Tue09302014

News

Meet the Santa Clara Valley Water District Board of Directors candidates

Meet the Santa Clara Valley Water District Board of Directors candidates

Two candidates have filed to run for the District 7 seat on the Santa Clara Valley Water District Board of Directors in the Nov. 4 election. The water district, established in 1929, oversees and protects water resources in Santa Clara County....

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Schools

New LAHS assistant principal focuses on school activities

New LAHS assistant principal focuses on school activities


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Suzanne Woolfolk, assistant principal at Los Altos High, teaches a leadership course for Associated Student Body leaders.

Suzanne Woolfolk – new assistant principal at Los Altos High School – said she is happy...

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Community

Petting zoo, car show highlight Chamber's annual Fall Festival

Petting zoo, car show highlight Chamber's annual Fall Festival


Courtesy of Los Altos Chamber of Commerce
The petting zoo is a highlight of the Los Altos Fall Festival. This year’s event is slated Oct. 4 and 5.

The Los Altos Chamber of Commerce has scheduled its 23rd annual Fall Festival 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Oc...

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Sports

Burlingame bowls over Los Altos

Burlingame bowls over Los Altos


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Los Altos High halfback Sean Lanoza looks for running room against Burlingame in Saturday’s home opener.

The opening drive of Saturday’s game against Burlingame couldn’t have gone much better for the Los Altos High fo...

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Comment

Does Los Altos have a parking problem, or is it a symptom? : Other Voices

Yes, and yes. It appears that the downtown Los Altos parking problem is a symptom of the city’s “Sarah Winchester” approach to planning that instead of resulting in staircases to nowhere resulted in a hotel without parking required by code.(1)

From ...

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Special Sections

Los Altos landmark Four families later, Shoup House goes on the market

Los Altos landmark Four families later, Shoup House goes on the market


Courtesy of Matthew Anello
The Shoup House dining room, above, features original elements. The 100-year-old house on University Avenue earned a spot on the National Register of Historic Places, a nod to its legacy as the home of city founder Paul S...

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Business

Longtime banker readies for retirement

Longtime banker readies for retirement


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Joanne Kavalaris is retiring at the end of October after spending the past 25 years of her banking career in downtown Los Altos.

A longtime Los Altos banker is calling it a career in a few weeks.

Joanne Kavalaris, Bank o...

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Books

A woman's perspective on the Greatest Generation

A woman's perspective on the Greatest Generation


During World War II, Virgilia Short Witzel, a young mother and U.S. Navy officer’s wife, grappled on the home front in Menlo Park with wartime rationing, shortages and loneliness. During the ensuing Cold War, she experienced adventure and misadventur...

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People

VINCENT (TIM) MURPHY JR.

VINCENT (TIM) MURPHY JR.

July 27, 1953 – August 12, 2014

Native Los Altan died Medford, OR. Graduated Bellarmine Prep. Married Josephine Domino, 1950. Licensed Auto Mechanic, Private Pilot, skilled Computer Scientist. Tim “could fix anything”. Afflicted with cancer 2001. ...

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Travel

Taking a Turkey trek: Winging it during the World Cup

Taking a Turkey trek: Winging it during the World Cup


Rich Robertson/Special to the Town Crier
The sun sets over the Aegean Sea in Bodrum, Turkey, left.

Tours that whisk you from Istanbul to Bodrum in 11 days are as plentiful as souvenir hawkers in Turkey, but traveling from the Blue Mosque to Topkapi ...

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Stepping Out

Pear builds wonderful 'House'

Pear builds wonderful 'House'


J. Smith/Special to the Town Crier
Betsy Kruse Craig portrays Trish in the Pear Avenue Theatre production of “House,” which closes Oct. 5.

Mountain View’s Pear Avenue Theatre is staging an unusual theater-going experience – producing two plays...

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Spiritual Life

Magazine

Local events add color to autumn calendar

Local events add color to autumn calendar


Van Houtte/town crier Visitors make their way through the Children’s Alley.

As Los Altos’ signature Chinese Pistache trees exchange their summer green for vibrant hues of yellow, orange and red in the fall, an abundance of local events also ad...

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Court supports two-site facilities for BCS


Photo By:
Baier

A judge ruled last week that the Los Altos School District’s facilities allocation for Bullis Charter School, divided between two campuses, falls within state law.

Judge Mark Pierce of the Superior Court of California, County of Santa Clara, heard arguments June 20 regarding the 2013-2014 charter school facilities, which are split between Egan Junior High and Blach Intermediate school sites. The charter school’s legal team claimed that placing the school on noncontiguous sites did not comply with the state’s facilities law.

Ruling in favor of the district, Pierce stated that facilities regulations “do not require that a district reconfigure existing facilities simply because a charter school has a configuration not found at the district’s existing schools.” Bullis Charter School serves a K-8 population, while district campuses are configured to split elementary students (K-6) and junior high students (7-8).

The ruling also stated, “There is no requirement that a school district provide an offer of facilities to a charter school at only contiguous sites.”

In his decision, Pierce found that the school district did not abuse its discretion and ultimately denied the charter school’s motion in the lawsuit. Pierce is the seventh trial court judge in Santa Clara County since 2004 to rule in favor of the school district in rejecting the charter school’s legal challenge to its facilities allocation.

“The district spent countless hours considering public input and exploring different facilities options that balanced the needs of students attending district schools and Bullis Charter School,” said Los Altos School District Superintendent Jeff Baier. “We are grateful that the court took the time to absorb the extensive documentation and evaluate the issues in a relatively brief period of time.”

Reactions to the ruling

Doug Smith, president of the Los Altos School District Board of Trustees, said he was pleased with the rapid resolution from the court, but stressed that additional legal facilities matters are still pending.

“During the hearing, Judge Pierce expressed his dismay that so much money and time is being spent on litigation,” Smith said. “We couldn’t agree more. We urge Bullis Charter School to abandon this path of expensive and ultimately fruitless litigation and work with the district and community to find a long-term facilities solution to our growing population of public school students.”

Joe Hurd, member of the Bullis Charter School Board of Directors, said the charter school pursues litigation to defend the best interests its students.

“Engaging in legal battles with the Los Altos School District has never been our first choice, but when we have repeatedly seen (the district) act in a manner that is incongruent with the best interests of our students and refuse to engage in meaningful negotiations to remedy such mistreatment, our only option is to use litigation to prevent further manipulation and infringement,” he said.

Hurd added that charter school officials agreed with the court’s position that the parties should work via mediation and negotiation to find a way to share public facilities, which is why “Bullis Charter School proposed the 2012 mediation and worked hard to support the framework agreement the parties reached at that time.”

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