Mon05042015

News

Water district reps address LAH concerns over project taxation

Water district reps address LAH concerns over project taxation

 Gary Kremen

Los Altos Hills residents, city councilmembers and even the Santa Clara Valley Water District Board chairman have protested taxes for water the district doesn't deliver.

"We're getting taxed for something we're not receiving, ...

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Schools

Homestead students use projects  to solve environmental problems

Homestead students use projects to solve environmental problems


Alisha Parikh/Special to the Town Crier
Homestead High School junior Maya Dhar, a Los Altos resident, left, and classmate Carolyn MacDonald support the school’s AP Environmental Science classes at the Arbor Day Festival April 23.

As summer appro...

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Community

Slideshow: Los Altos Live!

More than 20 acts performed to a soldout crowd April 25 at Los Altos High School's Eagle Theater for the seventh annual "Los Altos Live!" talent show. The show featured an eclectic range of acts, including rock bands, singers, dancers and the Broad...

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Sports

St. Francis swimmers shine

St. Francis swimmers shine


Megan V. Winslow/Town Crier
St. Francis High’s Benjamin Ho competes against Sacred Heart Cathedral Thursday. The junior swam on all three victorious relays at the home meet, which the Lancers won easily.

Flexing its power in the pool, host St....

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Comment

Halsey House deserves preservation: Other Voices

Halsey House deserves preservation: Other Voices


Many contributing supporters to the Friends of Historic Redwood Grove believe that the Halsey House, designated a historic landmark by the Los Altos City Council in 1981, deserves to be saved and renovated for adapted use by the community.

Set in ...

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Special Sections

Sneaky shots: A photographers guide to capturing the proposal

Sneaky shots: A photographers guide to capturing the proposal


Elliott Burr/Special to the Town Crier
A stealthy photographer scouts locations ahead of time to find not just a place to perch, but also the ideal position for the subjects.

It’s showtime.

You’re about to ask the person in front of you to spen...

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Business

Pharmaca celebrates grand opening over weekend

Pharmaca celebrates grand opening over weekend


Megan V. Winslow/Town Crier
Pharmaca is coming to 400 Main St. with a grand-opening celebration scheduled Saturday and Sunday.

If natural health and beauty products are your cup of tea, expect to find them – and hot tea – this weekend at the gran...

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Books

People

JANE BUTTERFIELD PRINGLE LYND

JANE BUTTERFIELD PRINGLE LYND

October 30, 1924 - April 8, 2015

Jane Butterfield Pringle Lynd, daughter to Liebert and Elise Butterfield of San Francisco, passed away quietly at her home in Palo Alto surrounded by her family, following a short illness. Jane was a proud third ge...

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Travel

Cuba libre: Local residents join mad rush of travelers

Cuba libre: Local residents join mad rush of travelers


Natalie Elefant/Special to the Town Crier
Los Altos resident Natalie Elefant noted the vibrant street performances as a traveler in Cuba.

The U.S. restored diplomatic relations with Cuba late last year, enabling Americans to import $100 worth of cig...

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Stepping Out

'Birds' landing in Mtn. View

'Birds' landing in Mtn. View


Ray Renati/Special to the Town Crier
The Pear Avenue Theatre production of Paul Braverman’s “Birds of a Feather” stars Troy Johnson as mafia boss Sean Kineen, left, and Diane Tasca as private eye Frankie Payne.

Pear Avenue Theatre’s world premi...

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Spiritual Life

Magazine

Practice prudent pruning: Maintaining manzanita, ceanothus and toyon

Practice prudent pruning: Maintaining manzanita, ceanothus and toyon


tanya kucak/Special to the Town Crier
Shrub manzanitas are known for their sinuous mahogany trunks and branches. If the foliage hides the bark, prune selectively to open the center so that the bark is visible year-round. This Montara manzanita is ...

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Inside Mountain View

Up to the challenge: Local leaders unite to help at-risk youth

Up to the challenge: Local leaders unite to help at-risk youth


Courtesy of Challenge Team
Jeanette Freiberg, bottom of pile, has fun with family members. The Challenge Team named Freiberg, a student at Mountain View High School, its 2015 Youth Champion.

There’s an ongoing joke among members of the Challenge...

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Bullis Charter School reviews future growth options

After years of spiking enrollment requests, Bullis Charter School officials are reviewing options for school expansion.

The school has added a class per grade per year over the past several years, growing from two sections of each grade to three.

The charter school’s board of directors held a study/work session Sept. 24 to discuss solutions for the increasing needs.

“The demand has increased in all grade levels,” said board member Andrea Eyring. “When we first started the school, it was trickier. Now there is enough demand in all the grades.”

The board explored both short- and long-term options for the school’s future.

One option – maintaining the school’s current growth model – would add only additional sixth- and eighth-grade sections.

To address the number of applicants turned away each year, however, board members proposed revising the growth model to accommodate more students.

A second option, a possibility for the short term, would add one section for grades K-3, leading eventually to four sections per grade.

“We have quite a few siblings wait-listed right now,” said board member Janet Medlin. “We could serve families that are already here by having a new K-3 strand starting next year. Those grades could easily be filled by next year.”

An option for scaled-down growth in the short term would add only one kindergarten section beginning next year, and add a class section per year, capping at four sections of each grade.

Board Chairman Ken Moore said adding one kindergarten section next year might not require more facilities space, as it would be the addition of an afternoon class, for which they already have space on campus.

In the longer term, the board discussed several possibilities for growth. Board members said long-range planning might require a more detailed study that could take more than six months.

One long-term vision, dubbed the “Five-Four model,” would offer five sections for grades K-3 and four sections for grades 4-8, which have slightly larger class sizes.

Another proposal was to duplicate the school’s current three-section model, meaning there eventually would be six sections of each grade. Moore said that growth could be implemented in a number of ways.

A transitional model, eventually adding many more sections, would add two sections each in grades K-5 in addition to the current three sections of K-8.

Moving forward, Moore said the board should consider several factors about the proposed growth models: demand, Proposition 39 (facilities allocation), the funding model, class size, maintaining quality, the specialized teacher component and timing.

“There are great pros to expanding the program,” Medlin said. “We need to makes sure we aren’t compromising the product we are delivering now.”

The Nov. 1 deadline looms for the charter school to report to the district its forecast for in-district students for the 2013-2014 school year.

Moore said the board rescheduled its Oct. 1 meeting to Oct. 8 to allow the Proposition 39 Committee (which deals with the facilities request process each year) more time to look at short-term options. He said another study session on the topic should be discussed at the Oct. 8 meeting.

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