Fri02122016

News

SPLAT targets data, outreach as airplane noise continues

SPLAT targets data, outreach as airplane noise continues


Graphic courtesy of Don Gardner
Activists claim that a new SFO flight path leaves a “sound shadow” that impacts Los Altos and Los Altos Hills.

Sky Posse Los Altos Team – more simply known as SPLAT – seeks to squelch the noise...

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Schools

Los Altos High student-run charity plans '5 Gallon Gala'

Los Altos High student-run charity plans '5 Gallon Gala'


Courtesy of Lia Evard
Water by Youth members gave Egan students a chance to carry a 40-pound Jerry can, to see how difficult it is to obtain water in developing nations.

Water by Youth, a club at Los Altos High School, is making a splash by pla...

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Community

What would you do with a box of cookies? Local Girls Scouts help Tanzanian orphanage

What would you do with a box of cookies? Local Girls Scouts help Tanzanian orphanage


Courtesy of Alicia Madden
Sales of local Girl Scout cookies support service projects, such as funding an orphanage in the village of Mto wa Mbu in Tanzania.

Girl Scout cookies – whether you think of them as a treat, a tradition or a diet comp...

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Sports

Scoreless spells sink LA boys

Scoreless spells sink LA boys


Megan V. Winslow/Town Crier
Los Altos High point guard Nolan Brennan attempts a shot in Friday’s game versus Palo Alto. He scored eight points in the loss.

There have been several games this season in which the Los Altos High boys basketball t...

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Comment

New 'York' values

New 'York' values


Hughes

 

As we have witnessed California suffer through one of its worst droughts in history over the past few years, all of us, I’m sure, have been keenly aware of our surroundings and have done a small part in trying to conserve wa...

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Special Sections

Getting a charge  out of the Volt

Getting a charge out of the Volt


Courtesy of Chevrolet
The 2016 Chevrolet Volt can be driven up to 50 miles on the power stored in its batteries.

Just five years ago, we wondered in this column what the power supply would be for the car of the future. Gasoline, diesel, electric ba...

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Business

Nearing V-Day: Shops stock sweets, treats

Nearing V-Day: Shops stock sweets, treats


Megan V. Winslow/Town Crier
Los Altos resident Ella Roosakos, 11, with her mother, Gail, puzzles over which Gourmet Works sweets to buy as a valentine for Ella’s friend.

The gift-buying rush isn’t exclusive to Christmas. It may jump over...

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People

ALAN RODNEY MILLS

ALAN RODNEY MILLS

Alan Rodney Mills, PhD, 83, of Los Altos passed away peacefully on Saturday, January 30th, 2016. He was born in Rochdale, England in 1933 and came to California in 1962. He was a proud alumni of Manchester Grammar in England, University of Liverpoo...

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Stepping Out

PYT 'Gets Famous'

PYT 'Gets Famous'


Lyn Flaim Healy/Spotlight Moments Photography
Renee Vetter of Palo Alto, left, and Megan Foreman of Los Altos star in Peninsula Youth Theatre’s “Judy Moody Gets Famous.” Performances are scheduled Friday and Saturday.

Peninsula...

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Spiritual Life

A time to prepare: Fasting for Lent isn't limited to food

 

Today is Ash Wednesday, which in the Christian calendar marks the beginning of Lent – the 40 days of preparation for Resurrection Sunday, otherwise known as Easter.

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Inside Mountain View

New right-to-lease ordinance promises relief for renters

New right-to-lease ordinance promises relief for renters


Mountain View Tenants Coalition/Facebook
Residents gather in the fall to protest Mountain View’s rising rents. Rent relief is on the way in the form of a new ordinance.

A controversial Mountain View law requiring landlords to provide lease opt...

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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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