December 2013

Decorated front yards light up the night on Christmas Eve in Menlo Park

Maybe it’s your family tradition to take a drive on Christmas Eve after dark to see the holiday lights. Photographer Irene Searles did so a few nights ago in west Menlo Park in case you want to put these streets on your list. From top to bottom: Hobart Avenue near Santa Cruz Ave., Bay Laurel […]

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Handbells add to the sound of Christmas at Trinity Church in Menlo Park

People hear the word “choir” and most often think of voices, but Trinity Church in Menlo Park has a choir of a different sort, a dozen or so people who are part of a handbell choir called Trinity Ringers. The group will be accompanying a string quartet and vocal choir at the 6:00 pm service […]

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Christmas night concert featuring Margaret Gordon at Christian Science church in Menlo Park

On Christmas night, a free Christmas concert will be held at the Christian Science church in Menlo Park, at 201 Ravenswood Avenue, from 7:00 to7:30 p.m., followed by the regular Wednesday evening service. Soprano Margaret Gordon will perform Christmas selections, and the congregation will sing carols.  The topic for the one-hour service following the concert […]

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From a mighty oak comes firewood – and a business for Nikolai Ambwani

About six months ago an oak tree fell on the Ambwani property in west Menlo Park. It got chopped into burnable bits, which 8th grader Nikolai is selling — $2.00 for five logs. “I’m earning some money, plus if we’d kept the wood in the yard it would have attracted bugs and stuff,” said the young […]

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Menlo Park is brimming with shops to buy last minute holiday gifts

Over the last week of so, we’ve been spotlighting local merchants, who, we believe, are worthy of your attention during the holiday gift buying season. We’ve covered other merchants in the past. Here’s a round up to tweak your memory. In need of athletic shoes or wear? Regular customers have come to expect personal attention […]

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Menlo Park’s favorite “dad band” plays Freewheel Brewing Company on Dec. 20

The Members, a garage band made up of Menlo Park dads,  will be at Freewheel Brewing Company on Friday, Dec. 20, playing their mix of oldies and not so old tunes from 8:00 to 10:30 pm. There is no cover.

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Bring in the trucks to bottle Portola Vineyards 2012 Pinot Noir vintage

When we visited winemaker Len Lehmann and his daughter Debbie at  Portola Vineyards last August, their 2013 vintage Pinot Noir grapes were about ready to be picked. Earlier this week, attention was turned to the 2012 vintage, which was bottled on Monday. Debbie provides an update: “In the past, we’ve bottled our 350-case production by […]

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Tim Williams is man behind at the scenes at MPPC’s Christmas Eve services

Eight thousand people will come to one of Menlo Park Presbyterian Church‘s 10 Christmas Eve services, so  Director of Worship Tim William has much to orchestrate. Along with other staff members, he’ll oversee the 100-person all volunteer choir and musicians. Everyone seems up to the challenge, bound by shared beliefs. “The theme this year is Christmas […]

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10,000 cookies will be delivered to San Mateo County inmates on Christmas, thanks to JobTrain

For the fifth year in a row, students from JobTrain, a Menlo Park-based, nonprofit organization that provides job training and placement services, have baked thousands of cookies for inmates in San Mateo County to make their holidays a little bit brighter. The nearly 10,000 cookies, baked by JobTrain Culinary Arts students, range from chocolate chip […]

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Juan and Mercedes Navarro offer a mix of garden and gifts at their Ladera Country Shopper nursery

Editor’s note: From now through Christmas, we’ll be checking in at various local merchants, with an eye to shopping locally.  Is it possible that Mercedes and Juan Navarro have body doubles? Stop in almost any day or time at Ladera Garden & Gifts, and they are present. “We don’t take many vacations,” said Mercedes. “We […]

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Spotted: Oak Knoll Wishing Tree – symbol of peace, hope and unity this holiday season

Oak Knoll School in Menlo Park is the holiday home of a “wishing tree,” a project conceived by parent Julia Appleby and set in motion with the help of school counselor Nicole Scott.  Here’s a description from the school’s newsletter: “The Oak Knoll Wishing Tree is starting to look very special with the kids ‘Wish […]

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