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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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Medical marijuana rides into LA on questionable conveyances

Photo Photos By Elliott Burr/Town Crier

Marshall Barker, above, a Buddy’s Cannabis employee in San Jose, inspects a recent shipment of marijuana.

Despite city bans on medical marijuana dispensaries, the pot market is thriving in Silicon Valley. Ever-expanding collectives are literally driving through loopholes, using delivery services to provide members with their medicine – a phenomenon that has arrived in Los Altos.

Shade of Green Collective (SoGC), founded by seven medical cannabis patients in their mid-20s, has 100 members – two from Los Altos. But SoGC is just one of several independent delivery services based in Santa Clara County that have declined to release information on their clients.

Eight mobile cannabis businesses advertise with WeedMaps.com, a commercial listing of dispensaries, and another 18 enlisted as members of California NORML, a non-profit organization devoted to legalizing marijuana. In addition, there are unlisted services that rely solely on word-of-mouth advertising and brick-and-mortar stores that offer delivery.

Of the latter, 20 percent of Buddy’s Cannabis’ 1,200-member collective are locals, said owner Matt Lucero.

According to Los Altos police, however, such transactions violate city code. Two ordinan-ces, passed Dec. 8 by a 4-0 Los Altos City Council vote, prohibit the operation of medical marijuana dispensaries within city limits. The regulation defines a dispensary as “any facility or location, whether fixed or mobile” distributing medical cannabis to eligible patients.

“If they’re making deliveries in Los Altos, then that would be a business transaction,” Police Capt. Andy Galea said. “Someone with the intent to come into Los Altos to deliver medical marijuana would clearly be in violation of the city ordinance.”

Galea said state laws – under the 1996 Compassionate Use Act (Proposition 215) and the 2003 Medical Marijuana Program Act (SB 420) – prevent cities from prosecuting individual use of medical cannabis but not distribution. Cities retain the authority to determine how land is used.

While Galea said city regulations clearly restrict delivery services as well as storefronts, many mobile dispensaries are not aware that they’re breaking the law.

“We wanted to do everything the right way,” said Devin Baggett, a SoGC founder. “So we were patient, we did our research (and) we waited for other organizations to see how they fared in the industry.”

Baggett said he had been interested in gathering a collective since 2004, but SoGC did not begin official plans for its symbolic April 20 opening until last year.

A majority of delivery services, whether independent or attached to a stationary dispensary, follow the conservative route, double- and triple-checking business operations to cover every gray area in state and city laws.

Even Lucero, who gained notoriety for knowingly opening shop in Sunnyvale in violation of city ordinances, adopted a more cautious approach at his new location in San Jose, the third move in just four months. Lucero verifies doctors’ recommendations by calling both the doctors’ offices and the California Medical Board. Buddy’s limits purchases to 0.02 grams over a seven-day period.

Delivery-service owners are not the only ones confused. Medical marijuana lawyers and city attorneys also find it difficult to give a definite answer regarding the legality of these mobile pot shops.

Baggett said the lawyers they consulted could not agree, and Los Altos City Attorney Jolie Houston said she wasn’t certain if the ordinance included delivery services based outside the city.

“We have not banned delivery services,” Houston said of Los Altos.

Independent delivery services may be short-lived, however, said Lauren Vazquez, county representative for Americans for Safe Access, the largest national membership of medical marijuana supporters.

“Deliveries are a compromise,” Vazquez said. “It’s not really what patients want. It’s harder to check out the collection, (and) you’re stuck with what they bring to your house.”

She predicted that such medical marijuana sources would naturally take a backseat to storefronts once they become legalized.

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