Fri02122016

News

SPLAT targets data, outreach as airplane noise continues

SPLAT targets data, outreach as airplane noise continues


Graphic courtesy of Don Gardner
Activists claim that a new SFO flight path leaves a “sound shadow” that impacts Los Altos and Los Altos Hills.

Sky Posse Los Altos Team – more simply known as SPLAT – seeks to squelch the noise...

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Schools

Los Altos High student-run charity plans '5 Gallon Gala'

Los Altos High student-run charity plans '5 Gallon Gala'


Courtesy of Lia Evard
Water by Youth members gave Egan students a chance to carry a 40-pound Jerry can, to see how difficult it is to obtain water in developing nations.

Water by Youth, a club at Los Altos High School, is making a splash by pla...

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Community

What would you do with a box of cookies? Local Girls Scouts help Tanzanian orphanage

What would you do with a box of cookies? Local Girls Scouts help Tanzanian orphanage


Courtesy of Alicia Madden
Sales of local Girl Scout cookies support service projects, such as funding an orphanage in the village of Mto wa Mbu in Tanzania.

Girl Scout cookies – whether you think of them as a treat, a tradition or a diet comp...

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Sports

Scoreless spells sink LA boys

Scoreless spells sink LA boys


Megan V. Winslow/Town Crier
Los Altos High point guard Nolan Brennan attempts a shot in Friday’s game versus Palo Alto. He scored eight points in the loss.

There have been several games this season in which the Los Altos High boys basketball t...

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Comment

New 'York' values

New 'York' values


Hughes

 

As we have witnessed California suffer through one of its worst droughts in history over the past few years, all of us, I’m sure, have been keenly aware of our surroundings and have done a small part in trying to conserve wa...

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Special Sections

Getting a charge  out of the Volt

Getting a charge out of the Volt


Courtesy of Chevrolet
The 2016 Chevrolet Volt can be driven up to 50 miles on the power stored in its batteries.

Just five years ago, we wondered in this column what the power supply would be for the car of the future. Gasoline, diesel, electric ba...

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Business

Nearing V-Day: Shops stock sweets, treats

Nearing V-Day: Shops stock sweets, treats


Megan V. Winslow/Town Crier
Los Altos resident Ella Roosakos, 11, with her mother, Gail, puzzles over which Gourmet Works sweets to buy as a valentine for Ella’s friend.

The gift-buying rush isn’t exclusive to Christmas. It may jump over...

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People

ALAN RODNEY MILLS

ALAN RODNEY MILLS

Alan Rodney Mills, PhD, 83, of Los Altos passed away peacefully on Saturday, January 30th, 2016. He was born in Rochdale, England in 1933 and came to California in 1962. He was a proud alumni of Manchester Grammar in England, University of Liverpoo...

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Stepping Out

PYT 'Gets Famous'

PYT 'Gets Famous'


Lyn Flaim Healy/Spotlight Moments Photography
Renee Vetter of Palo Alto, left, and Megan Foreman of Los Altos star in Peninsula Youth Theatre’s “Judy Moody Gets Famous.” Performances are scheduled Friday and Saturday.

Peninsula...

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Spiritual Life

A time to prepare: Fasting for Lent isn't limited to food

 

Today is Ash Wednesday, which in the Christian calendar marks the beginning of Lent – the 40 days of preparation for Resurrection Sunday, otherwise known as Easter.

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Inside Mountain View

New right-to-lease ordinance promises relief for renters

New right-to-lease ordinance promises relief for renters


Mountain View Tenants Coalition/Facebook
Residents gather in the fall to protest Mountain View’s rising rents. Rent relief is on the way in the form of a new ordinance.

A controversial Mountain View law requiring landlords to provide lease opt...

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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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