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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Window closing on state tax credit

The window is closing for prospective California homebuyers to apply for a state tax credit. Earlier this year, legislators created two state tax-credit programs, each allotted $100 million.

As of last week, one of the programs received more applications for tax credits than funded, lowering, but not eliminating, the possibility of more first-time homebuyer credit allocations being issued.

The first state tax-credit program offers a $10,000 credit to first-time homebuyers who purchase homes between May 1 and Dec. 31. The second offers a $10,000 tax credit to buyers who purchase newly built homes after May 1 and before Aug. 1.

“Buyers need to be aware that the funds for the state’s tax-credit programs are limited, that there are specific requirements for each program and that they need to act quickly to take advantage of this opportunity,” said Jeff Bell, president of the Silicon Valley Association of Realtors.

According to the California Franchise Tax Board (FTB), as of June 29, the state has received more than 7,000 new-home credit applications, amounting to only $50 million of the $100 million allotment, and approximately 21,000 first-time buyer applications, amounting to slightly more than the $100 million allotment.

The numbers are estimates, according to the FTB. The board is still accepting applications, because it expects that a number of duplicate, revised or invalid applications will be denied.

Buyers are eligible for the first-time buyer program if they haven’t owned a home in California for three years prior to the purchase date. The property must be eligible for the California property-tax homeowner’s exemption and occupied as the principal residence for a minimum of two years immediately following the purchase.

Buyers are eligible for the new-home credit if the home they purchase is a single-family home or condo that has never been occupied. The same tax-exemption eligibility rules apply.

The state tax credits are available for buyers who purchase a qualified principal residence on or after May 1 and before Jan. 1 – the purchase date is defined as the date escrow closes. If funds are still available, additional credit can be allocated for taxpayers who purchase a qualified principal residence on or after Dec. 31 and before Aug. 1, pursuant to an enforceable contract executed on or before Dec. 31. Those who received a new-home tax credit in 2009 are ineligible to apply for the state-tax credit.

Homebuyers may apply for the credit by faxing applications no more than 14 calendar days after escrow closes. The tax credit is allocated on a first-come, first-served basis, based on the time and date the faxed application is received. The cutoff date for applications will be posted on the FTB Web site 24 hours prior to going into effect, to give applicants time to fax their applications.

State tax credits are limited to the lesser of 5 percent of the purchase price or $10,000 for a qualified principal residence. Taxpayers must apply the total tax credit in equal amounts over three successive tax years – with a maximum of $3,333 per year – beginning with the tax year in which the home is purchased.

Tax credits cannot reduce regular tax below the tentative minimum tax. The tax credits are nonrefundable, and unused credits cannot be carried over.

For more information, visit www.ftb.ca.gov.

The Silicon Valley Association of Realtors provided information for this article. For more information, e-mail Rose Meily at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

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