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News

Reaching readers: Library makes strides to attract new cardholders

Reaching readers: Library makes strides to attract new cardholders


Megan V. Winslow/Town Crier
Patrons of the Los Altos main library may soon benefit from expanded hours. Santa Clara County Library District and North County Library Authority representatives were expected to mull additional evening and weekend hour...

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Schools

MVLA board honors longtime trustee

MVLA board honors longtime trustee


Courtesy of MVLA
Santa Clara County Supervisor Joe Simitian honors outgoing Mountain View Los Altos Union High School District Trustee Susan Sweeley at the Nov. 21 MVLA board meeting.

The Mountain View Los Altos Union High School District Board of ...

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Community

Los Altos resident's passion for Girl Scouts results in 2016 exemplary leadership award

Los Altos resident's passion for Girl Scouts results in 2016 exemplary leadership award


Courtesy of the Miner family
Petere Miner’s Girl Scouts award recognizes volunteers who serve as “exceptional models for girls and adults and have had an extraordinarily profound impact on girls’ lives through their empowerment of those girls.”
&n...

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Sports

St. Francis swept out of playoffs

St. Francis swept out of playoffs


Megan V. Winslow/Town Crier
St. Francis High’s Brigitte Canty leaps to make a kill in Saturday’s playoff match against Valley Christian. She led the Lancers with 12 kills.

After the Lancers let leads slip away in the first two sets, ther...

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Comment

In search of trees: Other Voices

There weren’t any trees. That’s how it looked to me when I arrived at Stanford University. I had come with a fellowship for a doctorate in modern British history. Home was in Missouri, college in New York, both were in river valleys. I was used to an...

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Special Sections

Holidays by design: Los Altos company provides  seasonal decorating service

Holidays by design: Los Altos company provides seasonal decorating service


Megan V. Winslow/ Town Crier
Amy Fischer of Spectrum Interior Design decorated Los Altos resident Katie Beers’ living room for the holidays last week.

Don’t worry if you have no time to shop for unique holiday decor, decorate Christma...

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Business

Recent renovation keeps  Spangler business at home

Recent renovation keeps Spangler business at home


megan v. winslow/Town Crier
The Spangler Mortuary in Los Altos, built in the 1950s, has been in the Spangler family for three generations.

Spangler Mortuary recently underwent a full renovation at its Los Altos location on San Antonio Road. A ribbon...

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People

ATTELLIA ANN BERG

ATTELLIA ANN BERG

Attellia Ann Berg age 94, a resident of Los Altos and Mt. View, CA from 1965 – 2016 and most recently of Santa Fe, New Mexico passed away early Tuesday morning, November 15, 2016. After struggling valiantly in recent years with the crippling effect...

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News

Reaching readers: Library makes strides to attract new cardholders

Reaching readers: Library makes strides to attract new cardholders

Megan V. Winslow/Town Crier
Patrons of the Los Altos main library may soon benefit from expanded hours. Santa Clara County Library District and North County Library Authority representatives were expected to mull additional evening and weekend hours this month.

It’s a lofty goal – obtain the h...

Readmore

Business

Recent renovation keeps Spangler business at home

Recent renovation keeps  Spangler business at home

megan v. winslow/Town Crier
The Spangler Mortuary in Los Altos, built in the 1950s, has been in the Spangler family for three generations.

Spangler Mortuary recently underwent a full renovation at its Los Altos location on San Antonio Road. A ribbon-cutting ceremony held early this month underscore...

Readmore

Sports

St. Francis swept out of playoffs

St. Francis swept out of playoffs

Megan V. Winslow/Town Crier
St. Francis High’s Brigitte Canty leaps to make a kill in Saturday’s playoff match against Valley Christian. She led the Lancers with 12 kills.

After the Lancers let leads slip away in the first two sets, there was no turning back. The momentum belonged to vi...

Readmore

Community

Los Altos resident's passion for Girl Scouts results in 2016 exemplary leadership award

Los Altos resident's passion for Girl Scouts results in 2016 exemplary leadership award

Courtesy of the Miner family
Petere Miner’s Girl Scouts award recognizes volunteers who serve as “exceptional models for girls and adults and have had an extraordinarily profound impact on girls’ lives through their empowerment of those girls.”
 

You could say Petere Miner is a Girl Scout...

Readmore

Comment

In search of trees: Other Voices

There weren’t any trees. That’s how it looked to me when I arrived at Stanford University. I had come with a fellowship for a doctorate in modern British history. Home was in Missouri, college in New York, both were in river valleys. I was used to an environment of deciduous trees: maples, elms, oak...

Readmore

Spiritual Life

'Junkyard Wisdom': Businessman shares story of wealth, generosity

What can you learn working in a junkyard? According to Roy Goble, quite a lot.

He learned hard work. He learned about business. And he came across a diverse group of people. His junkyard experience also launched him into a career that led to a great deal of wealth.

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People

ATTELLIA ANN BERG

ATTELLIA ANN BERG

Attellia Ann Berg age 94, a resident of Los Altos and Mt. View, CA from 1965 – 2016 and most recently of Santa Fe, New Mexico passed away early Tuesday morning, November 15, 2016. After struggling valiantly in recent years with the crippling effects of osteoarthritis, she is free from the challeng...

Readmore

Schools

MVLA board honors longtime trustee

MVLA board honors longtime trustee

Courtesy of MVLA
Santa Clara County Supervisor Joe Simitian honors outgoing Mountain View Los Altos Union High School District Trustee Susan Sweeley at the Nov. 21 MVLA board meeting.

The Mountain View Los Altos Union High School District Board of Trustees honored one of its own last week.

Susan ...

Readmore

Special Sections

Holidays by design: Los Altos company provides seasonal decorating service

Holidays by design: Los Altos company provides  seasonal decorating service

Megan V. Winslow/ Town Crier
Amy Fischer of Spectrum Interior Design decorated Los Altos resident Katie Beers’ living room for the holidays last week.

Don’t worry if you have no time to shop for unique holiday decor, decorate Christmas trees, make garlands and untangle and hang the o...

Readmore

Stepping Out

A 'Geek' tragedy

A 'Geek' tragedy

Courtesy of Pear Theatre
Pear Theatre’s “Geeks vs. Zombies” runs through Dec. 18.

In a departure from standard Christmas fare, the Pear Theatre presents “Geeks vs. Zombies,” a gory funfest by the creator of “Super Villain!,” a hit at the Pear two holiday seasons ago.

“Geeks” is slated to previ...

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Obituaries

ATTELLIA ANN BERG

ATTELLIA ANN BERG

Attellia Ann Berg age 94, a resident of Los Altos and Mt. View, CA from 1965 – 2016 and most recently of Santa Fe, New Mexico passed away early Tuesday morning, November 15, 2016. After struggling valiantly in recent years with the crippling effects of osteoarthritis, she is free from the challeng...

Readmore

Magazine

Holidays in the heat: Commemorate Christmas south of the equator

Holidays in the heat: Commemorate Christmas south of the equator

Courtesy of Camping
Patrons of Camping, a restaurant in Buenos Aires, enjoy the warm weather during last year’s holiday season.

When I relocated from Mountain View to Buenos Aires in July, I knew I’d be stepping into winter. I packed my rain boots and heavy coat, and I set aside my longing for a p...

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Church schools’ enrollment increase rejected


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

The Los Altos City Council narrowly rejected a request from Union Presbyterian Church to amend its use permit to expand enrollment at the two schools on its site.

The Los Altos City Council last week narrowly voted against an enrollment increase request of 20 students by two private schools located at Union Presbyterian Church.

The council voted 3-2 against a combined enrollment bump from 100 to 120 students by Heritage Academy, a K-6 elementary school, and University Child Development Center (UCDC), a preschool. Heritage Academy sought an increase of 14 students, and UCDC wanted a six-student bump. Mayor Jarrett Fishpaw and Councilwoman Jeannie Bruins cast the two votes in favor of the request.

The request – which would have required an amendment to the church’s existing use permit – came after the council turned down a similar 2011 proposal by the schools, which resulted in an enrollment cap of 100 students.

Heritage Academy Principal Marilyn Davidson told the council the combined school expansion was necessary “for a successful business model.” She called the schools “a resource for families needing alternative education.”

“For viability and to pay our teachers a living wage in Silicon Valley, we are requesting that those 20 students be added,” said Davidson, adding that Heritage Academy’s enrollment of Los Altos students has increased from 20 to 29 percent since 2011.

Davidson said the schools, located at 858 University Ave., took steps to minimize traffic impacts since their last request. She pointed to staggered onsite drop-off and pickup times for students and noted that 38 percent of the schools’ families carpool to the site daily, as do one-third of faculty members.

“An increase of 20 students will not be 20 (more) cars because of carpooling and all of the families that are involved,” said Davidson, who added that several neighborhood children and adults use the church’s playground and other facilities.

“I don’t think that the neighborhood is going to be impacted by 20 additional kids,” said Union Presbyterian Church elder Ted Brown. “The church won’t be impacted by it – but 20 kids will. It’ll make a big difference to 20 kids and their families.”

Mixed public reaction

A handful of neighbors told the council they were wary of the schools’ request, citing the potential for increased traffic and noise.

“I like to see kids get educated in Los Altos, but I don’t want increased traffic, I don’t want increased noise and I don’t want increased pollution,” said Herbert Fong, a 40-year neighborhood resident.

Madonna Way resident Sangum Desai said the church was behaving “like a commercial enterprise” and that more students would negatively impact traffic. He noted that approval would be a “historically unprecedented burden on the neighborhood with really no benefit to our local community at all.”

Los Altos resident Richard Jackson, who has sons enrolled in both schools, countered that with more families calling Los Altos home, an increase was necessary to meet demand.

“For me, it’s a simple question of: How is the council going to respond to the growing needs of the community? There is a need for more education,” Jackson said.

Split council

Ultimately, the council’s vote appeared to echo the split opinions offered by neighborhood residents and school parents.

Bruins said the school had made “positive changes” since its 2011 request, with Fishpaw adding that the findings “strongly supported” the 20-student increase.

“I think the school has worked very hard with the parents to try and be good neighbors,” said Bruins, a Los Altos Planning Commissioner at the time of the church’s 2011 request. “I think they heard the feedback last time loud and clear. … I am inclined to support this. I do believe things have changed since this was before me as a planning commissioner.”

Councilwoman Val Carpenter, however, said that while she values diversity in education, she was equally “troubled by having the neighborhood negatively impacted by the traffic and noise created by nonresidents.”

At the time of the initial request in 2011, Carpenter unsuccessfully sought a cap at 90 students before voting for the 100-student limit. She noted that a traffic report for the church’s 2011 request was flawed, because existing conditions “understated the impact that the neighborhood already incurred.”

Carpenter added that the 6-acre church site might meet the “pressing need for a location for Bullis Charter School,” suggesting a potential land swap between the church and the Los Altos School District.

“For myself personally, I would much rather impact the neighbors for a local public school – and of course, 95 percent of current BCS students live within the Los Altos School District – rather than a private school whose students don’t really live in Los Altos,” she said.

Councilwoman Megan Satterlee, meanwhile, cited the schools’ staggered start times and efforts to mitigate its traffic impacts as a boon, calling the lack of opposition from neighbors not immediately near the school “a material change from two years ago.” Still, she noted that her decision came down to balancing competing interests and that her 2011 no vote hadn’t changed.

“I think the school has worked really hard to be a good neighbor, and I appreciate that, and I think that has had success in what we’re seeing today,” she said. “But it still on balance doesn’t change my mind.”

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The Town Crier welcomes letters to the editor on current events pertinent to Los Altos, Los Altos Hills and Mountain View. Write to us at 138 Main St., Los Altos 94022, Attn: Editor, or email editor Bruce Barton at bruceb@latc.com. Because editorial space is limited, please confine letters to no more than 200 words. Include a phone number for verification purposes. Anonymous letters will not be printed.

You can also have your say right here at losaltosonline.com – scroll to the bottom of any story to add a comment. 

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