Category Archives: Portola Valley Events

Portola Valley Emergency Communication Services

Communications are critical in all emergency situations.

In a severe emergency such as major earthquake or wildfire, cell phones and landline telephones are not expected to work in Portola Valley. That means word of mouth, and radios will be the primary source of information. Portola Valley does have an AM radio station at 1680 kHz on your AM dial in your car or home.

The PV Emergency Preparedness Committee, CERPP, Woodside Fire Protection District and interested citizens demonstrated radio communications in association with the American Radio Relay League Field Day.
  Continue reading Portola Valley Emergency Communication Services

Portola Valley Celebrates Summer

Thanks to Paige Bishop and the Cultural Arts Committee, Portola Valley neighbors and friends enjoyed a concert at the Town Center on July 16, 2015.

The concert followed the usual Farmer’s Market on a Thursday afternoon and there were food trucks who provided additional fare.
It was a great time to meet and to greet old friends and new.

 

Portola Valley Celebrates its 50th Anniversary

Sunday, September 21, 2014 was the culmination of a year of planning for the celebration of the 50th Anniversary of Portola Valley’s incorporation as a town.   The ad-hoc 50th Celebration Committee was headed by Cindie White and Danna Breen, who made this dream become a reality, along with many volunteers, Town Manager, Nick Pegueros, and Town staff.

Danna Breen and Cindie White
Danna Breen and Cindie White

The day started in an InterFaith Service at the Town Center and included the simultaneous ringing of bells.

Interfaith Service at Town Center included the simultaneous ringing of  bells from all the churches in Town.
Interfaith Service at Town Center included the simultaneous ringing of bells from all the churches in Town.

The Town invited residents to a BBQ and lots of events through out the day including gathering materials for a new time capsule.

50th Anniversary Celebration photo by Paige Bishop
50th Anniversary Celebration photo by Paige Bishop

There was an informative panel presentation moderated by Nancy Lund. It gave residents an overview of how the Town was formed and where its values came from.  Speakers included Sam Haltsed, George Mader, Sue Crane, Bill Cotton, Tom Vlasic and Alex VonFelt. Jon Silver also spoke eloquently from the audience describing Portola Valley as a “Garden of Eden” for democracy.

You can see the presentation here:

Nancy Bovee, Laure Woods and Steve Dunne performed a new Portola Valley song which they composed for the 50th Anniversary gathering.

What a great way to celebrate Portola Valley, the place we all call home.

Littlefield Auction – End of an Era

Jacques Littlefield passed away in 2009, but his legacy will continue as part of the non-profit Collings Foundation of Stow, Massachusetts.

http://www.collingsfoundation.org/menu.htm

The Collings Foundation acquired Jacques amazing collection of military hardware, parts and manuals from the Military Vehicle Technology Foundation, which was incorporated as a not-for-profit and founded by Jacques.  The Collings Foundation plans to build a new museum to house and preserve a large part of Jacques vast collection.

The Littlefield Auction Preview was Open to the Public on July 9 and 10, 2014
The Littlefield Auction Preview was Open to the Public on July 9 and 10, 2014

The new museum will be named after Jacques Littlefield and be open to the public about 8 months of the year.

To fund the construction and aid in the process of moving the collection from Pony Tracks Ranch in Portola Valley to its new location, the Collings Foundation held an auction on July 11 and 12th 2014.  The auction was conducted by Auctions America and held on site.  There were two auction Previews Days which were Open to the Public where Collings Foundation volunteers graciously provided information about the collection.

This volunteer explains details about the equipment and its history.
This volunteer explains details about the equipment and its history.
Littlefield Auction July 12, 2014
Littlefield Auction July 12, 2014. This was the Auction day the heavy equipment and tanks were sold. Three of the 5 Select Auction items did not meet their reserves and did not sell. All the other items had no reserves.
Auction Equipment Tag
Auction Equipment Tag

According to Michael Brandt, who led tours of the collection and worked in the machine shop, Jacques had high standards.  When restoring equipment he insisted on quality and authenticity both inside and out.  This is one of the reasons why Jacques collection is so highly acclaimed.

Hopes and dreams for the future are remembered in the books sold by Michael Brandt.

Michael sold many of the books he’s collected over the years to auction patrons.

Rob Collings of the Collings Foundation honored Tom Sator, a lifelong supporter who had ridden in combat in some of the vehicles auctioned.

Rob Collings presents a plaque to Ted Sator at the July 12, 2014 Auction
Rob Collings presents a plaque to Tom Sator at the July 12, 2014 Auction

The auction represented the end of an era for Portola Valley

 

 

 

Portola Valley 2014 Planning Retreat – Part 4

Part 4 – Discussion

This is a video of Portola Valley Planning Retreat held at the Town Center May 18, 2014.  It followed the background session (Parts 1,2 and 3) and has the Town Council, Commissions and Public comment.
Some audio was lost so this video is incomplete, but includes most of what was said.

The stated objectives of the retreat were to review land use planning and the framework for planning decision making in Portola Valley with a critical eye to the future

This video is also over an hour long.
The Public discussion begins at 46.43 minutes.

This was a public meeting with Town Council, Planning Commission and ASCC in attendance  along with members of the general public.

Portola Valley 2014 Planning Retreat – Parts 1, 2 and 3.

Parts 1, 2 and 3 – Background and Legal Issues

This is a video of Portola Valley Planning Retreat held at the Town Center May 18, 2014.  It contains the general background information about history of the General Plan and its implementation along with legal issues and responsibilities.

The stated objectives of the retreat were to review land use planning and the framework for planning decision making in Portola Valley with a critical eye to the future

This video is over an hour long and includes Steve Toben’s remarks, “Relic or Blueprint” (also included as a separate 14 minute video on this blog), Planners George Mader, Tom Vlasic and Ted Hayden’s remarks (starts at 14.13 minutes) along with those of Town Attorney, Leigh Prince.(starts at 49.54 minutes).

This was a public meeting with Town Council, Planning Commission and ASCC in attendance  along with members of the general public.

Celebrating Portola Valley’s 50th Anniversary, April 3, 2014

The Sequoias Retirement Community became the setting for the April 3, 2014 celebration for 50 year residents.

It was a grand gathering with lots of comradery as residents shared their remembrances.

This was a multigenerational event.  The children of many early residents who still live in Portola Valley share values of the earlier times.

_DSC4082_PV50th Group
Portola Valley Fifty Year Residents gathering at the Sequoias on April 3, 2014

Mayor Ann Wengert welcomes the crowd at the Sequoias, April 3, 2014Mayor Ann Wengert welcomes the crowd at the Sequoias, April 3, 2014

Former Council Member Sue Crane greets visitors, April 3, 2014
Former Council Member Sue Crane greets visitors, April 3, 2014
_DSC4022 copy
 Nancy Lund, Ann Wengert, Cindie White and Danna Breen, April 3, 2014
Ellen and Bob Mosley, 60 year Portola Valley residents, April 3, 2014
Ellen and Bob Mosley, 60 year Portola Valley residents, April 3, 2014
Dianne Shilling and Mimi Breiner, April 3, 2014
Dianne Shilling and Mimi Breiner, April 3, 2014
Marilyn Walter and Ad Jessup, April 3, 2014
Marilyn Walter and Ad Jessup, April 3, 2014
Jean Lane, April 3, 2014
Jean Lane, April 3, 2014
John and Ellie Garner, April 3, 2014
John and Ellie Garner, April 3, 2014
Ron Ramies gives Carlo Besio a big hug as Nina Else looks one, April 3, 2014
Ron Ramies gives Carlo Besio a big hug as Nina Else looks on, April 3, 2014

Ed Wells and Cindie White share memories, April 3, 2014Ed Wells and Cindie White share memories, April 3, 2014

Sylvia McCrory still beautiful after 96 years will a smile that would warm anyone's heart.  April 3, 2014
Sylvia McCrory still beautiful after 96 years with a smile that would warm anyone’s heart,  April 3, 2014

 

 

 

Typhoid!

Typhoid Epidemic

The next time you’re driving up Alpine Road, slow down a bit when you reach Hillbrook Drive and take a close look to your right.  A seasonal stream runs through a small gully there, surrounded by lush and wild vegetation.  Some water remains in it now, in puddles in some spots and flowing in others.  Redwoods, oaks, berry bushes and luxuriant poison oak shelter the neighborhood houses from the road.  A narrow trail wanders along between the creek and the road. Two rickety wooden bridges offer an opportunity to peer down into the streambed without risking the poison oak.

The creek crosses under Alpine Road at Hillbrook Drive in a big storm drain and continues along, edged by bags of concrete which eventually  give way to concrete-lined banks.    Who would guess that a dairy farm  situated right here in this peaceful, pastoral scene was the source of  a major typhoid fever epidemic in 1903?

Maximo Martinez willed this portion of his rancho to his son Antonio who in turn passed it on to his daughter Laura and her husband Pete Faber.  They moved into the Martinez home which stood by the tall redwood in front of the Portola Valley garage.  Pete was mostly interested in “gulching”, cutting and removing timber from his property.  So he leased about a thousand acres to four recent immigrants from the Azores for a dairying operation.  They would run the dairy and continue to provide milk to the distributor in Palo Alto who made regular deliveries around town.

Although the first cases of typhoid weren’t announced in Palo Alto until April, it began to spring up out in the countryside as early as December 1902.  It wasn’t until much later that the medical authorities understood what had happened.  A relative from San Francisco visited his Portuguese family near Page Mill and complained of being sick.  Eventually he died, as did three other members of the family he visited.  Other people from the Portuguese community who lived along Alpine Road had visited the family to help out and attend funerals.  More sickness and more deaths resulted.  The Perreira family of the dairy on Alpine were among those affected, although none of them died.  One San Jose doctor had diagnosed typhoid in one of the cases but had not reported it, so no one yet suspected that an epidemic was underway.

In April, doctors began diagnosing and reporting typhoid in Palo Alto and at Stanford..  The number of cases escalated rapidly, from 2 cases on March 31 to 18 on April 15.  According to the Palo Alto Board of Health report, issued in 1905,  236 people had been diagnosed with typhoid before the epidemic ran its course.  Few records were kept in the outlying districts such as Portola Valley, but the experts felt, in retrospect,  that many  typhoid cases outside the city were never recognized, either by doctors or by victims who never sought medical help.  At least twelve deaths resulted. The number was probably higher.

The population of Palo Alto and Stanford was then 4500.  There was no hospital closer than San Francisco,  so makeshift hospitals were set up at the YWCA, in private homes and in Stanford fraternity houses.  Doctors were few and worked day and night.  Nurses were recruited from San Francisco.  Generous citizens including Mrs. Stanford donated funds so that no one would be denied care.  (Leland Stanford Junior had died of typhoid in Italy in 1884.)

The detective work to find the source of the disease began.  The city water and sewers were found to be uncontaminated.  No pattern of  common vegetable consumption was detected.  No victims had consumed raw oysters or clams. Only one patient had eaten uncooked food.  But nearly everyone with typhoid was on the same milk delivery route.  The two dairies were tested.  It took a week for the  results to come back from a laboratory in San Francisco:  the Perreira dairy on Alpine Road was the source of the typhoid.

Sanitary arrangements for milk delivery in those days were appalling to our modern sensibilities.   The milk was transported in 3 gallon containers by horse drawn wagon about 8 miles to the distributor in Palo Alto.  The cooling system there was a wooden trough filled with water in which the milk cans were placed.  Once or twice a week the trough was emptied and scrubbed.  On the delivery route, the milkman dipped into the cans and poured the correct amount of milk into the customer’s pan.  The empty containers were picked up at the distributors, filled up with skim milk from a creamery, and returned to the Perreira dairy to feed hogs.

Conditions at the dairy were even more shocking.  The wooden floor of the dairy house was cleaned with a shovel.  Cobwebs and dust were everywhere.  Refuse from the outhouse, pigpen and kitchen drained, slid or had been dumped into the gully during a long, dry spell.  Heavy rains from January to April washed months of deposits into the creek, where they were collected by the slowing current at a small dam. This  water, contaminated with the typhoid bacilli, was diverted daily to the dairy house for washing milking utensils and delivery containers. It was a month before the contamination was confirmed and the dairy closed.

When the final count was taken, 98 1/2 % of the typhoid victims had used Perreira milk, even though this evidence of the cause hadn’t been obvious at first.  26% of the users of Perreira milk had contracted the disease.  The epidemic stopped when the use of Perreira milk ceased, although isolated cases and deaths continued throughout the summer.

The public had been made aware of  the need for improved public health conditions in a dramatic, painful and frightening way.  A State Dairy Inspector was appointed.  A permanent hospital opened in Palo Alto.  By May the water in the little creek along Alpine Road by Hillbrook Drive tested pure.  The dairy and the Perreiras were gone.

…………Nancy Lund