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Uploaded: Mon, Dec 30, , pm. A portrait of Balbir Singh, 50, and Kamal Singh, 45, surrounded by candles and flowers at the site where they were killed by an alleged drunken driver on Chilco Street in Menlo Park. This was not a year reporters spent idling at their desks, desperate for news to write. On the contrary, brought a deluge of stories. Menlo Park struggled with growth pains; Woodside brainstormed how to grow.
Atherton took a large step toward better transparency. Local voters showed solid support for their elementary schools throughout the year, most dramatically in November, when hefty bond measures passed in two school districts. The Sequoia Union High School District will likely propose a bond measure as it attempts to accommodate a surge in enrollment. Going by news headlines, Menlo Park residents have seen the best and the worst sides of the city this year -- corruption, car crashes, accidents and drive-by shootings captured the city's attention, even as the recovering economy helped restore services, encouraged development and added jobs.
In January the Almanac broke the story of veteran detective Jeffrey Vasquez, who got his job back despite being fired for getting busted naked with a prostitute in a Sunnyvale motel room, and despite reportedly admitting it was not the first time he'd solicited a hooker for sex. Data obtained by the Almanac showed that the confidential binding arbitration process, carried out without any public disclosure, is broken: Arbitrators reduce or reverse public safety employee discipline approximately 50 percent of the time.
Officers in other cities fired for conducting inadequate investigations, drug use on duty, and other severe breaches of public trust were all reinstated, with the public none the wiser as to what had transpired. The Menlo Park City Council tweaked the arbitration process during contract negotiations with police unions this year, yet retained the binding clause.
Two crashes with different outcomes stood out: A year-old driver crashed into a pair of young twin brothers outside Walgreens on Santa Cruz Avenue on Oct. Bystanders rushed to help. Both boys are now home. Another accident, seven days later, had a tragic ending. The Menlo Park couple leaves behind three teenage children; the community rallied to create funds to help support them. All three victors disavowed campaign support from the firefighters' union, while Mr.