Thu05282015

News

LASD opens registration for online strategy sessions

As the Los Altos School District plans how to spend its $150 million in Measure N bond funds, its initial goal is to broaden community input.

Following an April 22 meeting, the district is casting a wider net in the hopes of soliciting feedback from...

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Schools

Students discuss academic, social pressure in CHAC forum

Students discuss academic, social pressure in CHAC forum


Traci Newell/Town Crier
Community Health Awareness Council hosted a forum earlier this month where local students discussed the varied pressures they face.

Local students face enormous pressures in their lives, ranging from academic to social, but s...

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Community

Alan Alda discusses career, family and science at the Celebrity Forum

Alan Alda discusses career, family and science at the Celebrity Forum


Alda

Those who laughed along with Hawkeye Pierce on the long-running TV program “M*A*S*H*” would have enjoyed the recent Foothill College Celebrity Forum Speakers Series featuring actor Alan Alda.

Alda appeared May 13-15 at the Flint Center for...

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Sports

Eagles, Spartans advance

Eagles, Spartans advance


Town Crier file photo
Los Altos High’s Lizzy Beutter registered three hits in last week’s playoff win over Watsonville. She was also the winning pitcher.

Led by Lizzy Beutter, host Los Altos High whipped Watsonville 9-0 in the opening ro...

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Comment

Giving the thumb to what's done: Editorial

In the wake of recent Los Altos-area news events, we’re all thumbs.

Thumbs-down: To the Los Altos City Council’s decision to put the Walter Singer bust in storage. This is wrong on so many levels – even worse than the initial council decision to tra...

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Special Sections

Planting is possible despite drought

Planting is possible despite drought


Tanya Kucak/Special to the Town Crier
Wash the soilless mix off the root ball into the same container in which you have placed the clay soil from the planting hole. Remove at least an inch from the top and sides of the plant.

In this continuing dro...

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Business

Los Altos-based startup eyes digital makeup color-matching

Los Altos-based startup eyes digital makeup color-matching


Alicia Castro/Town Crier
Kokko Inc. Makeup Director Meli Pennington, standing, tests different shades of foundation on Los Altos resident Karen Melchior.

Meli Pennington knows cosmetics.

She has painted faces for the pages of Vogue and Glamour,...

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Books

Horan's 'Loving Frank' offers fictionalized account of famed architect's illicit affair

Horan's 'Loving Frank' offers fictionalized account of famed architect's illicit affair


In the 1920s, two married people fall in love, leave their spouses and children and set about living and traveling together. Affairs of this sort were considered shocking at the time. But the scandal was heightened given that the man was Frank Lloy...

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People

GUY WILSON SHOUP

Guy Wilson Shoup, 80, died on April 28, 2015, at his Palo Alto apartment, after a long period of ill health. Born on November 22, 1934, to Margaret Owen Shoup and to Jack Wilson Shoup (the second son of Paul Shoup, widely considered the founder of Lo...

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Travel

Flying south for the winter: Antarctica trips are not just for the birds

Flying south for the winter: Antarctica trips are not just for the birds


Photos Courtesy of Dave Hadden
Los Altos residents Dave and Joan Hadden watched the scenery from the large boat and a smaller Zodiac.

Standing on the beach with hundreds of thousands of penguins is “the experience of a lifetime,” according to Ga...

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Stepping Out

LA Stage Co. goes to 'town'

LA Stage Co. goes to 'town'


courtesy of Los Altos Stage Company
The Los Altos Stage Company production of “Urinetown: The Musical” opens this weekend.

The Los Altos Stage Company caps its 19th season with the musical comedy “Urinetown: The Musical,” scheduled to preview Th...

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Spiritual Life

Mercifully in His grip: Exploring our true position in Christ

I recently read a wonderful analogy about our true position in Christ. It was shockingly contrary to the messages impressed upon me in church, but deeply rooted in the Bible. The analogy is that of child and a parent. If you have ever taken a small ...

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Magazine

Practice prudent pruning: Maintaining manzanita, ceanothus and toyon

Practice prudent pruning: Maintaining manzanita, ceanothus and toyon


tanya kucak/Special to the Town Crier
Shrub manzanitas are known for their sinuous mahogany trunks and branches. If the foliage hides the bark, prune selectively to open the center so that the bark is visible year-round. This Montara manzanita is ...

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Inside Mountain View

Editorials

Considerations over going solar

Los Altos Hills officials have bent over backwards to push solar energy on residents. They have an extensive solar system installed at the new Town Hall. They offer incentives for residents who go solar.

So it’s curious that the town faced legal action recently over - of all things - restricting solar equipment installations.

Facing such action from Akeena Solar, a solar installation company, city councilmembers agreed to waive a costly variance fee until the town could find middle ground with regulations that restrict such equipment within property setbacks. Solar applicants had to pay a stiff variance fee if their equipment was outside setback limits.

We understand the town's perspective that setback restrictions are in place so that one resident's solar installation doesn't create an eyesore for his neighbors.

"We want to make sure someone doesn't put a 27-foot something right next to their neighbor's fence," said Mayor Jean Mordo. "It's to avoid the look of a dense community."

Town attorney Steven Mattes pointed out than more than 100 solar installations over the past two years have taken place without incident, and indicated the town's setback restrictions – side and backyard 30-foot setbacks and 40 feet in the front yard – are reasonable. Akeena Solar representatives argued to the contrary, and noted a state solar law could trump town setback restrictions.

Residents shouldn't go through needless red tape to install a system, and if the town sees a pattern of people canceling solar installations, then there's something wrong. But what about applicants opting for less obtrusive panels that are effective for the energy-saving residents and easy on the eyes for their view-loving neighbors? For instance, there already are photovoltaic panel designs that look like regular roof tiles, but have the functionality of a solar panel.

Perhaps the town can consider changes to current regulations. But this seems to us a problem that better – and evolving – solar technology can solve.

Congrats on a great town picnic

Amid dealing with solar setbacks and balancing budgets, Los Altos Hills leaders deserve a terrific salute for the successful Town Picnic served up last Sunday to local residents. The crowd estimated at 1,900 enjoyed a perfect summer afternoon of music, free food and beverages, a 52 rare cars display and best of all, very short speeches.  Sponsored by the town's Community Relations Committee chaired by Roy Woolsley, the event at the new Purissima Park came off without a hitch. Congrats.

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