Summer 2010

Newton kids talk about their visit to Best Friends Back in the old days, when the Tuesday after Labor Day signaled the start of school, the Newton kids would be marching into their classrooms today, shortly to turn out a two-pager titled "How I spent my summer vacation." In their case, the focus would likely be on eight days. The August start means they've already been in school for a couple of weeks - Blake (middle) attends La Entrada,  Presley (right) attends Las Lomitas, Reagan (left) goes to Girls' Middle School. InMenlo visited with them at their home, aka farm, over the weekend to hear about their summer road trip - an adventure to a very special place. Mom Lisa provided some background. The Newtons' dog, a Bernese Mountain Dog named Grater, was great with the kids but was becoming increasingly aggressive with adults. He also had separation anxiety that manifested itself in ripping things apart when the family was out. Lisa and husband Tom consulted with a number of local vets; the consensus was that they should put the dog down. Since he was only seven, much loved and otherwise healthy, the family searched for alternatives and found the Best Friends sanctuary, where they placed him. After some work, Grater was eventually adopted by a new owner. This summer Lisa and the kids made a pilgrimage to Best Friends, which is located on 3,000 acres in southern Utah and boasts an adoption rate of 70%. Before they left, the kids set up a lemonade stand that netted $67, and they decided to make that a start to raising money they could donate to Best Friends. "We ended up raising $800 and donated it to the Dogtown area of Best Friends," says Reagan, 12. "The money is used to buy food and provide veterinary care for the dogs while they're there." In addition to Dogtown, Best Friends has Cat World, Bunny House, Horse Haven, Parrot Garden, Piggy Paradise and Wild Friends. Because they are animal savvy and used to responsibility - the childrens' daily chores include taking care of 5 horses, 17 goats, 4 hens, 5 dogs, a rabbit and a tortoise - all three kids were able to volunteer during their visit to the sanctuary, a privilege normally reserved for those 18 and over. They also met the people who had worked with their dog Grater. Reports Presley, 8: "We did a lot of cleaning up." Adds Blake, 10: "And we got to work with the cats and puppies." The big thrill was having Leah,  a health-challenged dog - she's blind and diabetic - come for a "sleep over" in the RV Lisa had rented for the trip. We're guessing that outing made Leah one happy pup. And the Newton kids were enthusiastic about every moment as they recalled the details of their stay at Best Friends. Let's hope they get the chance to write that two-pager. Photo by Chris Gulker

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It’s Ace tomato time at Webb Ranch – they’re great for making “Mary’s Famous Rustic Tomato Sauce”

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We stopped in at Webb Ranch yesterday afternoon to check  on the supply of just-picked corn and just-ripe Ace tomatoes – the two items that year after year are the ranch’s most popular with customers.  We found both in abundant supply. The Ace tomatoes – “Lycopersicon esculentum” – are newly-arrived and at a season low […]

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Spotted: Poker Fun Run kicks off cross country season

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Organized by Fleet Feet Sports, the Poker Fun Run wound its way around Menlo Park neighborhood streets this morning, including Bay Laurel where this group was spotted. The run kicked off the cross-country season. As to the poker angle, we’re not quite sure but maybe one of the participants can enlighten us! Update: Lisa from […]

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Summer music fun continues in west Menlo backyard

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If you’re thinking that last Wednesday’s summer concert in Fremont Park signaled the end of seasonal outdoor concerts in Menlo Park, think again. You can hear live music and picnic through September – in the backyard of Menlo resident Gwen Fuller. For the last six years, Gwen has hosted Blue Rock House Concerts. “Live music […]

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Cool weather doesn’t dampen spirits at Downtown Menlo Park Block Party

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At noon today in Menlo, skies were so gray that it not only looked like winter, it looked like rain. It was not what the doctors (aka merchants and other folks who had tables) at tonight’s second, and last, of the summer’s Downtown Menlo Park Block Party – sponsored by MP’s Chamber of Commerce – […]

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Chamber of Commerce Feature Tree lighting ceremony to be held at Menlo’s Downtown Summer Block Party

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Like many Menlo Park residents, Ernst Meissner is looking forward to tonight’s Downtown Summer Block Party. But more than the music, food, or family fun, it will be a lesser known tree-lighting ceremony that will mark the evening for Meissner. Scheduled at around 8:00 pm — when it should be sufficiently dark — at 773 Santa Cruz Avenue (the location of the […]

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Spotted: Oak Knoll gets new classroom windows

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The installation of new classroom windows is on the “to do” checklist in advance of school opening on Tuesday, Aug. 24. The windows arrived this morning and we’re betting if we went back at the end of the day, they’d be in place in the original classrooms that are being modernized. For Oak Knoll parents, […]

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Spotted: College bound friends enjoy the dog days of August

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Is any time more carefree than the summer before heading off to college for the first time? The rigors of high school are behind – and what lies ahead is still a mystery. Lots of hanging out gets done in a driveway of a Oak Knoll Lane house where friends from childhood congregate. They’re headed […]

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Fresh ripe tomatoes hit Menlo’s Farmer’s Market

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The cool spring has delayed the appearance of fresh, just off the vine tomatoes. The first of the season from Baia Nicchia Farm & Nursery arrived at Menlo Parks’ Farmer’s Market this morning. The owners of the Sunol-based farm brought Cherokee Purple, Amana Orange, Red Brandywine, Jazz, Costoluto Genovese and other large tomatoes as well […]

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San Mateo bike bridge gets graffiti treatment

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How “only in Menlo” can you get? The taggers that splashed graffiti on various segments of the bike bridge across San Francisquito Creek at the end of San Mateo Drive complain of boredom. (The actual words: “There’s something about being young and bored.”)  We seem to remember another tagger attack some years ago with similarly […]

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Menlo Park Library’s Teen Splash Bash caps off successful summer reading program

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An all-you-can-eat ice cream sundae bar, water ballons, and cool prizes. It was the perfect recipe for the celebration concluding the Menlo Park Library’s Teen Summer Reading Program. The Splash Bash, the catchy moniker for the gathering, was held yesterday afternoon on the spacious lawn adjacent to the library— plenty of room for sponge fighting, water-balloon tossing, and just chilling […]

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