Mon05042015

News

Water district reps address LAH concerns over project taxation

Water district reps address LAH concerns over project taxation

 Gary Kremen

Los Altos Hills residents, city councilmembers and even the Santa Clara Valley Water District Board chairman have protested taxes for water the district doesn't deliver.

"We're getting taxed for something we're not receiving, ...

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Schools

Homestead students use projects  to solve environmental problems

Homestead students use projects to solve environmental problems


Alisha Parikh/Special to the Town Crier
Homestead High School junior Maya Dhar, a Los Altos resident, left, and classmate Carolyn MacDonald support the school’s AP Environmental Science classes at the Arbor Day Festival April 23.

As summer appro...

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Community

Slideshow: Los Altos Live!

More than 20 acts performed to a soldout crowd Saturday at Los Altos High School's Eagle Theater for the seventh annual "Los Altos Live!" talent show. The show featured an eclectic range of acts, including rock bands, singers, dancers and the Broad...

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Sports

St. Francis swimmers shine

St. Francis swimmers shine


Megan V. Winslow/Town Crier
St. Francis High’s Benjamin Ho competes against Sacred Heart Cathedral Thursday. The junior swam on all three victorious relays at the home meet, which the Lancers won easily.

Flexing its power in the pool, host St....

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Comment

Halsey House deserves preservation: Other Voices

Halsey House deserves preservation: Other Voices


Many contributing supporters to the Friends of Historic Redwood Grove believe that the Halsey House, designated a historic landmark by the Los Altos City Council in 1981, deserves to be saved and renovated for adapted use by the community.

Set in ...

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Special Sections

Sneaky shots: A photographers guide to capturing the proposal

Sneaky shots: A photographers guide to capturing the proposal


Elliott Burr/Special to the Town Crier
A stealthy photographer scouts locations ahead of time to find not just a place to perch, but also the ideal position for the subjects.

It’s showtime.

You’re about to ask the person in front of you to spen...

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Business

Pharmaca celebrates grand opening over weekend

Pharmaca celebrates grand opening over weekend


Megan V. Winslow/Town Crier
Pharmaca is coming to 400 Main St. with a grand-opening celebration scheduled Saturday and Sunday.

If natural health and beauty products are your cup of tea, expect to find them – and hot tea – this weekend at the gran...

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Books

People

JANE BUTTERFIELD PRINGLE LYND

JANE BUTTERFIELD PRINGLE LYND

October 30, 1924 - April 8, 2015

Jane Butterfield Pringle Lynd, daughter to Liebert and Elise Butterfield of San Francisco, passed away quietly at her home in Palo Alto surrounded by her family, following a short illness. Jane was a proud third ge...

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Travel

Cuba libre: Local residents join mad rush of travelers

Cuba libre: Local residents join mad rush of travelers


Natalie Elefant/Special to the Town Crier
Los Altos resident Natalie Elefant noted the vibrant street performances as a traveler in Cuba.

The U.S. restored diplomatic relations with Cuba late last year, enabling Americans to import $100 worth of cig...

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Stepping Out

'Birds' landing in Mtn. View

'Birds' landing in Mtn. View


Ray Renati/Special to the Town Crier
The Pear Avenue Theatre production of Paul Braverman’s “Birds of a Feather” stars Troy Johnson as mafia boss Sean Kineen, left, and Diane Tasca as private eye Frankie Payne.

Pear Avenue Theatre’s world premi...

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Spiritual Life

Magazine

Practice prudent pruning: Maintaining manzanita, ceanothus and toyon

Practice prudent pruning: Maintaining manzanita, ceanothus and toyon


tanya kucak/Special to the Town Crier
Shrub manzanitas are known for their sinuous mahogany trunks and branches. If the foliage hides the bark, prune selectively to open the center so that the bark is visible year-round. This Montara manzanita is ...

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Inside Mountain View

Up to the challenge: Local leaders unite to help at-risk youth

Up to the challenge: Local leaders unite to help at-risk youth


Courtesy of Challenge Team
Jeanette Freiberg, bottom of pile, has fun with family members. The Challenge Team named Freiberg, a student at Mountain View High School, its 2015 Youth Champion.

There’s an ongoing joke among members of the Challenge...

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Council offers support for library-tax renewal


Photo By: Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Photo Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier

Sophia Chen browses the stacks at the Los Altos main library Monday. The Los Altos City Council voted to support renewal of the Santa Clara County Library District tax.

The Los Altos City Council last week approved a resolution supporting a measure that would renew the soon-to-expire 20-year-old county library tax.

Councilmembers voted 5-0 June 25 to support ballot Measure A, scheduled for the Aug. 27 Special Election, which would extend funding for the Santa Clara County Library District for an additional 20 years at its existing annual rate of $33.66 per single-family home. The Los Altos Hills City Council also supported the measure with a unanimous vote June 20.

Voters in the library district, which includes the Los Altos main and Woodland Branch libraries, are slated to decide its fate via mail-in ballot. District members include Cupertino, Monte Sereno, Morgan Hill, Saratoga, Campbell, Gilroy, Milpitas and unincorporated areas of Santa Clara County.

The measure requires approval from two-thirds of voters to pass. Los Altos City Councilwoman Jan Pepper told the Town Crier that the measure would provide approximately $5.6 million in annual funds to the district.

“I think it’s great that the council supports it,” said Pepper, the city’s representative on the library district’s Joint Powers Authority Board. “The libraries are one of the more important assets that we have in our town. … This special tax represents 18 percent of the district’s (annual) budget.”

The council voted to support the measure after a presentation by Los Altos community librarian Jane Cronkhite noted that the tax would help district libraries maintain their current levels of service.

Specifically, Cronkhite listed ongoing needs such as maintaining library services and summer reading programs, retaining qualified staff and purchasing books and updated research materials. Without continued tax support, she added, local libraries would be forced to reduce hours by a day or more each week and potentially eliminate programming that benefits seniors, children and teens.

“There are more than 100,000 school-age and preschool children who attend library programs each year,” Cronkhite said during a prepared speech before the council. “School libraries are often open only a few days per week, making public libraries more important than ever for children’s education.”

Cronkhite added that the new measure would alter the way tax dollars are distributed among district members.

“Every Measure A dollar raised within the city is returned for the benefit and operation of the local library in that city,” said Cronkhite, who noted that the measure was not a tax increase, but simply a way to continue an existing level of support for the library district.

Under the soon-to-expire tax, the district applied a funding formula that equally weighs each member municipality’s population, property-assessed valuation and library circulation to allocate costs. The formula was a source of contention among some local officials, who claimed that cities received disproportionate amounts of funding compared to the tax dollars collected from Los Altos and Los Altos Hills residents.

Pepper reiterated Cronkhite’s assertion, noting that locally collected taxes would “go directly to the operations of the Los Altos and Woodland libraries” – an estimated sum of $636,000 for the upcoming fiscal year, should the measure pass.

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