Sat11012014

News

Spooktacular moved indoors


Due to rain, today's downtown Los Altos Halloween activities have been moved to the indoor courtyard of Play! at 170 State St. Enter from the back on the parking lot side to participate in crafts, games and fun. Activities continue until 4 p.m.

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Schools

Gardner Bullis School debuts new Grizzly Student Center

Gardner Bullis School debuts new Grizzly Student Center


Photo by Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Students line up to check books out of the library in the new Grizzly Student Center at Gardner Bullis School.

Gardner Bullis School opened its new Grizzly Student Center earlier this month, introducing a lea...

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Community

Home improvement workshop scheduled Wednesday (Oct. 29)

The County of Santa Clara is hosting a free informational workshop on 6:30 p.m. Wednesday at Los Altos Hills Town Hall, 26379 Fremont Road.

The workshop will offer ways single-family homeowners can increase their homes’ energy efficiency. Eligible i...

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Comment

Off the fence: TC recommends 'yes' on N

The Town Crier initially offered no position on the controversial $150 million Measure N bond on Tuesday’s ballot. But some of the reasons we gave in our Oct. 15 editorial were, on reflection, overly critical and based on inaccurate information.

We ...

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Special Sections

Long-term solutions emerge as water conservation goes mainstream

Long-term solutions emerge as water conservation goes mainstream


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Forrest Linebarger, right, installed greywater and rainwater harvesting systems at his Los Altos Hills home.

With more brown than green visible in her Los Altos backyard, Kacey Fitzpatrick admits that she’s a little e...

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Business

Local realtors scare up money for charity

Local realtors scare up money for charity


Photo courtesy of SILVAR
Realtors Gary Campi and Jordan Legge, from left, joined Nancy Domich, SILVAR President Dave Tonna and Joe Brown to raise funds for the Silicon Valley Realtors Charitable Foundation.

Los Altos and Mountain View realtors raise...

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Books

Helping kids catch a few Zs: Local dental hygienist pens meditative bedtime book

Helping kids catch a few Zs: Local dental hygienist pens meditative bedtime book


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Mimi Sommers, who works at a Los Altos dentist’s office, recently wrote a children’s book.

A local dental hygienist recently published a book that aims to ease parents and children during a sometimes anxious e...

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People

DAVID S. NIVISON

DAVID S. NIVISON

David S. Nivison, 91 years old, and a resident of Los Altos, California since 1952, died Oct. 16, 2014 at home.  His neighbors had recently honored him as the “Mayor of Russell Ave., in recognition of 62 years of distinguished living” on that ...

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Travel

Falling leaves: Four places in California to see autumn colors

Falling leaves: Four places in California to see autumn colors


Courtesy of Castello di Amorosa
Castello di Amorosa in Calistoga, above, boasts a beautiful setting for viewing fall’s colors – and sampling the vineyard’s wines.

Yes, Virginia, there is fall in California.

The colors pop out in...

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Stepping Out

ECYS opens season Sunday

ECYS opens season Sunday


Ramya Krishna/Special to the Town Crier
The El Camino Youth Symphony rehearses for Sunday’s concert, above.

The El Camino Youth Symphony – under new conductor Jindong Cai – is scheduled to perform its season-opening concert 4 p.m....

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Spiritual Life

Christian Science Reading Room hosts webinar on prayer and healing

Christian Science practitioner and teacher Evan Mehlenbacher is scheduled to present a live Internet webinar lecture, “Prayer That Heals,” 7:30 p.m. Nov. 14 in the Christian Science Reading Room, 60 Main St., Los Altos.

Those interested ...

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Magazine

Local events add color to autumn calendar

Local events add color to autumn calendar


Van Houtte/town crier Visitors make their way through the Children’s Alley.

As Los Altos’ signature Chinese Pistache trees exchange their summer green for vibrant hues of yellow, orange and red in the fall, an abundance of local events also ad...

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MV-LA board approves return of Alta Vista to Shoreline site

Alta Vista High School, an alternative school for students with mostly attendance problems, will relocate to its original site and undergo a shift in focus, Mountain View-Los Altos Union High School District board members decided at their March 24 meeting.

The board approved a conceptual plan that would change Alta Vista into a continuation school and move facilities back behind the district office, the old Shoreline High School site next to Mountain View High School on Truman Avenue.

The move results from a dissolved partnership the district had over the past three years with Foothill College. Superintendent Don Phillips said Alta Vista operated out of Foothill's Middlefield campus, the old Cubberley High School site on Middlefield Road in Palo Alto. The idea was that Alta Vista students would take advantage of Foothill services or apply to the college after high school.

"Neither materialized to the degree Foothill was hoping for," said Brigitte Sarraf, associate superintendent in charge of educational services.

"They needed us to move so we had to find a new home," Phillips said.

With the lack of available commercial property, district officials turned to the Shoreline site, which has been renovated to accommodate the spillover of Mountain View High students in the midst of the district's $58 million renovation of the main high schools.

In changing the focus from an "alternative" to a "continuation" school, district officials plan on limiting Alta Vista to students 16 years and older. Students with attendance problems and/or failing grades would be admitted. The district also envisions a 25-to-1 student-to-instructor ratio and an enrollment topping at 150 students.

As a continuation school, Alta Vista students would have to meet minimum weekly attendance requirements stipulated in laws that govern continuation education.

Phillips said the district also plans stronger curriculum for basic skills such as English and math.

Sarraf added Mountain View High services, such as foreign language classes, would be available to students who are up for the challenge.

The change saves the district $166,000 in "double staffing" between the regular high schools and Alta Vista, and by reducing duplication of programs, Phillips said.

"Some of the changes, we think will enhance (the program)," Phillips said. "We want to ensure these kids are challenged. Most of these students have basic literacy deficits, so we want a very strong skill development focus in the program - and a strong career-to-work path."

"We're trying to take this as an opportunity (for improving) quality, enhancements, facilities - and save dollars at the same time," he said.

Sarraf said administrative staff would return to the board with requests for more specific changes to the Alta Vista program within two months.

"We're still excited with all the changes that have occurred over the past couple of years as we continue to improve and refine the program," she said.

Bill Pierce, who had been an interim principal at Alta Vista, was named Alta Vista principal at the last board meeting.

DISTRICT OFFICE FIXES: Phillips said he'll be proposing a host of fixes for the district offices at 1299 Bryant Ave., in Mountain View, before the board at its next meeting, this coming Monday.

The proposed renovations, running about $500,000, include installing handicapped accessible ramps to comply with Americans With Disabilities Act requirements, improving parking, renovating bathrooms, replacing the roof and removing asbestos from the ceilings.

Work on the 30-year-old building would begin in the summer of 1998, pending board approvals.

Monday's proposal calls for the board to give the go-ahead for design and planning work, Phillips said.

The board also is in the process of developing annual goals, which include higher academic standards, improvements to the building program and improving technology.

District officials will be seeking public input at the next meeting, scheduled for 7 p.m. in the district board room, 1299 Bryant Ave.

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