Mon12222014

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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Plan for three-story building on Main heads to city council


Photo By: Rendering Courtesy of Ted Sorensen
Photo Rendering Courtesy Of Ted Sorensen

Plans for the Sorensen project at 40 Main St., marked by the arrow, were slated for review at the Los Altos City Council meeting Tuesday, past press deadline.

Developers Ted and Jerry Sorensen – and their project at 40 Main St. – will have their day before the Los Altos City Council.

A revised version of their three-story mixed-use project was scheduled for review by the city council at Tuesday’s meeting, held after the Town Crier’s press deadline.

According to Ted Sorensen, the revised project features a multiple-story building totaling approximately 15,400 square feet. It includes a paseo (a storefront promenade) and a 4,000-square-foot mezzanine between the ground floor and the upper level.

The upper level, designated as Class A office space, is set back and features a balcony overlooking Main Street. The previous plan proposed a building totaling 17,500 square feet.

Sorensen said he believes the updated plans are in compliance with changes the Los Altos Planning Commission recommended in its January approval.

“Jerry and I have worked hard on this project for over five years,” Sorensen wrote in an email to the Town Crier. “We have listened to the staff, the planning commissioners and the councilmembers at every opportunity. We believe that this building meets or exceeds the expectations of all who have reviewed it.”

In addition to reducing the bulk and floor space of the building, Sorensen said they are offering an additional $300,000 to rebuild parking Plaza 10 in whatever way the city deems fit. Among the recommendations from the Planning Commission was finding a way to reduce the bulk of the building, thereby decreasing the project’s parking requirements.

If approved, Sorensen said a reworking of Plaza 10 potentially could include upgraded landscaping, restriped parking spaces and the undergrounding of utilities, as well new lighting, new bicycle racks and an enhanced circulation plan. He estimated that a reconfiguration of the plaza could yield up to 20 additional parking spaces.

“Whether an improved circulation plan is adopted, which could add 16-20 stalls or not, this reconstruction of Plaza 10 will be a model for an improved plaza parking experience,” Sorensen said.

The Los Altos Chamber of Commerce planned to submit a letter in support of the project, calling it “an enhancement to downtown Los Altos, both economically and visually.”

The project, however, is not without its detractors.

Von Packard, who with his brother, Councilman Ron Packard, owns the 4 Main St. property next to the proposed project, has submitted a letter to the city urging the council to reject it.

Von Packard stated in his letter that the new project, at approximately seven times the size of the current 2,100-square-foot building at 40 Main, would make finding a parking spot even more difficult in Plaza 10. Packard noted that a parking study conducted by Pang Engineers Inc. in 2008 concluded that Plaza 10 already has a higher occupancy rate than the downtown’s other nine plazas.

In addition, Packard noted in his letter that the 40 Main building exceeds the city’s 30-foot height limit by approximately 5 feet and would create “a precedent for additional similar-height buildings in the Main corridor.”

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