Mountain View Voice

News - April 16, 2010

News Briefs

Palo Alto Bowl gets new owner, lease

The historic Palo Alto Bowl in south Palo Alto will get a new owner May 1 and its lease is being extended to 2014, according to new owner Rhythm Smith and a representative of the San Jose-based Barry Swenson Builder.

"We've extended the lease," Aaron Barger, senior development manager at Swenson, confirmed Tuesday when asked about a reported delay in redevelopment of the site at 4309 El Camino Real.

Rhythm Smith, currently general manager of the bowling alley, told the Weekly that she has purchased the business from current owner Rex Golovic, who operates two other bowling alleys in San Mateo and Daly City. She said the lease-extension arrangements have been completed and that she will become owner as of May 1.

The Thai Garden restaurant in front of the bowling alley is part of the business and will remain, she said.

New hotel OK'd for Palo Alto Baylands

Palo Alto's newest hotel will soon overlook the city's Baylands after the City Council quickly and enthusiastically gave the project a green light Monday night.

The council voted 8-0 to approve a proposed four-story hotel and restaurant for the site of Ming's Chinese Cuisine & Bar at 1700 Embarcadero Road, near E. Bayshore Road. Ming's would be demolished and rebuilt as part of the project.

The project spells good news for the cash-strapped city, which is facing an $8.3 million budget gap in fiscal year 2011. Hotel taxes, which are one of the city's few revenue streams, plummeted by more than 10 percent between fiscal years 2008 and 2009.

Hidden Villa celebrates 50 years

Hidden Villa, the 1,600-acre education center, working farm and wilderness preserve nestled in Los Altos Hills, celebrated its 50th anniversary as a nonprofit last Saturday, April 10.

Purchased by the Duveneck family in 1924 and incorporated into a nonprofit organization in 1960, Hidden Villa has grown into one of the community's leading havens for environmental education, sustainable agriculture and programs for kids of all ages, races and economic backgrounds. Today the villa hosts around 30,000 formal participants and 20,000 casual visitors annually, and offers a residential-intern program.

"It's a real gem," Hidden Villa's Marc Sidel said. "Having the space and land accessible for all types of people in such a beautiful place with so much history, it's unique."

Saturday's celebration included animal introductions, crafts, nature games, gardening and a panel discussion featuring family heir David Duveneck.

— Palo Alto Weekly

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