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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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Settlement, tighter belt ahead for El Camino Hospital

Approving a higher budget of $480 million and construction to begin "as soon as possible," leaders of El Camino Hospital pushed the long-delayed replacement hospital project one step closer to completion last week. They are already poised for the next step: settling the lawsuit brought by Saratoga lawyer Aaron Katz.

"We're taking on a debt load we've not had," board Vice Chairman Dave Reeder said last week. "We can do it, but it won't be easy. … If we can't get a settlement in the Katz suit, ... it's back to the drawing board."

Katz challenged the $148 million bond measure overwhelmingly approved by voters in 2003 to partially finance a new hospital that would meet upgraded state seismic code. The bidding process and the construction start date have been delayed for months while the lawsuit has made its way slowly through the courts. The hospital cannot issue the general obligation bonds until the case is decided or settled. Katz, who owns property in Mountain View, wants election laws changed so that taxpayer-supported bond measures are voted on only by those who own land in the pertinent voting district, regardless of where those landowners live.

Hospital leaders hinted last week that a settlement may be reached soon - but not soon enough to avoid the need for several years of economizing in other areas to compensate for the expensive delay in replacing the outdated main hospital building.

Hospital and district boards met in closed sessions about the lawsuit last week but took no action. However, interim CEO and longtime CFO Marla Gularte stated in open session that the hospital is negotiating a settlement with Katz. Katz had no comment at press time.

Jon Friedenberg, vice president for strategy and external relations, later described the prospect of settling a case the hospital considers to have no merit as "odious." Why would hospital administrators pursue the settlement they deplore? Construction costs are shooting skyward while the case plods along.

"There's what you'd like to do and then there's what you need to do," Friedenberg said.

In last Wednesday's meeting, Reeder said, "We're going to have to tighten the belt. We're going to have to do it more efficiently, (but) we don't want to reduce staff."

Friedenberg said that whatever form the belt-tightening takes, "It's a longer-term challenge - it won't happen this year. It will occur over the next several years to enable us to afford the debt service the project will require."

He said, "One strategy we'll take a look at is to make sure we're getting the maximum efficiency from our technology, so we have more patients getting their procedures done in a certain amount of time. That's one of the hundreds of things we'll be looking at."

The West Valley-Mission Community College District settled its share of the suit for $60,000 in early December. The remaining combined lawsuit against the hospital, the Mountain View-

Whisman Elementary School District and the Campbell Union High School District is in the Sixth District Court of Appeals.

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