Mon12222014

News

Council seeks more options for community center

Council seeks more options for community center


Town Crier File Photo
The Los Altos City Council approved an appropriation to examine options for a new community center to replace the aging Hillview facility.

The Los Altos City Council last week voted narrowly in favor of examining further opti...

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Schools

Local schools participate in  national Hour of Code activities

Local schools participate in national Hour of Code activities


Ellie Van HOutte/Town Crier
Himan Shu Raj, a volunteer from Microsoft, advises Los Altos High ninth-graders, from left, Serhat Suzer, Jamie Bennett and Chris Yang as they participate in the school’s Hour of Code Showcase.

Local schools participa...

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Community

Take a dive into the holiday archive

Take a dive into the holiday archive

Town Crier staff made a quick cruise back through the newspaper's archives to find some late-December reading as inspiration for eating, drinking, decorating and more:

Beloved holiday books build the spirit of the season and staff at Los Altos’ Li...

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Sports

Pinewood poised for another title run

Pinewood poised for another title run


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Pinewood’s girls basketball team is receiving contributions from several new players, including freshman Stella Kailahi, above.

Complacency shouldn’t be a problem for the defending Division V state champion Pinewood S...

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Comment

Letters to the Editor

Ticket motorists for U-turns on Main Street

As I was walking downtown on Main Street recently, something came to me out of the blue. The town of Los Altos is missing out on a huge revenue stream. I realized that if all the cars – there were th...

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Special Sections

Looking Ahead

Looking Ahead


s in line to be mayor of Mountain View in 2015.

Mountain View anticipates the following changes in 2015:

• Beginning Jan. 1, Mountain View City Councilmembers will receive a raise to $1,000 per month as a result of the passage of Measure A in...

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Business

Your 2015 stock market game plan

It’s been a maddening month because of oil and gas, especially in stocks and bonds. Then, consumer spending pushed stocks higher Thursday, easing investors’ jitters about the global economy and prompting them to consider how to invest in ...

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Books

Gawande's

Gawande's "Being Mortal" proves an important book on aging


Books about death and dying are usually not on my list of “must reads.”

I couldn’t resist, however, the best-selling “Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End” (Metropolitan Books, 2014) by Atul Gawande.

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People

SANGEETA SACHDEVA

SANGEETA SACHDEVA

Sangeeta Sachdeva, 55, wife of Subhash Sachdeva and mother to Natasha and Tanya, died at 8:54pm, Sunday, December 7, 2014 from respiratory failure.

Sangeeta was born on October 18, 1959 in Delhi, India. She was born to Moti Sagar and Raj Kapoor an...

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Travel

South Tahoe renovations enhance off-mountain seasonal fun

As any enthusiast knows well, there is more to the enjoyment of winter sports than skiing or snowboarding.

While many winter resorts make minor upgrades each season, the off-mountain attractions and amenities can be as enticing as the activities on ...

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Stepping Out

Aurora Singers to emit 'Musical Glow' Friday

Aurora Singers to emit 'Musical Glow' Friday


courtesy of Aurora Singers
The Aurora Singers are scheduled to perform a seasonal concert Friday night in Palo Alto.

The Aurora Singers’ “Winter’s Musical Glow” holiday concert is set for 7 p.m. Friday at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Pal...

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Spiritual Life

Enter the superhero: Finding the God who loves you

In my life-coaching practice, I see a lot of pain. Much of it stems from fear and guilt, often expressed as low self-esteem, anxiety, a lack of forgiveness both for oneself and others, anger – and so on.

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Magazine

Christmas At Our House home tour celebrates 26 years

Christmas At Our House home tour celebrates 26 years


Courtesy of Christopher Stark
Homes on the St. Francis High School Women’s Club’s Christmas at Our House Holiday Home Tour showcase a variety of architectural styles.

The days grow short on sunshine but long on nostalgia as the holidays approach...

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Editorial: Propositions 1A-1F: No is right answer

It’s not easy to say no. A part of us wants to find real and reasonable solutions to the state budget crisis. We can easily blame our legislators for irresponsible spending, but the fact remains, we voted them in. And, of course, the economy has not been cooperative. In many ways, their spending reflected what many citizens have continued to do: spend and borrow, only to lose their jobs and homes as the economy turned sour.

What to do? We think state Propositions 1A-1F, on the May 19 ballot, are not the answers. All six come in the aftermath of our frazzled legislators’ finalizing the budget last February - seven months late. The propositions as a whole bid to raise our taxes over four years (1A) while shifting pots of money promised for preschool education (1D) and mental health services (1E) into the general fund to make up a multibillion-dollar deficit. Meanwhile, 1C would promote more gambling on the state lottery and commits future profits toward the general budget. 1F prevents legislator pay raises during deficit years.

1A is plainly deceptive. Calling for "restrictions on the state budget process," it would establish a 12.5 percent reserve fund to "stabilize" the budget and restrict spending even in good economic years. Sounds responsible. But the increased state taxes recently passed would be extended another two years under 1A. Then, in a cynical effort to get 1A support from the powerful state teachers' union, legislators added "Education Funding. Payment Plan" under 1B, which requires supplemental payments to school districts to address recent budget cuts. But the Legislature, as the League of Women Voters pointed out, can restore education funds on its own, in a more straightforward way. Because 1B is tied to 1A, passage is moot if 1A goes down.

1C is especially egregious, allowing the state to issue $5 billion in bonds that it would borrow from future lottery profits. Considering the state's poor credit rating, this could be easier said than done. Not only does it take money from education, 1C also gives $1 million a year to the state Office of Problem Gambling. Huh?

1D and 1E are shell games, taking money from children and the mentally ill to fund the general budget while creating the illusion that these groups would still be adequately funded. Short-sighted and clearly stopgap approaches, these measures deserve your dismissal.

1F is a gratuitous, populist move that promises no pay raises to legislators during budget deficit years. We say no here. A better proposal might be no pay for anybody in the State Capitol for each day past budget deadline.

So what is the solution? As far as we can tell, the best option is old-fashioned belt-tightening and living within our means. It simply means painful cutting until we have a balanced budget. Then we work hard to build a better economy and avoid the spending sprees of boom budget years that made our state go bust.

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