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Alumni and Friends of Palo Alto High School

Please Note: This is the ONLY Official Paly All-Alumni site although other sites may make such claims. Older Paly Alumni sites have been disbanded and replaced with this new site. 




We've just been made aware that the PAUSD is planning to place one-story, Solar Array Panels all along the parking lot on the El Camino Real at Embarcadero side of the campus obstructing the historical Tower Building at Paly.  Additionally, it will apparently completely obstruct that side of Paly. Yesterday an "emergency meeting" was surreptitiously convened to push through this agenda. Only a few people got wind of it at the last minute and attended. We are asking that you take immediate action as part of a grass-roots effort in objecting to the placement of these panels in this location as there are many other options on campus where they would be less obtrusive or aesthetically disruptive. The solar panels were neither known about nor included in Paly's Master Plan wherein they've continued to design improvements on the campus to be cohesive and aesthetically consistent with the community of Palo Alto's beautification concerns as well as it's historical and architectural heritage. 

Please see letter below (along with photos and drawings) written by Rachel Kellerman, teacher and librarian at Paly along with information on who to contact to express your objections.  She is trying to raise awareness to stop this project before the plans are fully drawn and go to the state architect.  She has been told that the plans are about 50% complete.  You can contact rkellerman@mac.com if you need more information after reading her letter below.  She is working with Anne Anderson and others from the Paly Facilities Landscape Committee to try to get the planners of the project to consider other locations.  She has also notified the history and preservation societies.  Thank you in advance for your assistance. 

Message below from Rachel Kellerman (Paly Librarian and member of the Palo Alto Historical Association) to Rebecca Navarro et al.

"I am writing to you because I know you are all deeply concerned with preserving Palo Alto’s architectural heritage.  I need your help and the help of other concerned citizens to stop a solar array project that is being planned to obstruct Paly’s historic buildings and ruin a thoughtful landscape design.  Don’t get me wrong—I love solar— just not in Paly’s “front yard” and not in front of the Tower Building and Haymarket complex,  some of the most cherished and iconic buildings in town. 

Background: On Friday (March 16) I became aware that a group of people in charge of sustainability at PAUSD have a plan to put large industrial solar arrays in front of the Tower Building and along Embarcadero Road in the Paly parking lot, which will entail taking out trees and limiting the views of these historic structures from the street. (See attached.) Apparently there was a community meeting on this subject,  but I was not aware of it.   I am both a faculty member and a member of the long standing Paly facilities committee on campus,  and if I was not aware of this meeting, so I assume those of you in the Paly alunmi world were not aware of it either.  

As you can see from the drawing I obtained this morning from PAUSD, the solar structures (about the size of a one story building) would be placed in front of the Tower Building and would block the view of our new Performing Arts Center and Haymarket from El  Camino Real.  People have enjoyed a view between the trees of these structures for 100 years and I think it is a very bad idea to obstruct this view now, especially as there are other solar array options available on campus and indeed in the entirety of PAUSD.  

This morning I spoke to Rebecca Navarro, the Sustainability Program Manager at PAUSD about the project, and she is more than willing to talk to and hear from all stakeholders about this issue now that she is aware of possible concerns.    Rebecca is a dedicated professional and is doing a terrific job at helping PAUSD to become Greener, but she is working with Ron Ellis (Maintenance) at the District and because of a lack of communication between people working on new buildings (the Bond) and people keeping the old buildings running (Maintenance) she was unaware that Paly had a Master Landscape Plan and an existing Facilities Committee that was formed with the managers of the Building (Bond) group ten years ago.  This Committee worked hard to include all stakeholders whenever big decisions were made.  

Neither the existing landscape plan nor the Facilities Committee was consulted about the placement of the panel arrays.  I will note, that  the landscape plan was crafted by our architect (DLM) with the help of legendary local landscape architect Mary Gordon along with Anne Anderson among others. It is a thoughtful plan meant to enrich the campus with lovely green spaces as well as Paly's borders so that we can remain good neighbors to our community.  

Advocacy: I encourage you and others (please feel free to forward this message) to reach out to Rebecca Navarro and Ron Ellis, and Cathy Mak at the District Office and the Board of Education and others listed below to tell them that the solar arrays need to go someplace else and not block the view of our historic buildings and ruin our front landscape.  If you need more information please feel free to contact me.  I am trying to get all stakeholders involved so that Rebecca, Ron and their team can make a better decision about where to place the solar arrays. Please do this NOW while there is still time to look at other locations."  


Rebecca Navarro rnavarro@pausd.org

Sustainability Program Manager, PAUSD

(650) 329-3745


Ron Ellis rellis@pausd.org

Cathy Mak cmak@pausd.org

Robert Golton rgolton@pausd.org

Jerry Berkson jberkson@pausd.org


and PAUSD Board of Education Members:   https://www.pausd.org/explore-pausd/board-education

In addition to the above, you may also wish to direct your objections and concerns to:





          Palo Alto Historical Association         

   Well known Paly Historian, Bob French to speak

Paly through the Years:

a talk with Bob French about Palo Alto Schools

Speaker: Bob French, Retired Teacher and Principal,

Palo Alto Unified Schools

Sunday, April 8, 2018

Time: 2:00 pm

Lucie Stern Community Center

1305 Middlefield Road, Palo Alto

For more information: http://www.pahistory.org/programs.html




Campaniles, Madronos, and more...

click on > http://palyjournalismarchive.pausd.org/


The Palo Alto High School Journalism Archive preserves over 120 years of student voices by digitizing award-winning Paly publications from 1895 to present day. Explore this unique collection, which offers student perspectives on important local, national and international events.



                        Keep scrolling for more news and announcements

In the news....   The "O" has closed

by Kate Bradshaw / Almanac

The Oasis, perhaps the oldest eating establishment in Menlo Park, will close permanently March 7 after 60 years of business, according to a Feb. 21 announcement on Facebook by the business' owners, the Tougas family.

Their message stated, "To all of our loyal customers and to the greater Menlo Park community, It is with heavy heart that we announce the closing of our beloved bar and restaurant, The Oasis. After several months of effort, we were unable to negotiate a reasonable lease for our business, nor meet the requested terms of the building’s owner. Therefore, we have made the very difficult decision to close our doors, and bid farewell to the endearing community of Menlo Park and Stanford University. Our last day of business will be March 7 - please stop in for a visit and say goodbye!"

The Tougas family also made a separate farewell statement, expressing gratitude to loyal clients in Menlo Park, Palo Alto and Stanford. They have not yet responded to requests for comment.

"We want to express our warmest appreciation to all of the wonderful customers who passed through our doors. Your love is engraved in our many tables and booths. Thank you for sitting down in our beer garden to have a beer with us, cracking open some peanuts, carving up our tables with your first loves, playing some pinball, and filling our restaurant with your children and children’s children. We are so grateful to have shared these past 60 years with you!" the letter reads.

The joint is considered an institution by many and beloved for its burgers, pizza, beer and slightly sticky wooden tables engraved with what appear to be generations of initials.

Within four hours of the Facebook announcement, people had posted 362 comments.

Some people tagged other people or shared the announcement to spread the news; others expressed sadness at the announcement or shared memories.

"NNNNNNNNNNOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!! The last great hole-in-the-wall in Menlo Park / Palo Alto ... RIP," wrote Todd Curtis Fryburger.

"Spent time there growing up starting back in the 70’s and my father even spent time there when he was in College at Stanford. I try to get there every time I’m in town visiting. It feels like home to walk in there. So sad to see it go," wrote Gary Lee Chrisman.

"The Oasis was the extension of the Homebrew Computer Club, where after the meeting adjourned staff of competing companies would drink and exchange tips about how to run their businesses. It deserves historic recognition for that reason alone," wrote Lee Felsenstein.

A Menlo Park native launched an online petition, titled "Don't let the O Go!" (a reference to the watering hole's nickname) on Thursday, urging the landlords to keep the restaurant open.

The petition's author, Alison Perris, shared her memories of The Oasis: "I was born and raised in Menlo Park, CA and ever since I can remember The Oasis has been our hangout. ... As a kid I can remember going to the O with my Dad for pizza and a (root beer) and feeling so grown up as we sat in the large wooden booths with names of Stanford students past and present carved into the tables and walls. Then when I was older meeting friends over beers after softball games or watching the Giants in the World Series."

As of about noon on Feb. 22, the petition had 764 supporters.


According to the Menlo Park Historical Association, the building that houses the Oasis was once the YMCA building at Camp Fremont, when the area was a training camp for World War I. It was originally built in 1917 at Santa Cruz Avenue and Chestnut Street, but was moved to its current location at 241 El Camino Real around 1920.

The Menlo Park Historical Association reports that Alexander Beltramo, son of John Beltramo, founder of the former Beltramo's Wine & Spirits, converted the building into a beer garden in 1933. Diana Beltramo Hewitt told the Almanac he named it that "because he thought that was fitting after Prohibition."

Beltramo operated the beer garden for about two years, and in 1946 was leased to a man named Archie Marshall. In 1958, the business changed hands again, and Bernie Tougas took over tenancy at the site, Beltramo Hewitt said.

"He and his wife Doris really poured their heart and soul into the place and made it what it is today," she said. "They were great tenants for many years."

Beltramo Hewitt declined to comment further on the conditions of the lease, but noted that they do not have development plans for the site and will be looking for a new tenant.

According to "Menlo Park: Beyond the Gate," a history book about Menlo Park by historians Michael Svanevik and Shirley Burgett, the building's front office was used as the air raid warden's office during World War II.

Notable incidents referenced in that book claim that once, a young John F. Kennedy came by to eat a hamburger. Another time, when flooding from San Francisquito Creek had left the restaurant inundated, customers just took off their shoes and "partied as usual."

The restaurant currently has around 20 to 25 employees, who were alerted about the closure plans on Tuesday, after the final decision was made Monday, according to an employee who asked to remain anonymous.

The Tougas family owns five similar restaurants around the Bay, according to their farewell letter: Jake's, in Saratoga, Willow Glen and Sunnyvale; The Garret in Campbell, and the Garret Station in Los Gatos.


Please refer to Menu at left and drop-down items for updates under 

"Centennial News and Articles"

 August 23rd, 5 - 7pm -  CENTENNIAL KICK-OFF PARTY

 October 7                  -  HISTORICAL PARADE

        and more......details and updates.....keep watching 


  Holy Cow   


To mark the building and opening of our grand campus, many events are being planned for the year. The cornerstone of the building was laid 1918.  

Activities will officially begin in 2018 and continue through February, 2019 culminating in a recognition of the first graduation in February, 1919.

Everyone is encouraged to participate. Please check this site regularly for updates and invitations.

If you have suggestions for the committee to consider or wish to be involved, please contact: palyalumni@gmail.com

Paly Student Body December 1918

HISTORY:  After a delay because of the influenza epidemic, the current Paly campus opened officially on December 24, 1918.  Students, faculty, and local dignitaries marched from its Channing Avenue location to the new Palo Alto High School on Embarcadero at El Camino, with the 91st Company of High School Cadets triumphantly leading the way. The community was impressed with the school's auditorium - unique at a time when even Stanford had none - and the high-ceilinged library doubled as a ballroom.

When the present Palo Alto High School was built in 1918, some townsfolk were critical of a location so far out of town. But the 30-acre site with its Live Oak trees was being sold by neighboring Stanford University at the token cost of $1.00 per acre, and optimists thought that Palo Alto might well grow to the south.




click here: http://palysportsboosters.org/paly-gear







And   PALY - now

 PERFORMING ARTS CENTER -  facing Embarcadero


Click here > Campus Updates to see more photos and slide shows.





For Paly's website click on link: http://www.paly.net/  



Thanks for coming....  See you again soon!!!  


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