Note: The Spring edition is mailed to all of Barron Park. The other three quarterly newsletters are mailed to BPA members only. The web editions are normally created long after the paper editions are mailed, and are not as complete.

-- Will Beckett, President

by Maryanne Welton, Chair

by Art Bayce, Safety Committee Chair

by Art Bayce

by Shirley Finfrock

by Art Bayce


Homes of Distinction and Star Volunteer Awards,
Summer, 1999

by Lois Prior, Co-Chair & Carla Bliss

by Carla Bliss

by Shirley Finfrock, Co-Chairperson, Beautification

by Douglas Graham, Barron Park Historian

by Christian Kalar - Creeks Chairman

by Inge Harding-Barlow -- Schedular and one of the Handlers

Inge Harding-Barlow, Jill Beckett, Doug Moran, Co-chairs

by Inge Harding-Barlow



If you wish to become a Barron Park Association Member,


Community Update

Will Beckett, President

Survey results from the last newsletter are back along with some very fine comments on a variety of issues. As usual Barron Park residents are really fantastic about communicating and we sure do appreciate it. Many people had much to say at the May Fete and since more than half of the Palo Alto City Council was there at various times, we were able to address many of them on the spot. The May Fete was better than ever. The weather was perfect and the addition of the animal agility activities after the pet parade was a big hit. Perri and Miner seemed to enjoy themselves as everyone seemed to enjoy having them in the park and watching the May Pole dancing.

We have also received most of the comments on the Lucky survey we just sent out to members and results are mixed. As has usually been the case over the years, this tends to match the BPA board position on this issue as well. However, everyone did agree that having a market at Alma Plaza was very important to the neighborhood. The difference seems to be with the size of the grocery store and the effect it will have on other small retail at the site.

Blockbuster has just completed construction as I write this and we still do not know who the other three tenants will be. The Coopt gas station site has been cleaned up finally, and the original plan approved three years ago is now under construction. Also under construction are the homes near the old Blockbuster.

This summer we expect to see improvements to the Maybell and Los Robles intersections at El Camino Real. This is part of a plan worked out more than five years ago to make safety improvements along the school corridors. The south end of El Camino Way will be squared off so north bound cars on El Camino Real will be required to make a squared off right turn to get onto El Camino Way. A new cross walk and bike lane will also be added. In addition to this, landscaping is planned for this area of El Camino Real.

Our Emergency Preparedness Committee is working closely with the Police and Fire Departments as well as the new Offices of Emergency Services to plan an evacuation drill scheduled for October of this year. We are fortunate to live in an area with very few problems, but this can sometime lull us into thinking that nothing will happen. Past floods and earthquakes in our area are reminders that it is very important to be prepared.

One final note. Some of you know of my interest in electric vehicles. I am now taking advantage of the city's offer to help purchase a solar system for my home which will generate electricity. I expect installation will be complete by the end of July. I know there are others in the neighborhood that are also doing the same. Herman Gyr on Roble Ridge will be installing one of the very few demonstration projects in the City where people can visit and see how these systems work. I would also be happy to show others my system after it is completed even though it is not one of the demonstration projects. Feel free to contact me if you want to know more.

I hope everyone has a great summer.

Zoning & Land Use (ZALU)

by Maryanne Welton

This spring there has been quite a bit of activity along El Camino in Barron Park. The big news has been the renovation of the former All American Market. Blockbuster Video is just completing construction on the exterior and opened for business at the beginning of June. Foodini's no longer intends to occupy the remainder of the building. Businesses considering leasing the three available spaces include Jamba Juice, Seattle's Best Coffee, and Right Start (a store selling children-related items for the home). There is no news yet on what will happen at Blockbuster's old location.

The former Coopt gas station (at the corner of Ventura) was demolished and construction began for a new Chevron gas station and self-serve car wash. Construction is currently underway on Classic Community's 26-townhouse develop-ment and it should be completed by the end of the year. Plans are on hold right now for the proposed 40-unit hotel at the Goodwill trailer site.

Revised plans for the vacant lot on the island at El Camino (4131) were presented to the Architectural Review Board for review in May. The developer is now proposing a three-story, mixed-use commercial/ residential building, including about 3,000 s.f. of ground floor retail, 5,000 s.f. of ground floor office, and ten two-bedroom residential units on the top two floors. Parking would be provided both at grade and in one underground level. Auto access for both the residential units and commercial space would be from El Camino. The plans were favorably reviewed and will be revised before going back to the ARB for approval.

The major activity of the Zoning and Land Use Committee this spring was the survey about the proposed expansion of the Lucky's Market at Alma Plaza. Even though this project is outside of Barron Park we felt that because it is our closest market it directly impacts our neighborhood. A card with a brief description of the proposed expansion and arguments both supporting and opposing the project were sent to our membership to gauge community reaction to the expansion.

We received responses from more than a third of the 450 cards that were mailed. 87 (54%) were in favor of the expansion and 67 (42%) were opposed (the remainder revised their responses to not clearly fit in either category). The BPA Board discussed whether it was appropriate to support the project at Planning Commission and City Council hearings when the project is reviewed. We decided that even though a majority of residents were in support, it was not an overwhelming majority, and we would take a neutral position. We agreed that we would report the results of the survey and the neighborhood's support for a market at the site (many people who were opposed to the expansion still supported some type of market at Alma Plaza). Thanks to everyone who responded to the survey.

Construction will begin this summer at Barron Park Elementary School as the first phase of the Palo Alto Unified School District's $143 million bond. Renovation of the existing buildings and the construction of four new classrooms and a library will take place over the next 18 months. Restrictions on parking for construction workers and hours of operation are planned to reduce the impact on traffic in the neighborhood.

Development issues, such as the Lucky's expansion or housing proposal for Ricky's Hyatt, can be difficult ones for any community to consider. Is it appropriate to support higher density, mixed-use develop-ments near transit corridors in the hope of reducing auto dependency? Should there be any changes in zoning codes that allow such development? Is there a commitment for the development of affordable housing which can help provide balance in a community? Or is it only acceptable if it's not in our neighborhood? Should we put efforts into revitalizing El Camino? Or will those efforts result in higher real estate costs that change the character of our community? These questions and more are what interest me and are why I decided to be involved in the BPA as chair of the Zoning and Land Use Committee. If you, too, are interested in discussing these issues or being involved in the review of proposed projects that impact Barron Park, please contact me at 493-3035 or email.


Art Bayce, Safety Comm. Chair

Scams and frauds. Any time of the year is the season for practitioners in those fields to prey upon the good citizens of our neighborhoods. They do it by traveling from door-to-door, by mail, by telephone, by the internet and by word of mouth. Their solicitations sound too good to be true. And they are! Their "deals" vary depending on their target audience, and in whatever they are most skilled in putting over. Anything from really not wanted magazines to unfulfilled driveway rejuvenation is in their tool kit. The fact that there are many legitimate business people selling what you want makes it more difficult to decide on what to do. Finally, these scam and fraud artists specialize on targeting the elderly.

The Palo Alto Police Department is initiating a Senior Safety Program which will begin on July 13, 1999, at Avenidas, the Palo Alto Senior Center, 450 Bryant Street in downtown Palo Alto. The first presentation will be on Scams and Frauds and will be given by Palo Alto Police Volunteers. There are many seniors in the ranks of the Volunteers.

The presentation will include descriptions of the different types of scams with case histories and how to avoid becoming a victim. Come prepared to participate and to ask questions. For more details on the time and location of the meeting, telephone Avenidas at 327-2811.


by Art Bayce

If any part of Palo Alto is affected by a natural or human-caused emergency, the City of Palo Alto now has a telephone alert system which will contact all residents and businesses within a prescribed area. Members of the Barron Park Neighborhood Safety and Emergency Preparedness Committees were able to tour the Emergency Operations Center (EOC) located at the City Hall. There, Fire Chief Grijalva demonstrated the operation of the telephone alert system.

With the use of the alert system computer, a map of Palo Alto is brought up on the screen. Then a selected area of the City is brought up and enlarged. A boundary is drawn on the map to identify the notification area.

Residents or businesses or both are chosen to be notified. At that point, a command is given to start calling. A pre-recorded voice message is delivered to all the designated phones. Sixteen phone lines are used to deliver a 30-second emergency message totaling 360 calls per hour. A sample message was heard in a simulated session. In case the phone lines are down, a backup system is being investigated.

The EOC also has 10 work stations that can be put into operation during an emergency. Radio input can be fed into each one of the work stations.

BPA Annual Survey Results

Shirley Finfrock

The following is a report based on the compilation of the Spring 99 BPA Newsletter survey. 125 residents replied from the approximate 1600 recipients. We asked about your personal priorities and your thoughts on the neighborhood priorities of activities and committees responsibilities for the Barron Park Association.

The top five priorities are:

Individual Residents Priorities
1 - Streets and Traffic
2 - Tie - Creeks and Parks
3 - Newsletter
4 - Neighborhood Business
5 - Emergency Preparedness

Neighborhood Priorities
1 - Creeks
2 - Streets & Traffic
3 - Beautification
4 - Parks
5 - Zoning & Land Use

A majority of our residents highest needs are for a grocery store, produce store, hardware store, bakery and coffee shop. Additional suggestions were for a post office substation, bookstore, kids hangout, farmers market, ice cream/yogurt parlor, health food store, and nicely landscaped condominium.

Many of our residents are in favor of a local bus service with a stop within Barron Park. The most divided issue pertained to a proposed fenced dog run. Clearly half of the respondents wanted a dog run, and half were against a fenced run.

There was enough interest from residents to volunteer their time to continue our tradition of the annual May Fete and House & Garden Tour.

Fewer people had a problem with noise in the neighborhood compared to last year¹s survey. Top culprits are: traffic noises--speeding cars, planes, trains, trucks and motorcycles; barking dogs; leaf blowers, tree and yard equipment; music and restaurant patrons, and construction activity.

The consensus opinion of the most positive aspects of living in our Barron Park neighborhood is its diversity of homes, residents, and viewpoints. Our residents appreciate our quiet, rural ambiance. The low-key, casual, respectful, friendly, family oriented people appreciate our good schools. Our location is key due to our variety of paths for walking, running and biking, and proximity to the hills and freeways.

New Office of Emergency Services Facility

by Art Bayce

The new Palo Alto Office of Emergency Services (OES) Facility is now open at Mitchell Park on 3750 Middlefield Road. Battalion Chief Mick McDonald is the OES Manager and Barbara Cimino is the Executive Assistant.

In the recent past, certain aspects of emergency planning have been put into effect. For example, the telephone alert system has been purchased and installed. Emergency supplies have been purchased and will be stored in vans located at each fire house so that they may be brought quickly to where they are needed..

Now that the OES is housed and fully staffed, the various other provisions of the Palo Alto Master Disaster Preparedness Plan can be implemented more effectively. The Palo Alto Neighborhood Disaster Activities Committee will be meeting again and renewing its goals and objectives. The Barron Park Association Neighborhood Safety and Emergency Preparedness Committees are ready to work cooperatively with the OES.


As I write this we are easing into summer, yet hardly had a Spring! Life is like that: some things can always be counted one, but mostly you can count on changes

And this is about changes. My mustachioed friend up there and I are making our last appearance in the BPA newsletter with this issue. I have resigned from the BPA board -- as they say "to pursue other interests" --

Please be assured that I am still actively interested in all of you. So keep my phone number handy -- 493-8023 -- if you have "senior-type" questions. I'll gladly try to help you.

(Keep July 13 open for a program on "Frauds and Scam" at Avenidas [the Senior Center to you & me]. We're all sitting ducks ready to be plucked.)

Well, the snails are still climbing up the agapanthus, and the daffodils will bloom again next year --

'Bye for now -- Katie

Beautification Committee

Homes of Distinction and Star Volunteer Awards Summer, 1999

by Lois Prior, Co-Chair, & Carla Bliss

Due to minimal Home of Distinction Nominations for the Summer issue of the Newsletter the Beautification Committee is featuring a Resident of Distinction article for this issue. We urge you to submit Home of Distinction nomination forms for the fall issue.

Meet Frank Hesse
Barron Park Neighbor
by Lois Prior Co-Chairperson, Beautification

It was 1940 when Frank Hesse saved up the $300 down payment to buy his house on Magnolia Drive in Barron Park. The selling price was $5000. Frank was a young man working as a bartender for Pierre and Andre who owned L'Omelete¹s Restaurant on El Camino Real. It was while working at Lomie's (as the restaurant was affectionately called) that Frank met his future wife Shirley whom he married in 1942. The two of them settled in and raised a family of two girls who attended Barron Park school and graduated from Cubberly High School. Shirley continued working as a waitress during the day and Frank tended bar at night.

Together they planted the redwood trees (now over 100 feet high) put in the swimming pool and planted the many fruit trees and shrubs that continue to bring color and interest to his garden. The street at that time was unpaved and his house and the house next door were the only ones on the street. Most of Barron Park was covered in fruit trees and open fields. The Barron estate, which had big iron gates leading into from El Camino on the present site of Blockbuster had been transformed into a military school and El Camino was a three-lane highway wending its way down to Mountain View.

Frank and Shirley lived a good and full life in their home and when they decided to travel they rented their house and remodeled their garage to become a charming cottage which served their needs very well. They spent many years abroad including a seven year stay on the isle of Crete where Frank introduced Crenshaw melon to the local residents.

Sadly, Frank lost Shirley five years ago after a long battle with cancer. He is still actively traveling, plans a trip to Zanzibar this fall, and is a friend and neighbor to all those who live around him. His cottage is filled with his ceramic figures (Frank is quite an artist) photos of family, postcards of places he and Shirley visited and a potpourri of paintings, needlework and colorful posters. Frank lives his life grateful for all that he has experienced and eager to share his love of life with all those who stop by to say hello.

Summer 1999 Star Volunteers

Grady & Dorothy Maggard

by Carla Bliss

The Maggard family¹s motto has been ³leave the land as we found it² ever since they established their home on Magnolia Avenue in 1952. Pride in the neighborhood and careful custody of the land have been cherished family values whether camping or at home. So it¹s no surprise that Dorothy recently urged her son, Grady, to help the neighbors clean up the litter surrounding a recently vacated home slated for demolition. He spent two days clearing the lot of accumulated discards by storing them in the garage until demolition day, and removing toxic materials from the property. This is not the first time Grady has quietly surveyed a demolition site in Barron Park to remove toxic materials before the bulldozing began.

Many of us neighbors felt he brought dignity to the old house in its final days. Our thanks to both of you, Dorothy and Grady.

Bits of Beauty in Barron Park

by Shirley Finfrock, Co-Chairperson, Beautification

The Beautification Committee theme for 1999 is Bits of Beauty. In March and April, members of our committee armed with cameras fanned through our neighborhood and photographed "bits of beauty". Photographs were carefully selected by committee to make photographic greeting cards showing the "Bits of Beauty in Barron Park". The result of this effort yielded four series of eight note cards each, which are being sold as a fund-raiser for our committee. The scenery series are selected photos of the creeks, bridges, and small gardens. A series of flowers features close-up photographs of a variety of spring flowers; wisteria, tree peonies, pansies, succulents, cactus, and mixed flora. The tree series features California Buckeye, Italian pine, Japanese maple, crabapple, and mayten trees all residing in Barron Park. In addition, Sabra Driscoll had taken a series of black and white photos of Bol Pasture in 1969, showing the fences, farm equipment, buildings, and donkeys, prior to it becoming Bol Park. This popular series sold out the first day, and a second printing to fill back orders has been published.

The funds from this project will be used to purchase and plant California native plants in the fall, to upgrade the appearance of the natural habitat area at intersection of Laguna and Matadero Avenues.

If you wish to support this "beautification" effort and provide yourself with photographic note cards for sending greetings to friends and family, please contact Shirley Finfrock at 493-8054 or email to make your selection and purchase.

The tree, flower and scenery series are $12 each, and the Bol Pasture series is $14. We have a few sets of tree and flower series on hand, and the scenery and Bol Pasture can be ordered.

Here are some helpful hints for adding "bits of beauty" in your garden this season. Many residents are having great success with Verbena Tapien Blue Violet. It is a fast spreading, low-growing ground cover that has deep purple flowers from April to November. There are two or three periods of dormancy of blooms during the flowering season, lasting for only two to three weeks in length. Examples of this ground cover can be seen at the 3883 El Centro, 844 Ilima Court, and 8582 La Para Avenue. Four plants were put in 1997 at 844 Ilima Court, which now cover an area about 4 foot by 12 foot. The cold winter did not kill the plants.

Did you see the profusion of California poppies that miraculously appeared at 3891 Magnolia Avenue, 886 Ilima Court, and the corner or Florales and Amaranta this spring. Apparently when old landscaping is removed and the ground is reworked for new plants, the soil yields up dormant California poppies in great profusion. What a delightful sight these native orange blossoms were in the gardens this spring.

Barron Park History

by Douglas Graham -- Barron Park Historian

Six People who Speak of our Past
More than twenty years ago, one of our neighbors set out to capture part of our history before it was lost forever. In the Autumn of 1977, Ann Knopf carried out an oral history project for her degree of Masters in Library Science at San Jose State University. She taped about eight hours of reminiscences by six people who had lived in Barron Park during the period 1920-1950. Ann had previously discovered that there was very little information available about life in Barron Park during these formative years of the neighborhood when it was still a semi-rural area. Her intent was to capture the flavor and character of the neighborhood and to preserve source material for people who are interested in the community, especially youth and newcomers. She did a fine job and the information in those tapes is invaluable, especially to local historians. The tapes are the property of SJSU, which has permitted copies to be donated to the Palo Alto Historical Association. Many topics are covered; the typewritten indices alone comprise about 16 single-spaced pages. In this article, I will tell you a little about the people and what they told.

Josina Bol
Josina came to Barron Park from Holland in 1938 to join her husband Cornelis Bol, who had taken a job as a researcher in the Physics Department at Stanford. Cornelis had come ahead and selected a property near the home of Professor William Herbert Carruth, who organized a faculty 'colony' on lovely, oak-studded Roble Ridge which backed up to Stanford grazing lands on two sides. Josina and Cornelis bought land along Matadero Creek on both sides of the railroad. Cornelis and Josina started a water company, later staffed by their sons, which provided water to about half of Barron Park. They also owned the land where one of the first Eichler developments was laid out along Josina Avenue. After Cornelis' death, Josina sold their 'donkey pasture' at a price well below market to the community to develop Bol Park. Josina Bol was Barron Park's greatest benefactor.

Her oral history covers her life while raising six boys on the Ridge. When they first moved in, you could see the Bay from a high point on their land. Topics covered include a fire that the volunteer Fire Department responded to, the railroad, daily life in Barron Park, the water company, their cows, horses and donkeys, neighbors, the 'Portugese farmer' on the present VA Hospital land, hoboes, schools, wildflowers and the creek. Josina tells us of the time a Southern Pacific freight train had to stop rather than run over one of the Bol's goats.

Chatham Forbes
Chatham Forbes came to Barron Park in 1923 when his grandfather Sebastian Jones bought the Barron Mansion and 30 acres of park surrounding it for the California Military Academy. Colonel Jones laid out the original 'Barron Park' subdivision in 1926, along El Camino Real, Barron Avenue and La Selva Drive. Chatham lived in the mansion with his family for six years as he was growing up, until his grandfather's sudden and untimely death in 1929. His taped reminiscences are the only detailed descriptions of the house and grounds that are known to exist. He also supplied history with a selection of photographs of the property in the 1920s, when the facade of the great gingerbread Victorian was nearly smothered by the grandmother of all Wisteria vines.

He describes the military academy and its influence upon and connections with the neighborhood growing up around it. His recollections of the place are sharp and rich with the kind of intimate details that a child notices and remembers. I walked the Magnolia Way --Military Way neighborhood with him in 1985 and he pointed out the exact locations where the buildings of the Military Academy had stood, including locating the footprint of the mansion for us. He even remembered much of the vegetation of the estate. He pointed to trees that were his favorites to climb when he was ten or twelve years old. I immediately recorded the information on an overlay of the current streets and lot lines, so we now know where everything was.

Chatham tells several amusing stories, like the time a member of the filthy-rich Vanderbilt family was driving by the estate, saw the fancy weathervane on top of the third-floor cupola, stopped and rang the doorbell and tried to buy it on the spot (Colonel Jones wasted no time showing him the door, rather unceremoniously). And then there was the time his Grandfather stopped the State Highway crew from cutting the giant Eucalyptus trees along his frontage on 'The State Highway' (now El Camino) by waving a large pistol around. Eventually he lost --the trees had to go, sacrificed to the widening project, but he sure made them back off and think awhile. Colonel Jones would have fit right in with the modern, prickly in-your-face side of the Barron Park culture when it comes to standing up to neighborhood destruction.

John and Bertha Freund
The Freunds came to Barron Park in 1937. They leased and ran the Encina Dairy until they were forced out by suburban development two years later. They talk about running a dairy and how they felt about the changes overturning the neighborhood. Topics covered include the land and streets, El Camino strip businesses, street name changes and floods from the creeks. They tell of life in Barron Park during World War II. Bertha tells us that David Packard lived on Matadero Avenue in the early days when Hewlett-Packard was still a struggling startup.

Doris Greenbaum
Doris and her husband moved to Barron Park in 1950 when they bought the Stanford Motor Court (now the Creekside Inn) on the corner of El Camino Real and Matadero Avenue. She tells what she learned about its beginnings as the Grove Auto Court. She also describes El Camino and tells of a Barron Creek flood in the early 1950s.

Ernest and Lena Johnson
The Johnsons came to their classic California Bungalow on Laguna Avenue in 1926. Ernie tells about agriculture in Barron Park in the 1920s --the strawberry and tomato fields and the young pear and apricot orchards. He says Japanese, 'Spanish' and Filipino farmworkers harvested $5,000 to $7,000 worth of strawberries per day during the season (that is about $70,000-100,000 in terms of today's dollar).

There was no electric service until they bought an electric stove and water heater --then PG&E put in a line. Ernest and Lena developed a well at the trailer court, then put in meters for their customers when they incorporated the Mutual Water Company. There wasn't enough water when everyone came on the weekends from fog-bound San Francisco to their little summer cottages. Finally, Palo Alto took over and their part of the neighborhood was tied into the City mains. They speak of using the Military Academy swimming pool, which was available to local residents in the summer.

Ernest was President of the Improvement Club, which fought the State Highway Department over the great 'borrow pit' they dug between Maybell and Manzana. They discuss the two railroad lines, steam and electric interurban, that ran side-by-side where the bikepath runs today. There was a stop --a small station called 'Neal' after a nearby landowner, at Matadero and Laguna Avenues. The Johnsons tell of the schools --of Barron Park children going to Mayfield School and Jordan Junior High and Paly. They remember when the neighborhood first got telephone service in 1935.

Joe Weiler
Joe Weiler came to our neighborhood in 1932 with his parents. They purchased the Buena Vista Auto Court at the corner of El Camino Real and Los Robles Avenue. He witnessed the fire that destroyed the Barron Mansion in 1936. He offers another child's viewpoint on the neighborhood a decade after Chatham Forbes', but also an adult perspective as he grew up in Barron Park and was one of our volunteer firemen.

We Need More Oral Histories
There are still a few 'old-timers' from the 1940s and 50s who are living in the neighborhood. Would you like to become part of history by helping them tell their stories? If you are interested, please contact me. I am temporarily living in Pennsylvania but I keep in touch through daily e-mail and via my wife Verna who is still in our family home on Ilima Way. Editor's note: you can email

Creeks Report

by Christian Kalar - Creeks Chairman

Barron Park enjoyed a mild winter this year, as rainfall levels were almost half those of last year. Despite the lack of action in the creeks, important activity has taken place in Santa Clara County's public forum board rooms. On May 19th, the Northwest Flood Control Zone Advisory Committee (NWFCZAC) unanimously approved a recommendation that the Santa Clara Valley Water District (SCVWD) Board of Directors proceed with funding the $13.2 million construction for the Matadero/Barron Creek Remediation project.

The SCVWD Board subsequently approved next year's budget, which contains funding for the project's planning and design. Funding for the actual construction would not take place until the year 2000. Barron Park Association Board members Doug Moran (Vice President) and Christian Kalar (Creeks Committee Chair) spoke at the meeting in support of the funding. On June 10, 1999, the SCVWD hosted a public outreach session at the Cubberley Community Center. The session provided information about the Remediation project, including details about the calculations that are being made to determine the proper creek and channel capacity requirements.

The SCVWD is exploring alternatives to enlarging the Matadero Channel downstream of El Camino, one of these being a small reservoir upstream of Foothill Expressway.

Present Remediation Project Schedule:

  1. Complete design by October 2000
  2. Award construction contract by January 2001
  3. Begin construction in April 2001 The project would most likely be completed by December of 2002. The SCVWD will offer two more public information sessions this summer: a "technical" meeting in August and general information/status in September.

Christiae Kalar
Creeks Committee Chair

The Barron Park Donkeys

Inge Harding-Barlow -- Schedular and one of the Handlers

As stated in the last Newsletter, the banking and insurance for the donkeys is now handled by the Peninsular Conservation Center Foundation (PCCF). So please make out YOUR MUCH NEEDED TAX-DEDUCTIBLE DONATION CHECKS to: "PCCF - Donkey Project" and send them to Inge Harding-Barlow, 3717 Laguna Avenue, Palo Alto, CA 94306. This latter is so you will be notified of its receipt.

All the care and showing of the donkeys is done by Barron Park volunteers, who also have jobs and other commitments. This is why the donkeys ONLY meet their "Adoring Public" on Sunday mornings (9:30 -10:30AM), or by appointment!!! To date we have met with school and pre-school classes and a group of animator film producers. We are NOW, in addition, taking appointments FOR BLOCK PARTIES AND FAMILY EVENTS, such as birthdays. The conditions are (1) that the donkeys can be walked to the event, (2) two handlers are available and (3) there is no conflict with a prior appointment! So please make your appointments early by phoning Inge at 650-493-8146. Please DO NOT contact other handlers, since this just leads to confusion.

The donkeys spend most of their days in a private pasture, owned partially by the Klimp family (including a wonderful old, old oak tree) and partially by James Witt. Because the property is privately owned, please observe the signs.

HELP!!!! We are looking for FOUR ADDITIONAL DONKEY HANDLERS - TWO for the afternoon/early evening shift - this requires feeding and checking the donkeys, two evenings a week; ONE for the morning shift - this requires feeding, changing the water and checking the donkeys, two mornings a week; ONE to fill-in when handlers are sick or away - believe it or not our handlers travel a lot!!! The pay is GREAT, zero dollars, but much love from the donkeys!

I am often asked why do we only show the donkeys on a Sunday morning. The answer is quite simple, we need to have SET POSTED times and we need a time when handlers can come on a long-term ongoing basis. At present this is early Sunday morning, because our handlers are dedicated, but VERY busy people. Remember the old, but true saying, if you want something done, asked a busy person!

Group Poem by Barron Park Elementary School Kindergarten Room 1, April 1999.

Crunchy soft hair, all sticking up
Grey brown and a little black
Tan - like peoples' skin

Hooves like rubber, and kind of dirty
Like big fingernails
They need clipping --dogs do, too!
Stay far from the back
They can kick like the wild ones in Mexico!

Ears so big and always moving
Nose is moving, too
Teeth, big and white
Tongue, pink and long
Eating grass in a circle chew.

Tax deductible donations may be made out to:
PCCF - Donkey Project
and mailed to:
Inge Harding-Barlow
3717 Laguna Avenue
Palo Alto, CA 94306

-- Many thanks to all of you who've contributed!

Natural Habitat & Bol Park

Inge Harding-Barlow, Jill Beckett & Doug Moran, Co-chairs

We are still working on the Bol Park natural habitat, although it does not look like what we have planned, as yet!!! The biggest problem is the fire hazard of the grass-weeds. TWO months of prodding, still has not solved the problem!!! Hopefully, by the Fall Newsletter, we can report that the main-plantings and replacements are in and we can go into a mainly maintenance phase. In the Fall too, we hope to know a time schedule on additional water lines and several new benches. We have asked for help in the maintenance phase, and have had some replies from friends and neighbors, which we will answer individually. Please be patient with us, we are getting there, but slowly, oh so slowly! WE HAVE NOT GIVEN UP, SO PLEASE CHEER US ON, WE WILL SUCCEED, BUT A COUPLE OF YEARS BEHIND SCHEDULE!!!

May Fete Success

by Inge Harding-Barlow


FIRST thanks to Bob Griffin for putting together the WONDERFUL Canine events at the May Fete!!! A truly enjoyable addition to the May Fete, and we hope just the beginning of an annual tradition! Two amusing side-lights for me were picking kids out of the dog tunnels so the dogs could perform, and the police dog's desire to join in. Hopefully, next year, the police dog(s) will take part, as well as giving their own show!

SECOND thanks to the Barron Park Elementary Kindergarten, Room 1, for opening the Fete at 12:00 Noon, by singing two donkey songs, eagerly watched by our own Perry and Miner-49er. Please come again!

THIRD, thanks to all who took part in the PET PARADE!

FOURTH, thanks to the Grass Menagerie Band for the great music.

FIFTH, thanks to everyone who manned tables, stuffed burritos, helped with decorations, posters, flowers and the ribbons for the May Pole. And especially to Paul Edwards, without whom the May Pole Dance and music would not exist.


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-- Dairy -- Groceries -- Magazines --
-- Liquor -- Catering -- Indoor and outdoor seating --

3450 El Camino Real
Palo Alto, CA 94306 (near Creekside Inn)
(650) 493-4162



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