Friday, February 28, 2014

30th Annual Broom Pull - Sunday March 9

The yellow flowers may look pretty but French Broom is one of the most nastily invasive local shrubs.  It quickly spreads, choking out both natives and other desirable plants.  It is quite flammable. This is especially a problem in our Open Space preserves.

Each year for 30 years a group of Portola Valley residents has gathered in the Spring with the guidance of the Conservation Committee to pull up this obnoxious intruder from Town right of ways.   In the spirit of the 50th Anniversary, please come join us.

Come spend a morning with your neighbors pulling invasive French broom along Portola Valley Roads.  We'll meet at 9:00 a.m. on Sunday, March 9th at the Historic School House, Portola Valley Town Center, 765 Portola Road.  Wear long sleeves and gloves.  Tools and refreshments will be provided.

If you can’t join us, consider clearing your own property of this nasty invasive shrub. Pull it up by the roots - do not cut it off, it comes back tougher and harder to remove. This time of year, the smaller plants pull up quite easily from the rain-damp soil; the large ones need a weed wrench. Later, when our local soil gets like clay, they are almost impossible to pull out. 

If you are not the get-your-hands-dirty type, please join us in spirit by asking your gardener to focus on broom removal at his/her next visit.

Community Service hours are available for students.


Judith Murphy, Chair, Conservation Committee

Why I Volunteer: Marilyn Walter

It was a pleasure to serve one of the best little towns in the world.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Committee Profile: Town Planning Commission

Responses provided by Nate McKitterick

What committee do you serve on?

Planning Commission

What does your committee do?

Generally, we help shape the policies and priorities for land use in the Town, and consider applications that involve major changes to a property.

What do you enjoy about serving on your committee?

Meeting people in the Town whom I otherwise might not.  Portola Valley is filled with interesting, intelligent people who have done fascinating things with their lives.  I'm not one of them (though a man can dream, right?), but I enjoy them.

Are there any projects that your committee was involved in that you're particularly proud of?

Having been on the Planning Commission for the past 9 years, I'd say it's what you don't notice that I am most proud of.  In other words, the majestic beauty of our Town and our close-knit community have been preserved.  While there have been some Planning Commission issues that have seen respected townsfolk on opposing sides, our sense of community and public participation have not suffered from it.

What issues do you foresee coming before your committee in the next fifty years? 

In the nearer term, perhaps we will address more matters relating to the "western hillside," the west side of Portola Valley, the preservation of which was one of the catalysts for the founding of this Town.  Further out, I'd guess personal aerial vehicles.

What role will your committee play in the future of Portola Valley?

Ted Driscoll once told me "The Town Council decides what the Town can do now.  The Planning Commission decides what we should aspire to do."  So, I hope to continue to hear from people in the community about their dreams and hopes for the Town in coming decades.  

Sunday, February 16, 2014

PV Recipe: Peanut Butter Chocolate Tart

This week's recipe was submitted by Joanne Donsky through the PV Forum mailing list!

Peanut Butter Chocolate Tart

Submitted by Joanne Donsky

Medium heavy-bottomed saucepan
9-inch tart pan with removable bottom

7 oz (1 ½ cups) Famous Chocolate Wafer crumbs
5 Tb. unsalted butter, melted

1/3 cup reduced fat smooth peanut butter
8 oz. cream cheese (low fat), room temperature
½ cup confectioner’s sugar, sifted
½ cup whipped cream or Cool Whip

6 oz. semi-sweet chocolate
½  cup whipping cream
2 -3 Tb. chopped roasted and salted peanuts

Crust Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  In the bowl of a food processor, chop the chocolate wafer cookies and add the melted butter.  Mix well.  Press into a 9-inch tart pan and bake 8 to 10 minutes or until firm. Cool. (Can be done a day in advance.)

Filling: If using whipping cream, whip cold whipping cream until stiff. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, (or by hand) combine the cream cheese and peanut butter until smooth. Add confectioner’s sugar. Fold in whipped cream or Cool Whip. Spread the filling into the cool crust.

Ganache: Cut 6 oz. chocolate into small pieces and put in small mixing bowl. Heat whipping cream in a small saucepan and bring just to a simmer. Pour over the chopped chocolate and stir occasionally until chocolate is smooth and cool a bit.

To assemble: Pour the ganache over the filling and spread evenly. Chill tart until chocolate is set. Decorate with chopped peanuts. Unmold and serve cold.

Serves: 8

Why I Volunteer: Nancy Lund

Since I'm a non-native Californian, teaching California history to 4th graders was my introduction to the interesting stories of the past. Learning about, recording and sharing our town's story as well as volunteering in other ways have brought rewards I never would have guessed; meeting wonderful people I wouldn't otherwise know and feeling a part of community are key personal benefits.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Fifty Years of this Town of Portola Valley

By Sheldon Breiner

Portola Valley became a town in 1964, the same year we called this town our home. This year, we celebrate these two score and ten years of Town history. Thanks to the founding fathers and mothers of this town and the participative attitude of the residents, we have successfully maintained its Nature and the important aspects that make us love this Town. It is truly a product of all the residents' efforts to carry out the founding principles.                                         

Western Slopes of Town

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Why I Volunteer: Sue Crane

Maybe I didn't understand completely why I volunteered when i first moved here--I think I did because I was intrigued with this small town who relied mainly on volunteers and it was easy to participate and feel needed.  Now I can look back--50 years of volunteering --schools, town committees,  town council, etc.  I don't know who benefitted more--me or the town. I have had a stake and voice in our town and it has totally enriched my life.  

Sunday, February 9, 2014

PV Recipe: Angel Pie

In 1987, the Portola Valley PTA collected recipes from local residents and compiled them into a cookbook. We're going to share some of those recipes here on the blog, and we invite PV residents to send in their recipes to share, as well!

Send your recipes to erica at

Angel Pie

Submitted by Donna Mackowski

A favorite from my mother-in-law.

Serves: 8

Preparation time:  30 min 
Cooking time:  1 hr 
Refrigerate:  Several hours

1/2 C granulated sugar
2 egg whites
1/8 tsp cream of tartar
1/2 C chopped walnuts

Sift sugar and cream of tartar. Set aside. Beat egg whites stiff, but not dry. Add sifted sugar gradually, while continuing to beat until smooth and glossy. Line well buttered 9" pie plate with this mixture. Keep center hollowed out to 1/4" thickness. Do not spread meringue on rim of plate.  Spread nuts on unbaked meringue rim.  Bake in slow (300) oven 1hour, or until delicately browned and crisp. Cool.

3/4 C semi-sweet chocolate  bits
3 T hot water
1 tsp vanilla
1C heavy cream, whipped

Melt chocolate in double boiler. Stir in the 3 T water and add vanilla. Cool slightly. Fold in whipped cream. Turn into meringue shell. Chill several hours.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Why I Volunteer: Sam Yount

I serve on a Portola Valley town committee because my wife and I love living here.  My goal is not to ensure that the town does not change, but to ensure that it does.  I see volunteerism as a way to ensure that the town remains current and relevant while still retaining the unique properties that make Portola Valley a great place to live.

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Why I Volunteer: Ed Holland

I came to Portola Valley in 2006 because my wife (Meg Abraham, who grew up here) and I could not miss up the opportunity to bring up our son in this wonderful town. When Portola Valley announced the appointment of a new committee to tackle "Bicycle, Pedestrian and Traffic Safety" I decided to get involved, drawn by a desire to nurture safe healthy alternatives to motorised transportations for local journeys, such as to and from school and a lifelong pursuit of cycling. BPTS has been described as "the most active committee" and I'm proud that our enthusiastic team has worked hard to run events like the "Bike Rodeo" and to understand, and think out solutions to PV residents concerns. Thank you Portola Valley for giving me a chance to get involved.

Monday, February 3, 2014

Portola Valley Runs on Volunteerism

Did you know there are 400 Portola Valley residents who have volunteered their time to serve our community?  

Check it out.  If you know someone on this list - thank them today!  

Sally and Jeff Aalfs
Ken Abraham
Joy and Robin Adler
Douglas Aikins
Alison Alston
Rick Anderson
Barbara and George Andreini
Sherry and Domenic Andrighetto
Rebecca Arora
Heather and Dean Asborno
Ellen Ashley
Douglas Ayer
Agnes and Dean Babcock
Virginia Bacon
Tine Badger
Mari and Clay Baker
Karen Baker
Mia and Michael Banks
Barbara and Scott Barnum
Tamara and Craig Buchsbaum
Lorraine and Bernard Bayuk
Foster and Mike Beigler
Linda and Mike Benevento
Diana and Dan Bergeson
Beth and Alan Bianchi
Paige Fulkerson
Denise Blocker
Jay and John Boice
Karol and Robert Bondy
Patty and Greg Bonfiglio
Carol Borck
Jane Bourne
Nancy Bovee
Lindsay and Rita Bowen-Williams
Bob Boyle and Donna Wells
Larry Bradley
DeLeys and Craig Brandman
Julia B Brandman
Toni and Michael Bray
Danna Breen
Mimi and Sheldon Breiner
Dianne Brinson
Susan and Andrew Browne
Christopher and Bonnie Buja-Crater
Cathy and Mark Carlson
Linda C Carlson
Kathleen Carr
Sue and Gene Chaput
Laurie Chase
Nona Chiariello
Teri and Mike Chilton
Crystal & John Ciancutti
Deirdre and Jeff Clark
Frank Cody
Joe Coleman
Dottie and Kirk Comstock
Ann Hillman and George Comstock
Kristi and Chuck Corley
Rosalie and Dan Cornew
Laura and Hugh Cornish
Harriett Coulson
Tracy and Peter Cowperthwaite
Sue Crane
Ann Crevelt
Lynne Davis
Bunny Dawson
Yvonne and Michael Deggleman
Cathy and Pat Dempsey
Lauren and Alan Denenberg
Maryann Moise Derwin
Marge DeStaebler
Kelly Diedrich
Treena Diehl
Julia Dillingham
Anne Marie Draeger
Sue and Ted Driscoll
Sharon and David Driscoll-Savoca
Jocelyn Dunn
Stephen Dunne
Lorrie and Dave Duval-Cardinal
Susan Devork
Phillip and Jean Eastman
Leslie and Fred Ebert
Donald Eckstrom
Phyllis Eicher
Lynn and Bud Eisberg
Linda and Jerry Elkind
Jon Else
Nelly and Mark Emmerson
Kalani Engles
Mary Enright
Beth and Cole Erskine
Patty and Jerry Evans
Susan and Grant Evans
Deanna and Brooke Fabricant
Alice and David Falconer
Mary and Chuck Falore
Kathy and Bob Feldman
Ellie Ferrari
Leslie Field and Phil Barth
Joe Fil
Diana Fischer
Kathy and Peter Fitzgerals
Chrisi Fleming
Pam and Craig Flower
Rebecca and Alex Flynn
Liz and Mark Foster
Robert Fournier
Jeannette and Don Fowler
Susan and Tom Friel
Paige Fulkerson
Elise and Randy Gabrielson
Aruna Gambhir
Ellie and John Gardner
Diane Garver
Patty and Todd Gebhard
Maria and Mark Geenen
Ingbritt and Sam Gelpi
Denise Gilbert
Wanda Ginner
Karen and Paul Giordano
Susan Gold
Jon and Kwok Goulden-Lau
Maren and Jeff Grainger
Michelle Green
Karen Gregory
John Greswold
Sarah Hagadone
Cynthia and Brent Hamilton-Iverson
Lynn Hamilton-Lowengart
Louise Hamm
Jeanette and Carl Hansen
Wendi and Bill Haskell
Judith Hasko
Dar Hay
Melissa and Steve Hedlund
Paul Heiple
Racheland Andy Hewitt
Angela and John Hey
Diane and JonHillier
Becky and Ken Hirsch
Wendy Hoag
Mary Hodgson
Leo Hoenighausen
Daniel Hoffman
Ellen and John Hoffman
Edward Holland
Elizabeth Holmes
Lynn and Randy Holthaus
Jill Howard
Janet and David Howes
Mary and Daniel Hufty
Erica and Craig Hughes
Sharon and Phil Humphreys
Avery Humphreys
Meredith and Steve Humphreys
Andie and Jim Hutchinson-Fann
Jean Isaacson
Judi Jaeger
Sue and Kurt Jaggers
Monica Jenkins
Clair and Jay Jernick
Adeline Jessup
Kathy and Todd Johnson
Majda Jones
Karen and Jeff Jordon
Eva Juhos
Charlene and Derry Kabcenell
Mahnaz Kalanaki
Diane and Bill Kaspari
Nancy Katz
Ginny and Jack Kavanaugh
Ann Kearney
Marcia and Jeff Keimer
Sharon and Tom Kelley
Tricia Kelly
Indu and Raman Khanna
Anu Khatod
Victoria Klein
Stephanie Knott
Megan Koch
Diana and Bill Koin-Vermeere
Andy Koontz
Anne and Al Kopf-Sill
Katie Korman
Jackie Kubicka
Simone and Philippe Tregon
Dale and Dennis Lachtman
Bill and Jean Lane
Linda and Bill Lautner
John Law
Carrie and Kenneth Lavine
Tricia Law
Maggie Law
Grace and Walter Leclerc
Merijane and Lowell Lee-Sears
Sandy Lee
Debbie Lehmann
Jane and Howard Lewis
Judy and Jim Lipman
Sandy Littlefield
Shandon Lloyd
Sharon and Mark Lockareff
Lauren and John Lopez
Janet Lorenzen
Ann and Dick Lucas
Rosemarie and Ted Luce
Karen Lucian
Nancy and Tor Lund
Ellen and Jim Lussier
Tony Macias
Margie and Bill MacKenzie
Jane Mackey
Donna and Marty Mackowski
Marjorie and George Mader
Lynne Madison
James Malloch
Marie and Christopher Margolin
Andrea and Steve Marra
Joya Marsh-Reiner
Sonia Martinez
John Mashey
Robert Masi
Mary McCann
Natalie and Jim McClure
Bob McCowan
Ed McGavin
Kay and Chip McIntosh
Teri and Dorian McKelvy
Lynn and Neil McKinnon
Jennifer Hanley and Nate McKitterick
Adele McPartland
Karen and Paul Melnychuck
Judy and Andy Mendelson
Richard and Brad Merk-Peyton
Lee Middleman
Mahnaz and Ali Mikailli
John Miller
Roseann Miller
Al Minor
Susan and Steve Minor-Bourne
Joann and Kent Mitchell
Karen and Scott Mobley
Tina Molumphy
Ellen Moore
Max Moore
Katherine Moore
Jayne and Mark Mordell
Rose and Gary Moiseff
Vivien and Tom Moyer
Brenda and Greg Munks
Judith Murphy
Jon Myers and Beth Myers-Rubuczewski
Dorothea and Ted Nell
Eliane and Armand Neukermans
Don Niederhaus
Gary and Liz Nielsen
Holly Nybo
Julia Oleson
Linda Olson
Elizabeth and Babur Ozden
Mary and Ward Paine
Mark and Judy Paris
Iqbal Paroo
Ann and Dana Parsons
Sandy and Will Patterson
Ray Pestrong
Laura and Bill Pickering
Jan and Oz Pieper
Frances and Robert Pierce
Andrew Pierce
Marianne Plunder
Alison and Dave Polkinhorne
Leigh Prince
Ting Pun
Anne and Marty Putnam
Phyllis Quilter
Helen and Dan Quinn
Stellie Quinn
Chris Raanes
Diana and Gary Raines
Amber and Bob Ramies
Jeanette and Tom Ramies
Mike Randal
Michelle Rapp
Gina Rayfield
Kathy and David Reavis-Strohm
Sharon Reich
Sally Ann and Peter Reiss
Sharon and John Richards
Linda Rigas and James Jones
Connie and Bill Ring
Jan Robb
Shirley Roberts
Natalie and Tom Robertson
Nancy Robertson
James Robson
Cindy Rodas
Tom and Carolyn Stepien
Debbie Romani
David Ross
Ray Rothrock
Dene Rowell
Francine Roy
Pedro Ruiz
Kari Rust
James Sansbury
Minnie Sarwal
Ruthy Sarwal
Peggy Satterlee
Nancy and George Savage
Georgia Sovaca
Diane and Mike Schilling
Kris and Jason Schmidt
John Schulte
Barb and Win Seipp
Greg Semans
Ajit Shah
Julia and Fred Shepardson
Brook Shield
Amy and Dan Siegel
Catherine Siegle
Jon Silver
John Skadden
Kristi Skrabo
Sandy and Eric Sloan-Richert
Dr. Jay Ward Smith
Janet Smith
Mary Smith
Deb Smith
Joy and Dwight Somersett
Carol and Mark Sontag
Dana and William Starling
Laura Stec
Michele Stern
Marti Sterns
Jim Stoecker
Robert and Marvis Stoecker
Margaret Stone
Linda Strober
Tish and John Struthers
Norio Sugano
Liz and Michael Sweeney
Shelly and Scott Sweeney
Megan and Scott Sweet
Carrie and Jan Sweetnam
Jocelyn and Dan Swisher
Rowland Tabor
Ellen Tafeen
Jo and Bill Tagg
Michele Takei
Patricia and Peter Tapscott
Nicholas Targ
Colleen and Geoff Tate
Craig Taylor
Ruth and Mark Taylor
Susan Thomas
Nancy and John Thompson
Patricia and Andy Thorson
Steve and Janice Toben
Lewis Todd
Bud and Onnolee Trapp
Simone and Philippe Tregon
Sophie Tregon
Jeanie Treichel
Lisa and Jack Troedson
Yvonne Tryce
Patty and EricTurnquiest
Jenny and Stefan Unnasch
Crissy and Todd Untrecht
William Urban
Cort Van Rensselaer
Lance and Karen Vaughan
Diane and John Vedder
Ellen Vernazza
Barbara Vetter
Nancy and Ted Vian
Kelly and Ray Villarel
Linda and Tom Vlasic
Alexandra and Randy Von Feldt
Marilyn Walter
Sharon and Ron Walter
Susan and Dieter Walz
Tracy Wang
Tami and Carter Warr
Linda Weil
Elizabeth and Kevin Weil
Kevin Welch
Sandy Welch
Edward Wells
Ann and Leslie Wengert-Latham
Eric Wenzel
Debra and Tom West
Erin Whalen
Susan Whelan
Joseph Whiteley
Karin and Paul Wick
Nancy and Clark Wigley
Robin Willard
Erika and Kirt Williams
Patricia and Ray Williams
Nancy Wilson
Jane and Alan Wilson
Judy and Curtis Wozniak
Gerald Wright
Ruth Ann and Chet Wrucke
Jane and Don Yates
Linda and Paul Yates-Holland
Hannah Yelton
Stuart Young
Sam Yount
Jennifer and Bill Youstra
Lenora and John Yuen-Peters
Leah and Alex Zaffaroni
Charles Zaffaroni
Judy Zafran
Patti and John Zussman