The Barron Park Association

Jul 062016

Many of you may already know about the passing on June 19, 2016 of Ken Arutunian, a former Barron Park neighbor, who designed Bol Park and was active for many years in the BPA and in many significant local issues. An article about him and how he moved a 2-story house to Matadero Ave. in 1968 is in the BPA Summer 2016 newsletter. We send condolences to his family and his friends.

Jul 032016

As many residents know, the City of Palo Alto is working on a 25-year Parks, Trails, Open Space and Recreation Master Plan for Palo Alto, including Bol Park. For each park, the city is proposing a variety of upgrades in response to today’s requirements and interests of our population, and the city has been reaching out to ask for community input and feedback on the proposals (e.g., community workshop on 2/11/16, community meeting on 5/25/16, online review at the above website, and more to come).

Overall, this is an exciting long-term development for our city, even as some of the concrete proposals for Bol Park may not fit our environment (e.g., the heritage of this park). In order to ensure organized involvement, the Board of the Barron Park Association has authorized the formation of a committee to study this issue, prepare a response, and work with the city to ensure appropriate upgrades that reflect community-wide concerns. The board appointed long-time resident and former BPA President Dick Placone as chairperson.

Dick will reach out with further information in the coming days and weeks. We are hoping for wide-spread input and participation, from long-time residents to newcomers, and from our youth to families to senior residents, reflecting the diverse community of our neighborhood using this park. We believe that we need to strive for a balance between remembering our past and providing for today’s needs. And, while Bol Park will be the focus, we believe that it may also make sense to think beyond it, in particular to Juana Briones Park and “Strawberry Hill” (the triangle area on the edge of Gunn’s property), where some of the proposed features could be implemented. Note that there is plenty of time, as even the short-term work is scheduled for around a 5-year time frame.

Further options to be involved is to provide feedback to the city online and to attend some of the community meetings. You can also sign up for emails from the city to stay involved and updated with the city’s process.

Markus Fromherz
BPA President

Jun 122016
By Vickie Martin, Barron Park Zero Waste Block Leader


We all want to be good stewards of our resources.  Zero Waste Palo Alto can help! Have questions about what goes where: black cart, green cart, blue cart? Would you like to borrow a “party pack” with reusable napkins, silverware, and plastic plates, cups, & bowls? (One party pack has enough for 24 place settings, but it is possible to borrow from multiple neighborhoods for larger events.) Want tips for reducing junk mail? Curious about how can you safely dispose of hazardous wastes or old prescriptions? For answers to these questions and many more, visit the Zero Waste Palo Alto website:
Or contact one of your neighborhood Zero Waste Block Leaders:
1. Annette Puskarich
 (Zero Waste/Recycling Questions)
2. Karen Saxena
(Party Pack Reservations)
3. Vickie Martin
(Zero Waste/Recycling Questions & Party Pack Reservations)
Jun 032016

The next bi-monthly senior lunch will be a picnic in Bol Park at 1:00 pm with Driftwood Deli delivering box lunches consisting of a sandwich, chips, cookies, fruit and a drink, all for the low price of $10.  We are able to order ahead of time to pick our choice of the sandwich and drink.

We bring our own chairs and sit on level ground in a shady area and always enjoy the casual atmosphere of the park and sounds of the birds.

If you are interested in joining us, please either call Julie Spengler at 493-9151 or email by Friday, June 10th, so we can make a name tag for you and place your order.

Hope to see many of you there.

May 092016

May Fete Pole photo_Page_06


Come and enjoy live musicians and dancers. They will perform all afternoon, with a Maypole dance at 2:30. Bring the family and a blanket and make a picnic of it. Hamburgers, Hot Dogs and Snacks will also be for sale. Wear ribbons. There will also be games and crafts for the children, donkeys and donkey art, and the history exhibit. Activities will include face painting for children, donkey parade and more!

The May Fete is a volunteer effort. If you’d like to help and volunteer, or if you’d like to propose a display or activity, contact the event organizer, Sarah Van Zanten at or the volunteer coordinator, John King at Looking forward to seeing you there!

Screen Shot 2016-05-09 at 8.17.21 AM

Apr 242016

Barron Park Association celebrated its first Holi Festival on March 26th, 2016. Over 200 people joined in a fun filled warm and sunny afternoon in appealing lush green surroundings of Bol Park to share vibrant colors, laughter and joy to welcome Spring!

Few of the comments we received from our contented visitors say it all:

“Very nice. It was amazing to play Holi in such a fun setting after so many years. Kudos to Barron Park organizing team and everyone else for their spirit”.

“Hello Baron Park community, thanks so much for organizing this Holi get together! We and all our friends and family I talked to thoroughly enjoyed Holi today. Everything was very well done from food to color distribution etc. Please continue involving other Palo Altans in the future years – We promise we will also assist you next time!”

Enjoy the videoclip (courtesy: Mandar Borkar), that captures the joyous moments of the event:

Apr 072016

The Spring issue of the quarterly BPA newsletter, which goes to all residents of Barron Park, just came out. I hope you enjoyed this amazing collection of articles about people, events, and developments in our community. (If you didn’t get it, you can find an electronic copy on this site.)

Are you a member of the Barron Park Association? If yes, you are one of the roughly 450 residents who support the BPA’s many activities and receive all four quarterly newsletters, not just this one.

If you are not a member, you are still benefiting from the BPA’s various community events, such as the May Fête, Movie in the Park, the Meet and Learns, monthly Community Happy Hours, and our cultural diversity events (like the very popular Lunar New Year and Diwali celebrations). You are also benefiting from the BPA’s advocacy on traffic, development, and environmental issues. All of these are just the latest of the continuing activities in the BPA’s over 60 years of community engagement. (Did you know that the BPA was instrumental in creating Bol Park, in ensuring flood control for Barron Park, and other community improvements of lasting change?) The BPA is playing a key role in making our neighborhood fun and safe.

So if you are not a member, we would like to invite you to become one. Just use this site to sign up. Please support your neighborhood association. Almost 10% more of your neighbors decided to join the BPA last year, but we are missing you!

If you are a member, please drop me a note about what it is that you enjoy about the BPA (email to: president at bpapaloalto dot org). And then tell me what more we should be doing as a community. We are one of the most active associations in Palo Alto, but I know there is more that we can do. I hope to hear from you!

Apr 032016

The next Senior Lunch will be on Tuesday, April 12, 2016 at 1:00 PM at the Corner Bakery. It is located at 3375 El Camino Real at the corner of Fernando where the Boston Market used to be, with plenty of parking either in front or behind the restaurant.

The Corner Bakery is cafeteria style so you will each pay for your own selection at the counter, and they will deliver your order to the table when it is ready. The prices are modest and there are no tips involved. You can look at the menu in advance by going to

If you are interested in joining us, please email Julie Spengler at or call 493-9151 by Friday, April 8th so we can make a name tag for you. Changes in plans can be made up until 10 AM the morning of the lunch by calling Rosemary Jacobsen at 493-9152.

Looking forward to seeing many of you there.

Jan 302016

Our bi monthly senior lunch will be on Tuesday, February 9, 2016, at 1:00 pm at Da Sichuan Chinese restaurant, located at 3781 El Camino Real, with easy access to the parking lot at the back entrance by turning off El Camino at Curtner and making an immediate left into the lot.

The cost for lunch will be $15, including tax and tip, and we are served a total of 8 dishes.

We need to make reservations by Friday, Feb. 5th, so let us know as soon as you can if you are interested in joining us by either calling me (Julie) at 493-9151 or emailing me at

We look forward to having a great group of seniors, as usual.

Nov 272015

There will be a senior lunch on Tuesday, December 8, 2015 at Cibo’s restaurant, 3398 El Camino Real,  at 1:00 PM.

The cost is $21 and includes tax, tip and a drink.  Menu choices have to be pre ordered, so anyone interested in getting the details, please contact Julie Spengler at 493-9151 or email at juliespengler at

Reservations have to be in by Friday, Dec. 4th, so let us know your plans as soon as possible.

As usual, we will be in the private room at Cibo’s and our neighborhood couple, Gary and Jena, will entertain us with accordion music and lead us in a Christmas sing along.  We always look forward to this event to get into the Holiday spirit.

Hope to see many of you there.