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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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Letters to the Editor

Enough with the 3 stories already

Three story, three story, three story – that is what Los Altos is becoming.

The most recent issue of the Los Altos Neighborhood Network newsletter listed six already approved buildings of three stories ready for construction downtown. If you want to look at the future downtown, look at the boxey-building being constructed at 240 Third Street – 44 feet tall with a roof appendage to 48 feet. On the skyline of downtown, you can see that structure from the intersection of First and Main at San Antonio. Is that what we want? Look at our village – do we want it to look like a high-rise developer’s dream?

I encouraged the city council to stop the three-story parking structures on Plaza South. All you have to do is stand in Plaza South and look at the enormous structure going up next to the Walgreens parking lot to see what the future of Los Altos will look like with the current development emphasis. I urge the city council to reconsider their focus on downtown development and keep Los Altos a village. After all, we live here and the developers probably don’t.

Ask city council members: How about resetting the zoning for the parking plazas back to what it was before this folly was approved? That way, additional public review will have to occur before a project of this magnitude can be resumed.

Ron Murphy

Los Altos

Out of touch in Los Altos?

It was Jean Jacques Rousseau who actually coined the phrase, “Let them eat cake” in his book “The Confessions” (1781-1788). But the hapless – and later headless – Marie Antoinette usually gets the blame for this handy bon mot of the clueless.

Just such insensitivity can pop up even in Los Altos.

While cities around us face troubling cuts in services, the Los Altos City Council is determined to undertake the largest civic building project in our history. The multiphase, multiyear Community Center Master Plan would raze and replace every building where our present civic center now stands – except the History House, which can’t, by deed, be touched.

Phase I requires voters to approve a $65 million bond. Phase I would also bulldoze the apricot orchard that has encircled city hall for half a century.

To get the ‘dozers rolling, the council approved Dec. 13 an “educational outreach” program – paid for by taxpayers – to “frame” the urgent need for this.

Four local citizens – I was one – asked the council to make these “outreach” materials more transparent – or at least include thriftier options. After all, right on the outreach brochure, it said, “We want to hear from you!” But that night, they didn’t seem to want to hear from us. Materials approved.

They’re selling Phase I as an “intergenerational center” for seniors and teens – with a couple of other buildings thrown in. Wily strategy! Who wants to be the Scrooge who nixes that?

Yet it is the means we use to achieve our ends that define us. Re-use is more eco-friendly than razing. Wild mustard is kinder to our aquifer than asphalt. Saving our apricot orchard leaves a living tribute to our history. And facts are always more valuable to voters than framed-up marketing.

Leaving a couple of dollars in taxpayers’ pockets might not be such a bad idea, either. Marie Antoinette didn’t, and they finally had to cut off her credit.

Robin Chapman

Los Altos

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