbors,

This is to announce to you the sale of 925 Roble Ridge -- the home of the Cornelius Bol family! It has been my privilege (for the past 2-1/4 years) to assist in the search for a buyer who wished to preserve the donkey pasture, and who had the knowledge and expertise to comply with the planning department's mandates regarding historical and lot line issues.

Our buyer grew up in Barron Park, and is looking forward to making new memories with his young son at 925 Roble Ridge!

For starters, Friday, August 28th, 15 members of the Bol family, four of the buyer's family, members of the BPA Board, Roble Ridge neighbors, Perry, Miner and their "handlers" gathered together to celebrate the passage of time.

It was a tender occasion, and one that the attendees look forward to repeating in the near future!

Yours Sincerely,
Gwen Luce

Emergency Prepareness

by Art Bayce, Chair
Fire Safety
As summer closes, the fire season has arrived. El Nino brought us plenty of rain, and the vegetation has flourished. Now the grasses and weeds have dried out, so they present a fire hazard. The high grasses have been cut down in most places, but hazardous areas still remain. We already have had incidents in Bol Park where unknown persons have ignited fires on the bike path and actually caused damage to the play structures. If anyone sees fires being set in the park, regardless how small they may appear,

IMMEDIATELY call 911. Describe the situation, so that the dispatcher can order the appropriate response.

If the incident is not in progress but you see evidence of damage from an earlier time, report this by calling the non-emergency number, 329-2184, and tell what you have seen.

Remember to remove all dry growth around your residences to reduce the chances of fire. Also, move any wood stacked around the house. Trim tree branches that are close to chimney flues.

Tree Spotting

by Sue Luttner
This fall, for the first time in 10 years, we will conduct a mass planting of street trees in Barron Park.

Street trees are the trees that grow in the easement between our houses and the pavement. The city will provide saplings and some soil preparation help free of charge to residents who agree to care for the young trees. Volunteers will help with the planting on Saturday, November 14.

In a departure from the more structured designs in other parts of the city, city arborist David Sandage is offering Barron Park residents a choice of five species, four of them native:

This fall's planting is a volunteer effort coordinated by the BPA Beautification Committee and the nonprofit organization Canopy: Trees for Palo Alto. We also hope for help from individual residents as well as local scouts.

Beautification Committee members walked the west neighborhood in the spring, scouting out potential street-tree locations. Volunteer tree ambassadors then contacted residents whose yards sport promising tree sites. Residents must agree to water the saplings and keep the area free of weeds until the trees are established. If you haven't been contacted but you think your property could support a street tree, please call Sue Luttner immediately at 424-0824. We will support requests for trees throughout the neighborhood; we are soliciting tree sites only in the west for this planting.

If you're interested in helping with the planting in November, please call as well -- still 424-0824.

Special thanks to tree-spot spotters Carla Bliss, Amrette Butler, Alison Collin, Sabra Driscoll, Shirley Finfrock, Alison James, Joan Marx, Stephanie Sussman, Mardell Ward, and Maryanne Welton; and to tree ambassadors Terri Achelas, Billie Bennet, Amrette Butler Shirley Finfrock, Bryn Homsy, Alison James, Judy Schultz, Stephanie Sussman, Mardell Ward and Maryanne Welton.

Neighborhood Safety

by Art Bayce, Co-chair
Meeting with Chief Pat Dwyer
On July 29, members of the Neighborhood Safety Commit-tee and the Board of the Barron Park Association met with Pat Dwyer, the new Chief of the Palo Alto Police Department. Chief Dwyer stated that he plans to meet with all neighborhoods. The Police Department will be more computer oriented. There are plans to enable residents to contact the police on the Web. This would be not only for dialog between residents and the police, but the police will act on it, "will deal with the problems or will tell why they can't." Chief Dwyer emphasized that the Police Department cannot solve problems by itself, but what is needed is for city government plus citizens to work together. He suggested that departmental status is needed for handling emergency situations. He also suggested that we do what 26 other cities do: Table top exercises simulating emergency situations to be performed by all agencies together.

In turn, the Committee and Board brought up some of the neighborhood concerns including quicker response to crime situations, crime prevention, traffic, a neighborhood emergency drill to follow up on the table top exercises, Neighborhood Watch, improved communication between the police and the neighborhood, improved warning systems with provisions to identify those individuals needing special attention, and graffiti.

The meeting lasted a little over an hour and all felt it was a good beginning.

The days are growing shorter; there is a bite in the air in the mornings; the kids have gone back to school. Yup, its Fall! Some of you have sent children off to college for the first time; others have sent grandchildren back to their parents after a week or two of unashamed spoiling. And others of us are not too affected by the changing of the seasons.

But all of us are settling back into the routines of our lives. Before your calendars become too filled, please save a little of your time for volunteering at our local schools -- for the "Early Literacy Program." This program is being introduced at both of our local schools. Juana Briones, and the new Barron Park school. Volunteers are needed to give one hour a week to go into the schools and help young readers on a one-to-one basis. I am told that it makes a tremendous difference to the children who need a little extra help to get over the hurdles of "learning-to-read."

Please, try to find that one hour for our kids. I know you have the skills needed -- and you are needed. I'll be so proud when I hear that some of you have offered your time and effort to ensure that our youngest scholars are all becoming literate.

For further information, call Louise at 326-5362, ext. 13. Or call the office at either school:

Juana Briones: 856-0877
Barron Park: 858-0608
It just occurred to me -- what a great way to get back in touch with that little child within us!!
Happy Reading --
Katie 493-8023

Public Safety Building

by Art Bayce

The Barron Park Association is represented on the Advisory Committee for the proposed new Public Safety Building for Palo Alto. This is to provide an up-to-date facility for the Police and Fire Departments. The consultants for the first phase have been selected. The next task is to investigate suitable sites for the new Public Safety Building throughout Palo Alto. The first public information meeting will be held in late October. More information on the exact date and location for this meeting will be provided by the Committee when final arrangements are made.

Internet Technology -- Fiber To The Home

by Ken Poulton

The city utilities department is putting together a pilot program to connect homes into the city's fiber-optic network. This will allow both local and global Internet access at speeds of up to 100 megabits per second (100 Mb/s) - 2000 times faster than a modem. Ken Poulton and Terry Andre are leading the effort to have Barron Park included in this pilot program.

The program was started by a few residents located near the Palo Alto Cultural Center who wanted to hook into the Palo Alto fiber ring, which is currently used only by businesses. They first created the Community Center Neighbors group which created a plan for a neighborhood network, and then got the city interested in running the program.

The idea is to create a city-wide local area network (LAN) similar to the in-building LANs used in most businesses and univerity campuses today. The network will be built with standard 10 and 100 Mb/s Ethernet electronics, but connected together with fiber-optic cables, which can go much farther than the copper wires usually used inside buildings. The city will operate the LAN and provide unlimited usage between computers within the city for a flat monthly fee, estimated at $10-35 per month for the 10 Mb/s service. Internet Service Providers (ISPs) will be invited to connect to the city LAN and provide access to the global Internet for an additional fee which is not known yet.

The reason to use fiber instead of cable or telephone wires (e.g., ISDN or ADSL) is twofold: fiber can provide speeds of 10 to 100 times more than the other technologies now, and can easily be upgraded to go faster in the future. It is the most direct way to take advantage of the speed increases and cost reductions continuously occuring for standard business network components.

The costs will be borne by the users, not the city. The installation cost is estimated at $1200 per home for the 10 Mb/s service. To keep costs down, the pilot program will serve only the areas with the highest densities of participating residents. The selection of those areas should occur in September.

Much more detail is available on the city's web page at http://www.cpau.com/fth/.

The deadline for signing up was August 31, but we would really like to hear from you if you are interested, whether you signed up or not. It may help us with the selection process to get additional signups, even if late.

Ken Poulton -- 857-8461
Terry Andre (email from original removed) City contact: Van Hiemke: (email from original removed) --329-2275

BPA Bulletin Board

by Nancy Hamilton


The BPA is starting a "test" on-line Bulletin Board, free to Barron Park residents! Ads will be accepted only via email, as part of your email message (not as attachments) to: Nancy Jo Hamilton

HTML coding will be appreciated, but not necessary. What is necessary, is a date on your ad. Phone numbers are OK, and you must include your Barron Park address. Your address will not be published!

Ads will be added, and automatically deleted about every two weeks, or whenever we have time to do it. You can resubmit your listing up to three times.

This will be a community bulletin board and is not to be used as advertising for businesses.

We have a separate listing on the BPA Website for Barron Park businesses: www.bpaonline.org/business

Native Plants in the Bol Park Area

This has not been an easy year! The weather-gods were totally non-cooperative and then Inge broke her wrist, which has been very slow to heal. Jill and Will Beckett stepped in to help -- many thanks! We have had to move some plants around, but hope to replant and then finish the main plantings this fall between the first rains and the rain season proper. Like last summer, some person(s) have pulled up live plants and taken them away. A bike has also been used to destroy plants. The Water District plants have not done too well either.

PLEASE volunteer to help with the planting after the first rains. Also, we need seed-sower help! Remember what we plant and sow now, will give us beauty and joy in the years to come. Call Inge at 493-8146.

Green Teams

Bay Area Action (BAA), will be hosting an introductory meeting for Green Teams. The Green Teams are a program that BAA is promoting from the Green Team Project in San Francisco. This program organizes small groups of Bay Area neighbors and co-workers to learn to live a more earth-friendly lifestyle through the support of our Green Action Guide and a trained coach. Participants reduce their solid waste, home chemicals, energy, water and auto fuel consumption.. while having fun, building community, and saving money.

Quarterly meetings are held at the Foundation for Global Community. The Foundation is located at 222 High Street in Palo Alto. Please call Bay Area Action (650) 321-1994 for more information. David Coale, Green Team coach (650) 494-9255 W (650) 493-4503 H http://www.baaction.org/greenteam
David Coale email: (email removed)

New BPA Board Members

We are pleased to announce three new Board members: Dorothy Bender, Ed Jones, and Maryanne Welton. Dorothy wasn┬╣t able to give us her picture and bio for this issue; it will be included in the winter newsletter.

Maryanne Welton:
Maryanne and her family moved to Barron Park four years ago. Her husband, Kirk, and her sons, Brecon and Russell, live on Kendall Avenue with their border collie, Pippin. She loves Barron Park for its "virtual rurality" (as Ken Tani so aptly described it), proximity to the hills for hikes and picnics, and the strong sense of community. During her first summer here she organized a block party for the 600 block of Kendall. This annual Fourth of July event has now spread to include the streets surrounding that block. She is very involved in the schools (with her children among the first to enroll at the new Barron Park Elementary School) and other community activities. Maryanne is the vice president of an architecture firm and hopes to contribute her expertise in being able to read and interpret zoning codes and City regulations as Chair of the Zoning and Land Use Committee.

Ed Jones:
Hi my name is Ed Jones and I have lived in Palo Alto for 15 years, the last 10 being in my home in Barron Park. I have been married almost 10 years and have a 3 year old daughter. I also have a 10 year old Golden Retriever. I have been active over the last several years trying to improve the environment with a local group Bay Area Action. I have also tried to improve things along El Camino Real. I joining the emergency preparedness committee. Barron Park is a very nice neighborhood, a nice place to live and it is very easy to become part of. I hope to see you all become involved with Barron Park Association and work with you for our neighborhood.


Christian & Kelly Kalar are the proud new parents of twins! A girl and boy: Anika Bridgette Kalar born 8/26/98 2:02 p.m., and McKinley Christian Kalar born 8/26/98 4:06 p.m. Both parents and babies are home and doing well.

Advertising Donor


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3450 El Camino Real
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(650) 493-4162


BPA On-Line!

Internet BPA e-mail lists

President: Will Beckett

Vice President: Doug Moran

Secretary: Inge Harding-Barlow

Treasurer: Ken Tani

Editor: Nancy Jo Hamilton

BPA Web Home Page: http://www.bpaonline.org

BPA Newsletters Archive: http://www2.bpaonline.org/BP-News

Donkeys' Home Page: http://www.bpaonline.org/mickey

BPA Board of Directors: http://www.bpaonline.org/organization.html

BPA Committees: http://www2.bpaonline.org/committees.html

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© 1998 The Barron Park Association. All rights reserved.

URL this page: http://www2.bpaonline.org/BP-News/sep98

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