Tue09162014

News

Council approves directional signs for Los Altos' Woodland Plaza

Council approves directional signs for Los Altos' Woodland Plaza


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
The Los Altos City Council last week approved the installation of two new directional signs on Foothill Expressway pointing motorists to the Woodland Plaza Shopping District.

The Los Altos City Council voted unanimou...

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Schools

New head of curriculum’s ideologies align with LASD

New head of curriculum’s ideologies align with LASD


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Edsel Clark, new Los Altos School District assistant superintendent for curriculum and instruction, above, facilitates a junior high mathematics curriculum meeting last week.

Edsel Clark, Ed.D., new assistant superintend...

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Community

Closing reception caps Foothill photo show on rural China

Closing reception caps Foothill photo show on rural China


From IncredibleTravelPhotos.com
Jacque Kae’s “Mischievous” is one of the many photographs on display at Foothill College this month.

Photographs of the land and culture of Huangshan and Zhangjiajie, China, are on exhibit through Sept. 26 at t...

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Sports

Spartans shine in opener

Spartans shine in opener


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Mountain View High’s Frank Kapp snares a touchdown pass from quarterback Owen Mountford in Friday’s win.

Leading by a point at halftime, the Mountain View High football team outscored visiting Del Mar 20-0 the rest of...

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Comment

A look ahead to the Nov. 4 election: Editorial

Election season is upon us. In Los Altos, we have three major local races ahead – two seats on the Los Altos City Council, and three seats each on the Los Altos School District and Mountain View-Los Altos Union High School District boards of tr...

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Special Sections

Renovation complete,  Villa Siena looks to future

Renovation complete, Villa Siena looks to future


Above and Below Photos Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier; Left Photo Courtesy of Villa Siena
Villa Siena in Mountain View recently underwent a $35 million face-lift. The five-year project expanded their senior living community’s space and ability to serv...

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Business

Transitioning from postage to pets

Transitioning from postage to pets


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
A new Pet Food Express store is scheduled to open at the Blossom Valley Shopping Center this month.

A site that previously existed to meet postal service needs will soon have an entirely different purpose – serving pe...

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Books

‘The Humans’ transcends alien genre to glean human insights

‘The Humans’ transcends alien genre to glean human insights


A good story about aliens is always great fun to read – after all, it’s only by attempting to understand the human race from another perspective that we can see ourselves more objectively.

But readers who might be tempted to dismiss ye...

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People

JEANNE PACKARD

After suffering a stroke in May, Jeanne Packard died August 10, 2014 at age 83. She was born in 1931 in Berlin, Germany, the only child of Emily Channel and Frank Howe Packard of Chicago, IL. Jeanne is survived by 5 great grandchildren. She was a lon...

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Travel

LA photographer spends a night with cranes – and moose – in Alaska

LA photographer spends a night with cranes – and moose – in Alaska


Sandy Powell/Special to the Town Crier
Los Altos resident and bird photographer Sandy Powell recently visited Homer, Alaska, to photograph Sandhill cranes, below. While there, Powell also encountered moose, left.

Los Altos resident Sandy Powell, a...

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Stepping Out

'Trailer Park' opens in Los Altos

'Trailer Park' opens in Los Altos


Courtesy of Los
The cast of Los Altos Stage Company’s “The Great American Trailer Park Musical” includes, from left, Mylissa Malley as Lin, Vanessa Alvarez as Betty, and Christina Bolognini as Pickles. Altos Stage Company

Los Altos Stage Company...

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Spiritual Life

9/11 survivor Michael Hingson finds purpose

Imagine walking down 78 flights of stairs – 1,463 individual steps. You are in imminent danger as you walk, unsure whether you can make it out of the building before it collapses or explodes. Struggling for each breath, you smell the heavy sten...

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Magazine

Los Altos Hills home showcases resort-inspired living

Los Altos Hills home showcases resort-inspired living


Courtesy of Spectrum Interior Design
In place of a more traditional fireplace, this modern living room features a linear-flame firebox that emits heat while offering a sculpturelike design element.

After traveling the world and visiting a host...

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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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