Wed04012015

News

Council eyes bond for Hillview center

Council eyes bond for Hillview center


The Los Altos City Council accepted an $87.5 million cost model for its preferred layout for replacing Hillview Community Center. 

Residents could cast their votes as soon as November on a bond measure to partially fund the redevelopment of...

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Schools

Oak students showcase creativity in Destination Imagination competitions

Oak students showcase creativity in Destination Imagination competitions


Courtesy of Jane Lee Choe
The Sharp Cheddars, a team of Oak Avenue School sixth-graders, perform at the Destination Imagination state competition Saturday in Riverside.

A team of seven Oak Avenue School sixth-graders traveled to Riverside last week...

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Community

Heising-Simons Foundation relocates to 400 Main St. property in Los Altos

Heising-Simons Foundation relocates to 400 Main St. property in Los Altos


Bruce Barton/Town Crier
All in the family: Mark Heising, from left, Caitlin Heising and Elizabeth Simons make up the board of the eight-year-old Heising-Simons Foundation, now in its new headquarters at 400 Main St. in downtown Los Altos.

The He...

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Comment

What would Bob do?: Editorial

The recent passing of an extraordinary Los Altos resident, Bob Grimm, has generated a range of heartfelt reaction, from sympathy to fond memories, from all corners. That’s because Bob did not discriminate in his desire to help others with his money, ...

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Special Sections

Cars that are right on track

Cars that are right on track


Courtesy of BMW
The BMW M4 is packed with power, featuring 425 horsepower and 406 pound-feet of torque.

There’s nothing more fun than driving a responsive automobile that feels alive in the curves and eager to go when given more than a touch ...

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Business

First Street's 'Fort Knox' up for sale

First Street's 'Fort Knox' up for sale


Megan V. Winslow/Town Crier
The Los Altos Vault and Safe Deposit Co. is on the market for $4.5 million. Its fortified steel and concrete structure has been compared to the U.S. Federal Reserve’s gold depository.

A downtown Los Altos structure “b...

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Books

'Pope Joan' Book weaves tale around legend of female pontiff

'Pope Joan' Book weaves tale around legend of female pontiff


The idea that there may have a female pope at one time in history has generated much speculation throughout the centuries. “Pope Joan” (Crown, 1996) by Donna Woolfolk Cross, does not answer the question; rather, the author has created a detai...

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People

JOHN BATISTICH

JOHN BATISTICH

John Batistich of Los Altos Hills died peacefully on March 12 surrounded by his family. John is survived by his wife Claire Batistich (Vidovich) of 67 years and children Gary Batistich of Lodi and Gay Batistich Abuel-Saud of Menlo Park. He is also ...

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Travel

Eat, hike, soak: Cavallo Point Lodge offers Marin experience

Eat, hike, soak: Cavallo Point Lodge offers Marin experience


Eren Göknar/ Town Crier
Cavallo Point Lodge comprises former U.S. Army buildings, like the Mission Blue Chapel, repurposed for guests seeking a luxurious getaway.

It used to be a place where batteries of soldiers lived, with officers’ quarter...

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Stepping Out

'Fire' ignites in Mtn. View

'Fire' ignites in Mtn. View


Courtesy of Kevin Berne
The cast of “Fire on the Mountain,” includes, from left, Tony Marcus, Harvy Blanks, Molly Andrews and Robert Parsons.

TheatreWorks is slated to present the regional premiere of the musical “Fire on the Mountain” this wee...

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Spiritual Life

Spiritual Life Briefs

Oshman JCC hosts Judaism and Science Symposium

The Oshman Family Jewish Community Center has scheduled its inaugural Judaism and Science Symposium, “An Exploration of the Convergence of Jewish & Scientific Thought,” 5 p.m. April 12 at the JCC’s ...

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Magazine

Food for thought: Hidden Villa programs offer teens training in sustainability on the farm

Food for thought: Hidden Villa programs offer teens training in sustainability on the farm


/Town Crier It’s not all cute and cuddly for teens participating in the eight-week Animal Husbandry Apprenticeship program at Hidden Villa in Los Altos Hills. Mia Mosing of Palo Alto, left, and Sophia Jackson of Los Altos clean the pigpens – one of...

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Solar – a step-by-step alternative: Smaller and affordable installations make green energy viable

Photo Courtesy Of Jose RadzinskyFor property owners who want to try solar power without a substantial monetary investment, Renewable Power Solutions Inc. offers step-by-step alternatives such as a six-panel installation on the roof of a garden shed.

For homeowners considering installing solar panels but wary of the expense, Jose Radzinsky, president and CEO of Renewable Power Solutions Inc., suggests starting with a baby step: install just a few panels, enough to power one or two appliances, to determine whether solar power is the best choice.

Renewable Power Solutions offers an affordable introduction to solar power. As an alternative to its full-scale installations, the company installs three to six solar panels, enough to generate approximately 1.2 kilowatts of electricity. Later, if the homeowner is satisfied with the results from the first installation, Solutions can continue to expand the system in small steps.

According to Radzinsky, the cost depends somewhat on the roof type. Composition or wood shingles are easy to work with, he said, but tile roofs are more complicated. Before rebates, the cost varies from approximately $7,200 to $7,500, with the after-rebate price approximately $5,000. The only factor likely to prevent a rebate would be a tax lien on the property. Renewable Power Solutions charges the customer the after-rebate price, then the company prepares the rebate paperwork and keeps the rebate check when it comes.

Tax incentives and energy-bill savings would eventually offset the $5,000 cost of the installation, Radzinsky said, with expected electricity-bill savings totaling $35-$40 per month. The 1.2-kilowatt system would power one or two appliances, depending on the amount of power the homeowner draws.

Homeowners would still pay PG&E for electricity, but a lower amount. These are “grid-tie” systems – electricity generated from the solar panels would be delivered to the PG&E power grid via a meter and make the meter spin backward, or at least go forward more slowly. That is, the homeowner would receive financial credit for making power and would reduce his or her carbon footprint.

The power the solar panels generate would not be stored, and the homeowner would remain dependent on PG&E’s power grid. If PG&E power goes down, National Electric Code safety restrictions would prevent the solar panels’ inverters from delivering power, even to the owners of solar-powered setups. The grid-tie system is the most common installation type. The more expensive alternative, the backup power system, stores electricity in batteries for emergencies.

“We are trying very hard to make solar and being green affordable,” Radzinsky said.

For more information, call (408) 998-7400 or visit www.RPS-Solar.com.

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