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Best of 2015: Top stories on Palo Alto Pulse

Tira and Gillian, Camp Iris Way counsellors (photo by Palo Alto Pulse)

2015 was a big year for Palo Alto Pulse! We launched a new site and published almost 100 stories on topics ranging from entrepreneurs and artists, to restaurant reviews, to editorials and profiles of Palo Alto residents who are making a difference. It’s been fun to see our audience grow and to learn what draws the interest of people in our diverse community.

For 2016, we are excited to keep writing about the many fascinating events, ideas and people that make Palo Alto such a cool place to live. But first…a look at the most popular stories on Palo Alto Pulse in 2105.

Best of 2015: the 10 most read stories on Palo Alto Pulse 

Camp Iris Way: This story about a ‘free range’ neighborhood summer camp created by two parents was a huge hit, with over 150 “likes” on Facebook. And it’s no wonder- co-founders Diana Nemet and Jenn Antonow not only started a wonderful summer tradition for kids, they also helped forge lasting community connections for people of all ages in their Palo Alto neighborhood.

Diana Nemet and Jen Antonow, founders of Camp Iris Way (photo by Palo Alto Pulse)

Diana Nemet and Jen Antonow, founders of Camp Iris Way (photo by Palo Alto Pulse)

WOVIN: WOVIN is a new Palo Alto company that offers free pick up for all kinds of clothing and textiles and aims to both decrease landfill and increase value for nonprofit fundraising. Our story about WOVIN led to a campaign called #purgebeforeyousplurge, which netted over 120 bags of donations in December from Palo Alto.

The ‘old’ Creamery: The “old” Creamery on Channing Street in Palo Alto has been owned and operated by the Santana family since 1932, always keeping the same focus on unpretentious, friendly service, great food and a welcoming vibe. The actual creameries that used to produce ice cream may be long gone from downtown Palo Alto, but the original Creamery restaurant is a community treasure whose popularity continues on.

Peninsula Creamery's James Santana still operates the business with his dad John Santana

Peninsula Creamery’s James Santana still operates the business with his dad John Santana

Editorial: 5 Ways Palo Alto Can Ease the Housing Crisis Now: With home and commercial prices soaring in Palo Alto, readers were interested in the ideas put forth from Palo Alto Forward about how Palo Alto City Council could work to increase the availability of affordable housing in the area.

Palo Alto Rallies for Gun Control: Coming off the terrible events in San Bernandino and Paris, people marched down University Avenue on December 13th to show their support for tougher gun control laws. Despite the wet weather, this gun control rally drew a big crowd, and the story on Palo Alto Pulse had over 170 likes on Facebook.

Palo Alto residents took to the streets (well, University Ave) to advocate for gun control. Photo by Nana Chancellor

Palo Alto residents took to the streets (well, University Ave) to advocate for gun control. Photo by Nana Chancellor

HanaHaus in Palo Alto Offers Innovation… and Great Coffee: Written by one of Palo Alto Pulse’s high school contributors, this story about the new cafe in downtown Palo Alto owned by SAP drew a lot of interest from people who were curious about just how innovative a latte could be (answer: very, as this cafe offers a new way to network and work in a coffee house setting…)

Visitors with one of the Beam employees “inside” a robot

Beam Store Gives Palo Alto a Glimpse into a Robotic Future: The Beam store on University might look like another boring tech startup from the outside, but our visit showed that the Beam robots are a cool new way to travel and connect.

The View from Lesbos- How Palo Alto Can Help Syrian Refugees: This interview with Palo Alto human rights activist Amy Rao about her visit to Lesbos shed light on the difficulty of landing on this rocky Greek island and described how a team of Spanish lifeguards are providing essential support to help get refugees safely to shore.

photo by Amy Rao

Syrian refugees on Lesbos. photo by Amy Rao

Brown is the New Green in Palo Alto: With the drought raging during the summer of 2015, Palo Alto responded by letting lawns go brown. Green grass became suspect as homeowners and the city embraced the idea that #brownisthenewgreen.

Editorial: 10 Reasons Why Palo Alto Should Vote Yes on Measure A: With Palo Alto’s parcel tax up for renewal in 2105, Palo Alto Pulse laid out the reasons why this funding is essential to ensure a strong future  for our local public schools. Measure A passed by a comfortable margin and Palo Alto Pulse is grateful to the citizens who lead this important effort.

And if you enjoy Palo Alto Pulse…help us spread the word!

Thanks for reading Palo Alto Pulse and being part of our journey to create a new media platform for the community. If you enjoy our stories, please subscribe, spread the word, like us on Facebook and send us your ideas. And if you want to try writing for  Palo Alto Pulse, we’d love to hear from you– beginners welcome!



About the author

Victoria Thorp

Victoria Thorp

Victoria is the founder and editor of Palo Alto Pulse and has lived in Palo Alto since 2007. Victoria's diverse professional background includes working as the editor of , as a senior writer for KIPP and Teach for America, and as a radio producer for City Visions on KALW (91.7FM San Francisco). She is a graduate of Leadership Palo Alto and a member of the Palo Alto Partners in Education Advisory Board.

She has a BA in English from Tufts University and Masters in Education and Secondary Teaching Credential in English from UCLA.