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News

Council seeks more options for community center

Council seeks more options for community center


Town Crier File Photo
The Los Altos City Council approved an appropriation to examine options for a new community center to replace the aging Hillview facility.

The Los Altos City Council last week voted narrowly in favor of examining further opti...

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Schools

Local schools participate in  national Hour of Code activities

Local schools participate in national Hour of Code activities


Ellie Van HOutte/Town Crier
Himan Shu Raj, a volunteer from Microsoft, advises Los Altos High ninth-graders, from left, Serhat Suzer, Jamie Bennett and Chris Yang as they participate in the school’s Hour of Code Showcase.

Local schools participa...

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Community

Take a dive into the holiday archive

Take a dive into the holiday archive

Town Crier staff made a quick cruise back through the newspaper's archives to find some late-December reading as inspiration for eating, drinking, decorating and more:

Beloved holiday books build the spirit of the season and staff at Los Altos’ Li...

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Sports

Pinewood poised for another title run

Pinewood poised for another title run


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Pinewood’s girls basketball team is receiving contributions from several new players, including freshman Stella Kailahi, above.

Complacency shouldn’t be a problem for the defending Division V state champion Pinewood S...

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Comment

Letters to the Editor

Ticket motorists for U-turns on Main Street

As I was walking downtown on Main Street recently, something came to me out of the blue. The town of Los Altos is missing out on a huge revenue stream. I realized that if all the cars – there were th...

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Special Sections

Looking Ahead

Looking Ahead


s in line to be mayor of Mountain View in 2015.

Mountain View anticipates the following changes in 2015:

• Beginning Jan. 1, Mountain View City Councilmembers will receive a raise to $1,000 per month as a result of the passage of Measure A in...

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Business

Your 2015 stock market game plan

It’s been a maddening month because of oil and gas, especially in stocks and bonds. Then, consumer spending pushed stocks higher Thursday, easing investors’ jitters about the global economy and prompting them to consider how to invest in ...

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Books

Gawande's

Gawande's "Being Mortal" proves an important book on aging


Books about death and dying are usually not on my list of “must reads.”

I couldn’t resist, however, the best-selling “Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End” (Metropolitan Books, 2014) by Atul Gawande.

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People

SANGEETA SACHDEVA

SANGEETA SACHDEVA

Sangeeta Sachdeva, 55, wife of Subhash Sachdeva and mother to Natasha and Tanya, died at 8:54pm, Sunday, December 7, 2014 from respiratory failure.

Sangeeta was born on October 18, 1959 in Delhi, India. She was born to Moti Sagar and Raj Kapoor an...

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Travel

South Tahoe renovations enhance off-mountain seasonal fun

As any enthusiast knows well, there is more to the enjoyment of winter sports than skiing or snowboarding.

While many winter resorts make minor upgrades each season, the off-mountain attractions and amenities can be as enticing as the activities on ...

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Stepping Out

Aurora Singers to emit 'Musical Glow' Friday

Aurora Singers to emit 'Musical Glow' Friday


courtesy of Aurora Singers
The Aurora Singers are scheduled to perform a seasonal concert Friday night in Palo Alto.

The Aurora Singers’ “Winter’s Musical Glow” holiday concert is set for 7 p.m. Friday at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Pal...

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Spiritual Life

Enter the superhero: Finding the God who loves you

In my life-coaching practice, I see a lot of pain. Much of it stems from fear and guilt, often expressed as low self-esteem, anxiety, a lack of forgiveness both for oneself and others, anger – and so on.

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Magazine

Christmas At Our House home tour celebrates 26 years

Christmas At Our House home tour celebrates 26 years


Courtesy of Christopher Stark
Homes on the St. Francis High School Women’s Club’s Christmas at Our House Holiday Home Tour showcase a variety of architectural styles.

The days grow short on sunshine but long on nostalgia as the holidays approach...

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Report: School crime down, but thefts, vandalism still a problem

Although overall crime went down last year in Los Altos area schools, a new statewide report released last month showed property crimes, such as thefts and vandalism, remained among the highest in Santa Clara County in the Los Altos and Mountain View-Los Altos Union High school districts.

According to the third annual California Safe Schools Assessment report, which includes crimes against people, property crimes, drugs and alcohol offenses and weapon possessions, the Los Altos School District reported a loss from property crimes of approximately $15,125, or $4.20 per student, for the 1997-98 school year. The high school district reported a loss of approximately $37,340, or $12.48 per student for the 1997-98 school year. The average dollar loss from property crimes in the county was reported at approximately $1.80 per student.

Those numbers are an improvement from last year's report, in which combined losses from both districts accounted for a quarter of the county theft in Santa Clara County. The Los Altos School District reported a loss of $15,785 and the high school district reported a loss of $128,700, according to last year's report.

Marge Gratiot, superintendent of the Los Altos School District, said computer theft is still a problem in the district. She said the district has added more computers to its classrooms over recent months, which could make the schools more desirable targets.

"We have implemented some new security systems and will improve them more when we improve the schools," Gratiot said.

Gratiot said the way the district reported its losses could also account for its higher-than-average property losses, since there's a variability from district to district in reporting accuracy.

School officials in the Mountain View-Los Altos Union High School District say this year has been virtually crime free compared to last year.

"It's been incredibly quiet," said Hugh Riddell, vice principal of discipline at Mountain View High School. . "I'm as happy as a clam. I've been here for 18 years, and this is probably the best year we've had in terms of the quiet nature of the campus."

According to the report, battery offenses went down from 5.01 incidence per 1,000 students to 2.76; there were no reports of assault with a deadly weapon, robbery or sex offenses; and possession of weapons went down to .69 incidence per 1,000 students.

Alcohol and drug offenses went down from 11.03 incidence per 1,000 students in 1995 to 6.55 incidence last year, according to the report.

Countywide, however, alcohol and drug offenses have risen 14.2 percent over the past two years, exceeding the statewide average by 12 percent.

Riddell said there have been no reports of school property stolen this year; only one incident of graffiti; and personal theft has been limited to weekend locker break-ins.

Riddell said he believes the school's construction project has helped to keep campus crime down. He said workers are at the campus on weekends and off hours, possibly discouraging vandals and thieves.

At Los Altos High, police say their presence is working. Los Altos Police say they have responded to about 130 calls this year - mostly for traffic incidence, alarm responses and minor theft.

Brent Butler, schools resource officer with the Los Altos Police Department, said there has been no reported gang activity, smoking has not been a problem and there's been virtually no alcohol problems.

Butler said the quiet atmosphere is a positive indication that the police department's crack down on smoking and drinking is working.

"Kids come up to me and say 'I'm actually have fun at a dance without being drunk,'" Butler said.

In the Fremont Union High School District, crimes declined in six of the seven reportable categories compared to the previous year. School officials say the improved ratings are a result of their tough "zero tolerance" toward school crime.

The school crime reporting program is an attempt by the state's Department of Education to gauge school safety..

Under the program, which began in 1995, all public schools, districts and county offices are required by law to collect and report incidents of school crime as defined by the program.

A complete report of the state's 1997-98 Safe Schools data is available for viewing at: www.cde.ca.gov.

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