Fri12192014

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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Councilman seeks legal opinion on term limits


Photo By:
Packard

Los Altos City Councilman Ron Packard intends to stick around – even if he has to wait a couple of years.

Packard, whose second consecutive term is set to expire in November, is seeking a formal opinion from City Attorney Jolie Houston on whether termed-out councilmembers are eligible for re-election after an absence. The council unanimously approved an item on its July 24 consent calendar requesting Houston’s formal opinion.

Houston is expected to issue her opinion at the Aug. 28 city council meeting.

Reached by the Town Crier, Packard said his reasoning for the request was simple. He is intent on running for Mayor Val Carpenter’s termed-out seat on the council in 2014.

“I plan on running for Val’s seat when she’s off the council in two years,” he said. “I’ve said it publicly several times before. It’s no secret.”

Still, Packard conceded that “people will raise questions” about the legality of having a termed-out councilmember running again, hence his request.

To that end, Packard, an attorney, said he’s done his own analysis and believes it’s “absolutely clear” that a termed-out councilmember can run again after an absence from the council.

According to Los Altos Municipal Code Section 2.04.020, “No person shall serve more than two consecutive terms on the Los Altos City Council, plus the completion of any unexpired term to which such person was elected or appointed.”

The city’s municipal code was amended, adding the term limits section in 1999, according to a city staff report outlining the formal request.

Packard said he’s particularly interested in returning as a councilmember when the downtown area undergoes significant changes, pointing to new construction projects along First Street such as the new Safeway grocery store, as examples.

“I’ve really enjoyed serving,” Packard said, “and I’d really like to see a continuity of the measured improvements downtown.”

Packard said his interest in a 2014 council seat also stems from his desire to see “the charm of Main and State streets maintained and not compromised.”

In early May, the council directed city staff to prepare ordinance changes to better define developer incentives (in exchange for public benefits) and building-height limits in downtown’s Commercial Retail Sales zone. At the time, Packard said publicly that he was “absolutely opposed to three-story buildings” in the downtown core.

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