Fri03062015

News

Council considers freezing First St. development

Council considers freezing First St. development


Megan V. Winslow/Town Crier
A pedestrian walks along First Street in downtown Los Altos last week. Future construction on the street could soon be barred by an emergency moratorium on development.

Further construction along First Street could...

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Schools

Santa Rita students put on Kranky Kids Radio Show

Santa Rita students put on Kranky Kids Radio Show


Traci Newell/ Town Crier
Neighborhood volunteer Lishka DeVoss, center, introduces members of Santa Rita School’s Kranky Kids Radio Club to their interviewee last week. The students star in the Kranky Kids Radio Show, which airs Fridays on KZSU.
...

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Community

Music for Minors partners with Harvard to expand efforts

Music for Minors partners with Harvard to expand efforts


Palmer

When the thriving Music for Minors began to outgrow its capacity, the local nonprofit organization made new friends.

Beginning in late February, Music for Minors – a Town Crier Holiday Fund recipient – partnered with Harvard Business Sch...

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Sports

Eagles make school history

Eagles make school history

Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
The Los Altos High School Eagles defeated Santa Clara High School Tuesday to advance to the Central Coast Section basketball finals Saturday.

The Eagles are headed where no Los Altos High boys basketball team has gone...

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Comment

Dangerous streets: A Piece of My Mind

I’m driving along El Monte Avenue between Foothill Expressway and Springer Road at approximately 6 p.m. on a midwinter evening. In keeping with the “village feeling” of our town, there are no sidewalks and no streetlights.

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Special Sections

Lions, lambs and Cab Franc for March

Lions, lambs and Cab Franc for March


Christine Moore/Special to the Town Crier
Oven fries, a slice of feta cheese and the bite of harissa mayonnaise make for a late-winter, early-spring dinner perfectly paired with Cabernet Franc.

I can’t help but wonder whether March will come in ...

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Business

Los Altos scientist named Inventor of the Year

Los Altos scientist named Inventor of the Year

Alicia Castro/Town Crier
Robert Showen, above, the Silicon Valley Intellectual Property Lawyers Association’s Inventor of the Year, began researching his ShotSpotter technology in his Los Altos home. Sensors are placed around a city, below, and fou...

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Books

French novel

French novel "Hunting and Gathering" offers character-driven suspense


Anna Gavalda is a well-known author in her native France, where she has published six books, most of which have met with considerable praise and commercial success. Her fourth novel, “Hunting and Gathering” (Riverhead Books, 2007), is filled ...

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People

JACK JOSEPH CRANE

JACK JOSEPH CRANE

Long time Los Altos resident, Jack Joseph Crane, loving husband and devoted father of two children, passed away peacefully at the Terraces in Los Altos, Saturday, February 21, 2015. He was 95 years of age. Jack was born on June 22, 1919. He is prec...

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Travel

Seoul of the city: Korean capital offers mix of old and new

Seoul of the city: Korean capital offers mix of old and new


Ramya Krishna/Special to the Town Crier
Seoul’s Cheonggyecheon public recreation space, above, features an elevated pedestrian bridge.

Seoul, South Korea, is a study in contrasts. Having grown quickly, the city is a mix of old and new.

Using...

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Stepping Out

TheatreWorks jumps into ‘Lake’

TheatreWorks jumps into ‘Lake’


Kevin Berne/Special to the Town Crier
Jason Bowen, from left, Adam Poss and Nilanjana Bose star in “The Lake Effect,” opening this weekend at the Lucie Stern Theatre in Palo Alto and running through March 29.

The TheatreWorks production ...

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Spiritual Life

Is your thought life sabotaging your spiritual journey?

My computer started having problems – there seemed to be some sort of malware running in the background. At first it was just annoying, then it began to slow down my computer, interfering with its basic operations. What is it doing? Why can...

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Magazine

Local events serve up family fun

Local events serve up family fun


Courtesy of Peninsula Youth Theatre
Peninsula Youth Theatre’s production of “Pecos Bill: A Tall Tale” is slated to open March 20 in Mountain View.

For families seeking a break from the daily routine, events abound this month and next in Los Alto...

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Los Altos City Council approves compromise plan: one pool for Rosita site

After eight years of adversarial discussions over the site and size of a community pool, the Los Altos City Council approved one pool at the Rosita site at its April 25 meeting.

The council voted 3-2 to adopt the Community Swimming Pool Task Force recommendation for one 25-yard-by-25-meter competition pool, including a water feature/wading pool. Councilmembers Val Carpenter and Curtis Cole dissented in favor of a two-pool complex.

"This decision is not an end point but a beginning to the process," said Councilman David Casas, who facilitated the task force.

With unanimous votes, the council agreed to three other task force recommendations: to affirm previous council direction on pool issues; to direct staff to construct a detailed timeline; and to direct staff to prepare a budget review of planned city expenditures - including a built-in reserve to cover shortfalls - for this and the next two fiscal years.

The fifth recommendation to "direct staff to investigate the steps required to add a focused addendum to the EIR for the final pool configuration and specific location" was deferred. According to City Manager Phil Rose, its immediate implementation might involve examining alternatives with expensive consultants before city parameters were set. For instance, the tennis court area is not all city property, so discussions with the Los Altos School District would be necessary before a final configuration is chosen.

The votes followed a detailed presentation from the task force chartered Jan. 24 when the council appointed a subcommittee of Carpenter and Casas. They formed the task force with Brad Elman and Susan Mensinger from the Rosita neighborhood, Kamrin Knight Desmond and Greg Hoberg from the swimming community, Leslie Crane and Amy Gaffney from Covington School and Wayne Grove from the community at large.

Responding to Rosita neighborhood concerns about financial risk, Carpenter said she had "a high degree of confidence that we can meet the cost … based on the task force report and the fact that it was done before." The original Covington Community Pool, which operated from 1947 until it was removed in 2001 for the remodeling of the school, operated without a deficit.

Dick Thomas, co-chairman of Swimmers Promoting Los Altos Aquatics, Safety and Health (SPLASH), said: "SPLASH will raise whatever funds are needed.

In spite of full chambers, reaction was subdued when Mayor Ron Packard cast the final, deciding vote.

"From our perspective, (this was) the better outcome between the two alternatives," said Mensinger of the Rosita Neighborhood Coalition. "If (they're) going to do a pool, do one."

Kathy Englar, SPLASH co-chairwoman, said, "Since 1999, every council has supported a pool." Even though the council rejected the two-pool proposal, she added, "We don't think of it as a loss. Five councilmembers wanted a pool - it was a landslide to us."

Depending on when you set the start date of the controversy, the Rosita Pool project has been under discussion for:

• Up to 7-1/2 years, counting from a 1998 bond measure, which assured that Covington School would be re-opened and the existing pool removed.

• Five years from Jan. 31, 2001, the last day of swimming before Covington pool was drained.

• Three years from the lawsuit filed Jan. 9, 2003, by the Rosita Neighborhood Coalition to force a draft EIR.

• Nearly a year and a half since the council, Dec. 22, 2004, added an aquatic center for the Rosita site to the 2004-'05 Capital Improvement Budget.

• Almost one year from Judge Leslie Nichols' decision, Aug. 16, 2005, that the city had complied with the court's requests.

• Seven months from the time the current council appointed its first task force.

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