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Peninsula Happenings, Friday, April 28

Rengstorff House is located at 3070 N. Shoreline Blvd., Mountain View. For more information visit, http://www.r-house.org. It’s sesquicentennial is to be celebrated on May 6, 2017. (Photo courtesy of Rengstorff House)

• The Rengstorff House in Mountain View turns 150 this year, and a celebration is planned to mark the sesquicentennial at Shoreline Park on Saturday, May 6, from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. According to a release from the city, there will be “family-friendly activities, live music, games, house tours, a lecture on the history of the house, Victorian-era demonstrations, crafts and food trucks from our local favorites.” Rengstorff House, built in 1867, is located inside Shoreline Park, near the former Rengstorff Landing, which played a significant role in the growth and prosperity of Mountain View during its early years. Saved from destruction in the 1970s, the home was sold to the City of Mountain View for $1 in 1979. The house was then moved and restored over the next 12 years until it was finally dedicated to the public in 1991. The 150th anniversary celebration is a collaboration between the Friends of “R” House and the city of Mountain View. For more information visit, r-house.org.

• The annual Cinco De Mayo Fiesta will take place at noon May 5 inside the Menlo Park Senior Center (110 Terminal Ave.). An $8 admission fee includes lunch, dancing to a live mariachi band and more. For more information, call Senior Center program assistant Airel Tinajero at 650-330-2287.

• Artists of the Cubberley Artist Studio Program based at the Cubberley Community Center in Palo Alto will display their work at Telegraph Hill Gallery, 491 Greenwich St. in San Francisco, in two separate shows. RETROFIT 1.0 will take place from May 20 to June 17 and RETROFIT 2.0 is planned for June 24 to July 22. In keeping with the exhibition’s title, the show’s curators, CASP artists Mel Day and Marianne Lettieri, selected older pieces the artists revised. These are pieces where “the artist returned to a previously explored subject matter or reinterpreted a personal aesthetic trademark.” The exhibit includes work from 21 artists working in diverse media, including photography, painting, sculpture, fiber arts, printmaking and mixed media.

ON THE BRIGHT SIDE

The Bay Area Air Quality Management District is offering $5 million to fund new bike amenities throughout the region. The program offers funding to public agencies to support the construction of new bicycle facilities, including bikeways and secure parking. The goal is to reduce air pollution and greenhouse gases and improve air quality by helping residents and commuters shift to biking as an alternative to driving.

ACHIEVEMENTS

• San Mateo County Libraries are one of eight recipients nationwide of the 2017 John Cotton Dana award, according to a county news release. The award, named after the man who is considered the father of the modern library, is given to libraries for outstanding public relations. The county libraries are being recognized for “Open for Exploration,” a rebranding campaign to unite the county’s 12 libraries under a shared vision. Since the launch of the campaign, monthly visits to the libraries’ website have increased by 30 percent and monthly library card applications have risen by 17 percent, the release states. In 2016, the libraries won a National Association of Counties Achievement Award and were named a finalist for the National Medal for Museum and Library Service. It has been rated a “Star Library” by the Library Journal Index of Public Library Service for the past eight years.

• The Menlo Park Fire Protection District was recently rated a Class 2 fire agency under the Insurance Services Office’s Publication Protection Classification Program, according to an April 22 news release. The rating means the district is now in the top 3.42 percent of all fire agencies rated by the ISO, which evaluates fire agencies’ actual readiness, preparedness, planning and budgeting for facilities, equipment and training, and supplies statistical data to insurance firms used for underwriting fire insurance. ISO evaluates and grades 46,042 fire agencies nationwide, according to the release. The local fire district joins 1,323 other fire agencies rated Class 2. Just 241 fire agencies achieved Class 1, the top rating.

MEETING ALERTS

• Who better to write the story of your life than you? Author Phyllis Butler is offering a four-week course in memoir writing at Menlo Park’s Little House Community Center. A five- to ten-page start on a memoir is the goal of the class, which costs $60. Sessions lasting 90 minutes will start at 1 p.m. on Tuesdays at Little House, 800 Middle Ave., Menlo Park. To register, call Kamila at Little House, 650-326-2025. For more info, call Butler at 650-326-0723 or email Butler-Phyllis@att.net.

DID YOU KNOW?

• San Mateo County residents with valid library cards can borrow a “Check It Out!” energy and water savings toolkit from any of the county’s branches in a program launched April 25. Outfitted with tools, supplies, measuring devices and a user-friendly guide, the toolkits can help residents conserve water, use less electricity and save money by taking a few simple actions, according to a news release. More than 70 toolkits are in circulation and can be checked out for three weeks at a time. The toolkits were funded by California utility payers through their local utility companies, the release states.

• The Palo Alto side of the San Francisquito Creek Trail will be closed until the end of the year between East Bayshore Road and Geng Road as part of a flood protection project that started last June. The San Francisquito Creek Joint Powers Authority Flood Protection Project includes excavating decades of sediment build-up in the channel, new flood walls where private property constrains the channel, widening the channel by building a new levee through the Palo Alto Golf Course, and rebuilding the existing levee adjacent to East Palo Alto homes, according to the city of Palo Alto.

The Peninsula Humane Society & SPCA this week has been celebrating its volunteers, who have logged a million hours of work since the opening of the Center for Compassion in Burlingame. According to spokeswoman Buffy Martin Tarbox, more than 1,400 volunteers have turned out to help with all aspects of animal care and administrative duties. “I have been volunteering three days a week at the shelter helping to care for and socialize cats since 2011”, said PHS/SPCA volunteer Judi Richards. “Coming into the Peninsula Humane Society to volunteer with the cats is one of the highlights of my week.” April 23-29 is National Volunteer Week, and PHS/SPCA has been treating volunteers to cookies and other sweet treats, thanks to the Crystal Springs Chapter of the National Charity League. To learn more, visit www.phs-spca.org.

SCHOOL NEWS

• Fourteen local students have been named to Phi Kappa Phi, a national collegiate honor society: Menlo Park’s Andrew Olson (Westmont College); Mountain View’s Anastassiya Bronnikova (San Jose State), Sim Pham (San Jose State), Stewart Bond (San Jose State), Uriel Mendoza Maldonado (San Jose State), Viralkumar Rathod (San Jose State), Donna Vega (San Jose State) and Laura Yedra Ibarra (San Jose State); Palo Alto’s Amanda Brown (San Jose State); Redwood City’s Rachel Gryn (San Jose State), Alexandra Naeve (San Jose State) and Ximena Arenas (San Jose State); and San Carlos’ Dominic Gialdini (San Diego State) and Patrick Rubens (San Jose State).

• The Palo Alto Unified School District has expanded its successful Tutor Corps elementary tutoring program to socio-economically disadvantaged students, according to Superintendent Max McGee. Fourth- and fifth-grade students at Addison, Ohlone and Walter Hays were selected to participate in a pilot after-school Writing Foundations Tutor session. The program at Addison started with six students on April 10 and Ohlone selected eight students starting April 24. The district used Title One funds to start the endeavor.