Mon05042015

News

Street crack-sealing project begins Monday, May 4

The City of Los Altos is beginning a city-wide street crack-sealing project on Monday (May 4).

City officials said the traffic impact for this project will be minimal. No streets will be closed and vehicles can resume normal traffic flow shortly aft...

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Schools

Homestead students use projects  to solve environmental problems

Homestead students use projects to solve environmental problems


Alisha Parikh/Special to the Town Crier
Homestead High School junior Maya Dhar, a Los Altos resident, left, and classmate Carolyn MacDonald support the school’s AP Environmental Science classes at the Arbor Day Festival April 23.

As summer app...

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Community

CHAC appoints new leader

CHAC appoints new leader

Naomi Nakano-Matsumoto, LCSW, has been named the new executive director of the Community Health Awareness Council (CHAC). A seasoned nonprofit leader, Nakano-Matsumoto is scheduled to assume duties July 1. She takes over for outgoing executive direct...

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Sports

St. Francis swimmers shine

St. Francis swimmers shine


Megan V. Winslow/Town Crier
St. Francis High’s Benjamin Ho competes against Sacred Heart Cathedral Thursday. The junior swam on all three victorious relays at the home meet, which the Lancers won easily.

Flexing its power in the pool, host St....

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Comment

Halsey House deserves preservation: Other Voices

Halsey House deserves preservation: Other Voices


Many contributing supporters to the Friends of Historic Redwood Grove believe that the Halsey House, designated a historic landmark by the Los Altos City Council in 1981, deserves to be saved and renovated for adapted use by the community.

Set in ...

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Special Sections

Sneaky shots: A photographer’s guide to capturing the proposal

Sneaky shots: A photographer’s guide to capturing the proposal


Elliott Burr/Special to the Town Crier
A stealthy photographer scouts locations ahead of time to find not just a place to perch, but also the ideal position for the subjects.

It’s showtime.

You’re about to ask the person in front of...

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Business

Pharmaca celebrates grand opening over weekend

Pharmaca celebrates grand opening over weekend


Megan V. Winslow/Town Crier
Pharmaca is coming to 400 Main St. with a grand-opening celebration scheduled Saturday and Sunday.

If natural health and beauty products are your cup of tea, expect to find them – and hot tea – this weekend at the gran...

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Books

People

JANE BUTTERFIELD PRINGLE LYND

JANE BUTTERFIELD PRINGLE LYND

October 30, 1924 - April 8, 2015

Jane Butterfield Pringle Lynd, daughter to Liebert and Elise Butterfield of San Francisco, passed away quietly at her home in Palo Alto surrounded by her family, following a short illness. Jane was a proud third ge...

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Travel

Cuba libre: Local residents join mad rush of travelers

Cuba libre: Local residents join mad rush of travelers


Natalie Elefant/Special to the Town Crier
Los Altos resident Natalie Elefant noted the vibrant street performances as a traveler in Cuba.

The U.S. restored diplomatic relations with Cuba late last year, enabling Americans to import $100 worth of cig...

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Stepping Out

'Birds' landing in Mtn. View

'Birds' landing in Mtn. View


Ray Renati/Special to the Town Crier
The Pear Avenue Theatre production of Paul Braverman’s “Birds of a Feather” stars Troy Johnson as mafia boss Sean Kineen, left, and Diane Tasca as private eye Frankie Payne.

Pear Avenue Theatre’s world premi...

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Spiritual Life

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

Up to the challenge: Local leaders unite to help at-risk youth

Up to the challenge: Local leaders unite to help at-risk youth


Courtesy of Challenge Team
Jeanette Freiberg, bottom of pile, has fun with family members. The Challenge Team named Freiberg, a student at Mountain View High School, its 2015 Youth Champion.

There’s an ongoing joke among members of the Challenge...

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Good news as PG&E hydrotests gas pipeline in Mountain View

Photo Refugio Garcia/Special To The Town Crier PG&E crews completed hydrostatic testing of a section of the gas transmission pipelines in Mountain View and discovered no leaks.

Mountain View residents can breathe a sigh of relief – without smelling gas.

PG&E crews completed the hydrostatic pressure testing of the natural gas pipeline that began three weeks ago and are working on the final stretch of the project, according to Mike Fuller, public works director for the city of Mountain View.

“Most of the pipeline has been tested and they found no drop in pressure,” Fuller said.

PG&E representatives scheduled two community meetings last month to explain the process and answer residents’ questions regarding the testing before it began.

“The tests will be used to enhance safety,” said Don Hall, PG&E manager of energy and solutions.

Utility officials will compile the data and use the results to verify the integrity of lines that share similar characteristics with those involved in the San Bruno pipeline explosion last September, Hall said.

The similarities in the lines include their ages as well as the type of welds employed more than six decades ago.

“We don’t have records to validate the amount of pressure the lines can hold,” said Brittany Chord, PG&E spokeswoman.

The test results will become part of an official record for the California Public Utilities Commission.

The hydrostatic testing – at Sierra Vista Avenue behind Crittenden Middle School and on Garcia Avenue near Shoreline Golf Links – required draining the lines of natural gas, refilling them with water under elevated pressures, then testing for leaks.

Crews filled sections of the 1.5 miles of underground lines in the city with water under double the amount of pressure when filled with natural gas.

PG&E officials notified neighbors, residents and businesses in the area of the work.

“We didn’t want residents to become alarmed if they smelled gas at the time we drained the line,” said Hall, assuring that “the gas isn’t combustible at low volumes.”

PG&E Superintendent John Corona acted as incident commander at the scene of the San Bruno pipeline explosion last September. Corona answered questions about PG&E’s plan for dealing with a similar situation in the future.

“Our strategy’s going to be a little different now,” he said, adding, “We haven’t had a thing like this happen in 100 years of our history.”

Corona explained that emergency responders and PG&E service crews lacked coordination among their agencies, inadvertently stifling efforts to contain the fire in San Bruno.

“We’re actively working with first responders,” he said. “We want them to know what to do when they roll up on a gas leak, and what type of access points to avoid.”

Corona said PG&E has begun coordinating with a number of different fire departments in California.

For more information, call (800) 743-5000 or visit www.pge.com.

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