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The Daily brief: Aug. 25, 2010


Stanford's conservation plan is up for more review. (File/The Stanford Daily)

Land use | The Dish trails now attract 500,000 visitors annually compared to “maybe 300,000 or 400,000” a decade ago, says Charles Carter, director of Stanford Land Use and Environmental Planning. His comments come in a long Stanford Report feature on the Dish just as a habitat conservation plan for Stanford’s land is up for an extended period of public review, set to end Aug. 30. Under the plan, the federal government would allow Stanford to “take,” or harm, endangered species as Stanford develops its land — development that, in the past, has included paving the Dish trails, for example. In return, Stanford would agree to minimize or mitigate its impact on species. Five species found on Stanford land would be protected under the plan. “It’s a contentious process,” said Philippe Cohen, director of Jasper Ridge Biological Preserve, in May. “Still, if there is no HCP, everyone loses — the species, Stanford, the students and staff.”

$2.15 million | That is the revenue boost Ravenswood City School District gets from students returning from two now-closed charter schools in the district, including one run by Stanford, a district official said this week. The district faced a $1.8 million budget deficit in May, a month after trustees voted not to extend Stanford’s charter. The relationship underscores what some call a conflict of interest in the state’s charter-school laws. “We’re all working toward the same end, but oftentimes it becomes competitive,” said Superintendant Maria de la Vega in December.

Hospital expansion | Officials from Portola Valley, Menlo Park and San Mateo County told the city of Palo Alto they have concerns about the environmental impacts of the proposed Stanford hospital expansion, including traffic congestion and housing prices. Meanwhile, Stanford has been lobbying state legislators to extend the deadline to meet state earthquake safety codes, reports the San Francisco Business Times.

Overheard | “Y Combinator’s demo day keeps growing and growing…”

Elizabeth Titus was editor in chief of Volume 238 of The Stanford Daily, serving from July 2010 to January 2011. Contact her at