New Homes, News Articles, Real Estate

Palo Alto OKs mixed-use project with 17 homes

By KEVIN KELLY | kkelly@bayareanewsgroup.com | Mercury Bay Area News Group  PUBLISHED: September 20, 2017 at 9:19 pm

The Palo Alto City Council approved a mixed-use project Monday night that offers studios and townhouses.

The council unanimously backed a plan to demolish a long-vacant building at 3877 El Camino Real that formerly housed Compadres Bar & Grill and replace it with a 4,027-square-foot commercial building and a mix of 17 two-bedroom townhouses and flats. The vote was 7-0-2; Councilwoman Lydia Kou was absent and Councilman Eric Filseth was away from council chambers when the vote was taken.

The project, by owner Zijin LLC of Saratoga, will offer two deed-restricted affordable units on site that are intended to sell for “no more than 120 percent of median county income,” according to staff.

Asked by the council why the maximum 22 housing units allowed won’t be built, architect Mark Wommack of Palo Alto-based project designer EID Architects said they would all have to be studios to reach that number.

He said the owner was interested in building two-bedroom units to fit the neighborhood and provide homes for families, and felt the project would have also been less attractive if maxed out. Each flat is just over 1,000 square feet and townhouses are about 1,288 square feet.

“You can’t get much smaller at two-bedroom units,” Wommack said, pointing out the project could have provided even fewer housing units and still have met the city’s zoning requirements. “If you would like to see more smaller units, I would strongly suggest you rewrite your zoning rules to reflect that.”

Vice Mayor Liz Kniss agreed, saying, “If they get a lot smaller, you won’t get families and I think the goal in the area is families.”

The 4,027-square-foot, three-story commercial building will contain 1,700 square feet of retail space on the ground floor and six residential flats, one of which will be priced below-market. The 11 townhouses, two stories each, will be situated in five separate buildings along the L-shaped site bounded by El Camino and Curtner Avenue, situated between a Starbucks and Nine Minute Oil & Lube. All 62 parking spaces will be provided in an underground garage.

The council added some conditions before approving the project. The project must maintain the ground floor for retail and personal service uses; the buildings must provide bird-friendly elements such as window shading; and the owner must allow further historical surveying of the old Compadres building, some of which dates back to 1938. The project wasn’t bound by the city’s retail preservation ordinance because it was submitted prior to March 2, 2015. It was submitted Nov. 20, 2014, according to staff.

The existing building is associated with Gonzalo Slivestre, a master blacksmith of ornamental iron. It was studied for possible historical listing but deemed to have no significant value. The building also suffers from a lack of physical integrity. The owner plans to place a historic plaque in the new commercial building, using small ironwork plates from the existing building.

Becky Sanders, who heads the Ventura Neighborhood Association where the project is situated, and resident Jeff Lewinsky spoke at the meeting in opposition to the project, saying it is short on affordable units and will help to drive up housing costs in the city.

 

Kids, News Articles, Volunteer

Club USA Need Your Help

昨天在臉書上看到世界日報的一篇文章, 有關一位自己是第三代華裔, 由康乃爾大學畢業, 連續30多年幫母校面試申請學生的Andrew Young, 因為看到許多華裔孩子因為來自家庭和課業的壓力, 最後選擇自殘或自殺, 他為了防範華裔孩子自殺,幾年前成立社團「CLUB USA」, 關懷曾自殺或是自殺高危險群孩子。今年暑假, Andrew又在中半島租了一戶兩層樓的公寓, 作為孩子們的聚會中心以及緊急的庇護所, 讓那些一時對生命失去熱情的華裔學生, 能有個地方讓他們可以短暫休息後再出發。

我看到這篇文章後, 馬上寫信給Andrew Young, 問他有什麼我可以幫忙的.  我們今天在電話上聊了一個多小時, 聽完了我很心痛, 尤其當中有一個孩子自殺被救回後在病床上跟Andrew說, 因為他知道用自殺是唯一一種可以讓母親很傷心的方法, 讓我不禁納悶, 父母有多不願意聽孩子說他心裡的話, 孩子才必須選擇用這麼激烈的方式來傳達他的想法啊. 雖然我自己沒小孩, 但是我很清楚在美國的這些小孩從小到大的壓力, 也是因為他們都是很聽話的孩子 (我自己是個大人眼中屬叛逆的孩子).

以前科技不發達, 學歷也許是出頭天的唯一方式, 但現今網路發達, 想學什麼有網路就可以學, 就看你想不想學而已, 那學歷還真的是唯一的一條路嗎? 你可以逼孩子唸書, 但這一逼, 到底失去多少珍貴的東西? 遠見這篇 雇人不再看學歷, 希望可以讓大人們好好思考一下.

就像嚴長壽先生在演講上(Youtube 從1:46開始看)直接點出未來教育的趨勢,希望灣區華人社會家長打破用學歷評斷孩子未來的迷思。他說未來世界變化快速,人工智慧發展已是不可逆的現實,未來只有有溫度的服務業,才有可能在未來找到立足的機會。(註 : 這個廣義的服務業, 包括醫生到速食店的服務員都屬服務業。)

嚴先生認為過去的社會讓孩子學習過於專注於「做事」,但是「學習做人」、「懂得生活」同等重要,學做人指的是自己的涵養與面對事情的態度,在自由民主時代更要具備思辨能力,不被龐雜的資訊牽引;嚴董事長同時引用胡適的話,有三個指標可以辨別一個社會是否成熟,包括看他們怎麼「對待女人」、怎麼「教育孩子」、怎麼「規劃下班後的時間」,如果下班後能夠欣賞音樂、舞蹈、戲劇、美術,才叫做懂得生活。

嚴董事長期許年輕人了解未來世界的四個趨勢 :

1. 不要做Me, too 的產品,要找到自己的特色,成為「唯一」、成為「獨一」。也因此年輕人不可以再用現有的方式學習,現有的方式思考。

2. 學好中文與英文很重要,因爲中國與美國是未來兩個重要的經濟體。英文尤其重要,因為很多重要的文獻都是用英文發表,年輕人不要讓語言成為學習的障礙。

3. 除了「學術」能力外,還需要具備「藝術」與「技術」兩項能力,缺一不可,同時具備也可避免思考單一。

4. 培養自己4C能力 (Collaboration, Communication, Creativity, and Critical Thinking),因為真實的社會沒有一件事是依靠個人之力即可完成,因此要懂得與人合作、懂得溝通並表達自己、懂得思考與辯證不被他人駕馭、並多多透過親身參以豐富自己的體驗並激發創意。

最後,嚴先生分享成功秘訣,他認為投入工作時要有「Vision」、「Mission」 與 「Passion」。視野是要靠很多成功與失敗經驗的累積而養成,在找到自己的方向後,就要以無比救藥的熱忱、鍥而不捨的決心向前邁進,最終定能走向成功 。

– – – – –

Andrew Young說他需要錢, 他打算透過幾個方式, 試圖從政府那裡得來一些經費, 才有辦法多成立幾個Club USA, 因為美國其他州也有幾個城市是華裔移民集中的區, 也有許多華裔學生有相同的問題; 我則建議不要低估民間私人的捐款, 平常我就常見朋友間各式各樣的募款活動, 每個人有能力多少捐一些, 積少成多也不無幫助, 所以我提議幫他做一個影片.

他跟我說, 那些高危險群的華裔孩子的父母不會願意讓他們上鏡頭, 因為這在華人文化裡是一個丟臉的事, 我說, 那就找同樣是華裔, 歷經過那種壓力, 但並沒有自殘或自殺的孩子, 一樣可以提供一些心路歷程, 可以讓影片更有說服力.

如果你, 或是你的孩子, 是正在Cupertino or Palo Alto 高中唸書或已經從Cupertino or Palo Alto 高中畢業的嗎? 我想看看灣區朋友們有沒有人願意談談他們的經驗, 也許他們可以站在他們的角度來幫助, 鼓勵正在經歷的人.  不想露臉沒關係, 我可以模糊你們的臉或者只拍你的下半身, 因為說話的聲音才是主角.

如果大家都選擇默不作聲, 只因為不想找麻煩, 或者認為這是丟臉的事, 難道要一直看自己的孩子, 或朋友的孩子 一直自殘和自殺嗎?  別忘了, 我沒有小孩, 這件事我可以不要參與, 我只是在乎, 每一條生命都應該被尊重和珍惜.

有沒有華人教會願意讓Andrew Young去做說明和募款? 我聽說教會朋友都很熱心??

請跟我聯絡!!!! 也請幫我 “轉貼/Share” 出去, 讓更多人知道這些華裔孩子需要幫助. 有錢的出錢, 有力的出力. 一起幫助我們的下一代.

如果你的孩子需要Andrew Young的幫助, 請直接聯絡他 415.258.2872.

在台灣的孩子的自殺率, 似乎也在增加中, 剛好看到這篇遠見的文章 “想自殺的孩子怎麼了?”  是由一位美國認證心理諮商師的台灣人所寫, 文章中說, 在美國與台灣,自殺都是青少年前三大死因之一。在美國,每一年約有三十多個12歲以下的孩子自殺,目前年紀最輕的個案,是在2009年,佛羅里達州一位6歲的小女孩,在房間裡上吊結束自己的生命。

 

Property Management

Furnished Palo Alto Single Family Rental Available Now, Near Stanford University

Clean, bright, and modern single family home in beautiful Park West neighborhood of Palo Alto.

[3363 Park Blvd, Palo Alto, CA 94306]

1208 sqft living space on 4300 sqft lot. 3 Bedrooms, 2 Baths plus an office and a storage area in the converted garage.

It used to be Corporate Housing so it has everything you need. Prefer to rent it as furnished but can be flexible if you prefer without it.

– Newly upgraded décor and amenities.

– Hardwood floor in the public area and bathrooms. Carpet in the bedrooms.

– Gas fireplace

– Stainless steel appliances (fridge, oven, dishwasher, microwave, toaster)

– Washer and Dryer inside

– Barron Park Elementary, Terman Middle School, and Gunn High School. Private schools: Bowman and Keys

– Easy access to Page Mill Rd, Oregon Expressway, El Camino Real, Alma/Central Expressway, Stanford University, Stanford Shopping Center, Palo Alto Square, Highways 280 and 101, and Caltrain.

– Biweekly gardening service included.

– Tenant pays for all other expenses, including rent, utilities, cable, DSL, phone, etc.

– Prefer no pets but will consider with owner approval, additional deposit will be required.

– No smoking

– $5000 per month. Yearly lease. First month plus $5000 deposit. Applications and additional photos can be found on https://home.cozy.co/apply/187813. Require Credit Reports, background Checks and Proof of income.

– Available NOW.

OPEN HOUSE:

3/18 Saturday from 10:00am to 12:00pm

 

Bonsai, Events, Photography, Volunteer

56th Annual Bonsai Show by Kusamura Bonsai Club

13131226_10154288987572223_8289228254360595112_o13087873_10154288987472223_2567353921275505358_n(Photo credit: Kusamura Bonsai Club)

4/30-5/1, 2016 是Kusamura Bonsai Club 56週年Bonsai Show at Lucie Stern Community Center in Palo Alto.

IMG_7343Photoshoot-sm(Photo credit: Kusamura Bonsai Club)

今年我是攝影師義工, 拍攝今年所有展出的Bonsai (70+ plants).  我只需要帶相機和腳架, 他們提供LED Lighting and Black paper backdrop,  還有搬運植物的人手 (有的植物可是非常重的), 還有照片後製.  由於場地限制, 我就以我能力範圍內能做的盡量做了.  今年算是我的一個練習 (首次用LED lights拍照, 之前是用在Video上居多), 明年就知道有哪些可以改善, 讓照片水準再好一點.

我挑了幾張出來給大家欣賞, 其他的照片請上官網 (他們後製好後會上傳到官網上).

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Visit Us In May

If you bought a tree during our show and would like to know more about how to care for it, please attend our May 20th meeting. We’ll talk about how much to water and when and about the importance of fertilizer. We’ll demonstrate basic pruning to keep your tree looking good. This workshop is also for newer club members who want to bring in a tree and get some assistance. We’re asking more experienced members to bring in a pair of scissors and perhaps a concave cutter and be prepared to assist new members.  We ask that you bring only one tree so we have time to help everyone that attends.

 

相關閱讀: Golden State Bonsai Federation,