June 2015

Those who regularly read InMenlo weather watcher Bill Russ’s rainfall reports, will not be surprised that his back yard gauges recorded 18.1″ for the 2014-15 rain year which began July 1 and ends today (June 30).

Emails Bill: “This compares to 9.55″ in 2013-14; 16.5″ in 2012-13; and 11.95″ for for 2011-12. This, then, was the best of the four years.”

In other weather-related news, Menlo Park-based U.S. Geological Survey recently released a study showing that although record low precipitation has been the main driver of one of the worst droughts in California history, abnormally high temperatures have also played an important role in amplifying its adverse effects.

Trinity Lake dry

Experiments with a hydrologic model for the period Oct. 2013-Sept. 2014 showed that if the air temperatures had been cooler, similar to the 1916-2012 average, there would have been an 86% chance that the winter snowpack would have been greater, the spring-summer runoff higher, and the spring-summer soil moisture deficits smaller.

High heat has multiple damaging effects during drought, according to the study, increasing the vulnerability of California’s water resources and agricultural industry. Not only does high heat intensify evaporative stress on soil, it has a powerful effect in reducing snowpack, a key to reliable water supply for the state. In addition to decreased snowpack, higher temperatures can cause the snowpack to melt earlier, dramatically decreasing the amount of water available for agriculture in summer when it is most needed.

Top photo: Rainbow over Menlo-Atherton High School taken in December 2014 by Betsy Sergeant Snow

Middle photo: Drought effects at Trinity Lake, a major California reservoir located about 60 miles NW of Redding, California. USGS photo, Tim Reed, Feb. 2014. Photo source: CA Water Science Center

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Spotted: Kids learning computer science during summer

Kids taking part in Embark Labs summer program in Menlo Park learn about computer science concepts through a series of unplugged activities. The programs continue through July; scholarships are available.

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Dr. Paul Jemelian tends vegetable garden at Menlo Medical Clinic

Growing up in Lindenwood, Dr. Paul Jemelian’s backyard always featured a vegetable garden, lovingly tended by his mother. The gardening bug bit him early, and through friends, he spent three summers on a Iowa farm. Ultimately he chose medicine over farming. He’s been able to blend the two pursuits since joining the Menlo Medical Clinic two […]

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Free summer shows for the whole family at Belle Haven Library in Menlo Park

Menlo Park’s Belle Haven Branch Library is hosting a series of free events in July  to celebrate the library’s Summer Learning Challenge, “Go Do More.” There will be puppet shows, music, an animal presentation, and storytelling. Wednesday, July 1 at 12:00 pm: Cascada de Flores. Come sing, dance and play during this bilingual family program. Friday, July […]

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Local bicyclists view coastal farms on 20-mile POST organized ride

On Saturday morning (6/27), over 75 bicyclists of all ages and skills — many from Menlo Park —participated in the first Bike the Coast with POST (Peninsula Open Space Trust). The 20-mile loop began on Cloverdale Road just outside of Pescadero. Riding south, the first stop was at the Root Down Farm , a new organic […]

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Seth Weil from Menlo Park wins gold as part of men’s four crew at World Cup 2

U.S. crews took home eight medals at World Cup 2 held in Varese, Italy. Among the gold medal winners was Seth Weil from Menlo Park, who competed as part of the men’s four crew, which also included Henrik Rummel (Pittsford, N.Y.), Charlie Cole (New Canaan, Conn.) and Glenn Ochal (Philadelphia, Pa.). Leading from the start, the […]

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In honor of the Grateful Dead’s farewell concerts, a guide to Dead places in Menlo Park and Atherton

Editor’s note: In advance of their farewell tour appearance at Levi Stadium tonight and tomorrow night. We touched base with music chronicler — and Grateful Dead historian/expert — Corry Arnold to see if he had a list of places in Menlo Park that are part of Grateful Dead lore. And sure enough, he had that […]

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Photographer Scott Loftesness explores Sydney shooting architectural landscapes

Menlo Park-based photographer (and InMenlo co-founder) Scott Loftesness packed his Fujifilm X100T camera on a trip to Sydney, Australia. We sat down to talk to him about some of the night shots he took around the Sydney harbor. He explained that he looks for “interesting light.” “I’ve learned that I’ll look in the direction of the […]

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Spotted: Interesting construction at and around Oak Knoll School

Oak Knoll Lane in west Menlo Park is not a very long street, although it does lay claim to being one of Menlo’s few right-angle streets. This summer there are some interesting constructions projects going on. Oak Knoll School is getting a new roof, which is requiring a posse of men to complete. Then down the […]

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Summer events for adults at Menlo Park Library

The Menlo Park Library is offering a number of special events for adults, including a cooking demonstration, music, dramatic performance and poetry. On June 27, chef Veena Kallingal will talk about the delicious cuisines of Southern India, and demonstrate how to make typical rice flour-based dishes of the region, such as dosa, idli, and uttappam, […]

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Board chair Gillian Growdon talks about Random Acts of Flowers Silicon Valley

We met Gillian Growdon, Board Chair of Random Acts of Flowers Silicon Valley, at a place that smells sweet. The local branch of the national organization has office and warehouse space in Menlo Park, and the Wednesday afternoon we visited, a crew of adult volunteers, sprinkled with a few kids, was arranging bouquets to be delivered to individuals […]

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