Tue09162014

News

Council approves directional signs for Los Altos' Woodland Plaza

Council approves directional signs for Los Altos' Woodland Plaza


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
The Los Altos City Council last week approved the installation of two new directional signs on Foothill Expressway pointing motorists to the Woodland Plaza Shopping District.

The Los Altos City Council voted unanimou...

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Schools

New head of curriculum’s ideologies align with LASD

New head of curriculum’s ideologies align with LASD


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Edsel Clark, new Los Altos School District assistant superintendent for curriculum and instruction, above, facilitates a junior high mathematics curriculum meeting last week.

Edsel Clark, Ed.D., new assistant superintend...

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Community

Closing reception caps Foothill photo show on rural China

Closing reception caps Foothill photo show on rural China


From IncredibleTravelPhotos.com
Jacque Kae’s “Mischievous” is one of the many photographs on display at Foothill College this month.

Photographs of the land and culture of Huangshan and Zhangjiajie, China, are on exhibit through Sept. 26 at t...

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Sports

Spartans shine in opener

Spartans shine in opener


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Mountain View High’s Frank Kapp snares a touchdown pass from quarterback Owen Mountford in Friday’s win.

Leading by a point at halftime, the Mountain View High football team outscored visiting Del Mar 20-0 the rest of...

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Comment

A look ahead to the Nov. 4 election: Editorial

Election season is upon us. In Los Altos, we have three major local races ahead – two seats on the Los Altos City Council, and three seats each on the Los Altos School District and Mountain View-Los Altos Union High School District boards of tr...

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Special Sections

Renovation complete,  Villa Siena looks to future

Renovation complete, Villa Siena looks to future


Above and Below Photos Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier; Left Photo Courtesy of Villa Siena
Villa Siena in Mountain View recently underwent a $35 million face-lift. The five-year project expanded their senior living community’s space and ability to serv...

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Business

Transitioning from postage to pets

Transitioning from postage to pets


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
A new Pet Food Express store is scheduled to open at the Blossom Valley Shopping Center this month.

A site that previously existed to meet postal service needs will soon have an entirely different purpose – serving pe...

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Books

‘The Humans’ transcends alien genre to glean human insights

‘The Humans’ transcends alien genre to glean human insights


A good story about aliens is always great fun to read – after all, it’s only by attempting to understand the human race from another perspective that we can see ourselves more objectively.

But readers who might be tempted to dismiss ye...

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People

JEANNE PACKARD

After suffering a stroke in May, Jeanne Packard died August 10, 2014 at age 83. She was born in 1931 in Berlin, Germany, the only child of Emily Channel and Frank Howe Packard of Chicago, IL. Jeanne is survived by 5 great grandchildren. She was a lon...

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Travel

LA photographer spends a night with cranes – and moose – in Alaska

LA photographer spends a night with cranes – and moose – in Alaska


Sandy Powell/Special to the Town Crier
Los Altos resident and bird photographer Sandy Powell recently visited Homer, Alaska, to photograph Sandhill cranes, below. While there, Powell also encountered moose, left.

Los Altos resident Sandy Powell, a...

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Stepping Out

'Trailer Park' opens in Los Altos

'Trailer Park' opens in Los Altos


Courtesy of Los
The cast of Los Altos Stage Company’s “The Great American Trailer Park Musical” includes, from left, Mylissa Malley as Lin, Vanessa Alvarez as Betty, and Christina Bolognini as Pickles. Altos Stage Company

Los Altos Stage Company...

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Spiritual Life

9/11 survivor Michael Hingson finds purpose

Imagine walking down 78 flights of stairs – 1,463 individual steps. You are in imminent danger as you walk, unsure whether you can make it out of the building before it collapses or explodes. Struggling for each breath, you smell the heavy sten...

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Magazine

Los Altos Hills home showcases resort-inspired living

Los Altos Hills home showcases resort-inspired living


Courtesy of Spectrum Interior Design
In place of a more traditional fireplace, this modern living room features a linear-flame firebox that emits heat while offering a sculpturelike design element.

After traveling the world and visiting a host...

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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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