Sun09142014

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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State allocations put Foothill-De Anza district budgets in jeopardy

Enrollment of full-time equivalent students (FTES) increased 6 percent during the summer session and 5 percent during the fall quarter at the Foothill-De Anza Community College District. The state was unable to address the rapid growth in numbers of community college students, which resulted in 1,700 unfounded FTES.

"When we deal with unfounded FTES that means the state has not paid for them and we are unable to support them," said Vice Chancellor Mike Brandy, who added that the district had to absorb $1.4 million in support programs. "We had enough money in the ending balance to cover this, but we will have looming problems ahead of us."

The ending balance in the general fund on June 30 was about $19 million. Of that amount, portions were used to meet the 5 percent reserve target, purchase orders and departmental carry-overs. The adopted budget for 2002-03 reflects a forecasted operating deficit of about $5.1 million.

Strategies to address this deficit include an orderly discussion of the target for reduction and actual cuts needed to balance the budget, Brandy said.

Federal changes in visas created a decrease in nonresident students as well as a decrease in funding by about $615,000. Nonresident revenue is not turned over to the state like regular tuition.

Measure E for $248 million in general obligation bonds was approved by voters in November 1999, and the first $100 million was exercised in June 2000. In October 2002, the district refinanced the bonds to take advantage of lower interest rates. This action resulted in additional income to the Measure E bond program. It is expected that the second installment of bonds to be issued will occur in late 2003 or early 2004.

The initial planning phase of Measure E is in full swing. The first major new building (the Science Center at De Anza) is under construction, and the next 24-month period will be the most intense period of planning and construction during the Measure E program.

"The governor's budget in January can revise a lot of things with shortfalls, but there is a lot of uncertainty before the end of the year," Brandy said. "It appears the state will operate at a $21.2 billion deficit next year and for years will be at a $16 million deficit."

Brandy said one large concern about the state budget is that a number of one-time funding sources were used to balance the 2002-03 budgets, leading to speculation about midyear reductions as well as significant reductions in the 2003-04 allocations.

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