Almanac

News - February 19, 2014

Briefs: Haven Avenue developer wants fewer affordable units

Last fall, developer St. Anton announced a partnership with Facebook to build a 394-unit apartment complex on 10 acres of land off Marsh Road at 3639 Haven Ave.

The original plan included 38 affordable housing units. Now St. Anton has asked the city to lower that by 16, although of the 22 remaining units, rents would decrease to be affordable to those earning 50 percent of the county's mean income of $97,100. Previously, the units targeted those making 80 percent.

Facebook would continue to subsidize 15 affordable housing units that will be income-restricted for 55 years.

Menlo Park's community development department will need to approve the change, according to a staff memo.

Business Watch

Following in the footsteps of Neighborhood Watch, the Menlo Park Chamber of Commerce and police department want to implement "Business Watch" to help prevent crime. An information session will be held on Thursday, Feb. 20, at 6 p.m. at the Arrillaga Family Recreation Center at 701 Laurel St.

Call 330-6300 or email gesepulveda@menlopark.org to sign up for the meeting.

County parks

Ramona Arechiga, a Peace Corps volunteer who served in Ethiopia and has a masters degree in forest resources from Oregon State University, is the new — and the first — natural resources manager for the San Mateo County Parks Department.

"When I was a teenager growing up in Redondo Beach, I dreamed of working in the coast range of Northern California as a forest ecologist and resource manager," Ms. Arechiga said in a written statement. "The position of Natural Resource Manager ... provides an opportunity to realize that dream."

The Parks Department oversees the operation of 19 parks, including Edgewood, Huddart and Wunderlich parks in Woodside, the Woodside Store, the Coyote Point Recreation Area, and the Fitzgerald Marine Reserve. All told, 16,183 acres.

Her Peace Corps work was in the Bale Mountains National Park in Ethiopia, where she organized public-planting programs in communities adjacent to the park. In Oregon, she focused on restoration of native vegetation using volunteers to do the planting.

She hikes and backpacks with her husband Tracy and their dog, Tsuga. She has two indoor-only cats, Go and Brain, who she rescued from the wild when they were three weeks old.

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