Sat04302016

News

Loyola Corners economics, traffic rise to top of planning concerns

Loyola Corners economics, traffic rise to top of planning concerns

Alicia Castro/Town Crier
Loyola Bridge construction parallel to the Fremont Avenue frontage may lead officials to alter circulation plans for the area.

Loyola Corners stakeholders last week mulled the issues that will likely shape the area&rsquo...

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Schools

LAHS Green Team commemorates Earth Week

LAHS Green Team commemorates Earth Week


Traci Newell/Town Crier
Los Altos High School Green Team members, above, quiz their classmates about water conservation. The club distributed plants as prizes during the club’s Earth Week activities.

Members of the Los Altos High School Green...

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Community

Local pianist, 11, slated to perform Saturday at statewide competition

Local pianist, 11, slated to perform Saturday at statewide competition


Courtesy of the Cha family
Spencer Cha plays piano at a Santa Clara University recital. The sixth-grader also enjoys soccer, tennis, golf and skiing.

Spencer Cha has come a long way since he first sat down at the piano at age 2.

“I remem...

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Sports

Spartans net second place, eye top prize next season

Spartans net second place, eye top prize next season


Megan V. Winslow/Town Crier
Jeremy Hsu, Mountain View High’s top singles player, competes against Pinewood Thursday. The Spartans won the match 7-0.

With freshmen playing the top three spots in singles, the future of the Mountain View High boy...

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Comment

Los Altos at a leadership crossroads: Editorial

Don’t look now, but there could be some major changes ahead regarding how the Los Altos city government is run.

The current city council has the opportunity to hire a new city manager in the wake of Marcia Somers’ recent resignation. Fur...

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Special Sections

How to personalize the wedding bar

How to personalize the wedding bar


Christine Moore/Special to the Town Crier
A seasonal signature cocktail adds interest beyond the standard wedding bar’s spirits and mixers. Focus on one set of fresh ingredients, such as blueberries, blackberries and mint for a dose of budget...

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Business

Farmers prepare to market season's bounty

Farmers prepare to market season's bounty


Alicia Castro/Town Crier
Journeyman farmer Jen Friedlander waters Hidden Villa’s greenhouse plants, which will grow stronger in the controlled indoor environment before being transferred to the field outdoors.

Around Hidden Villa, the gree...

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People

BUOL JOANNE DOUGHERTY

BUOL JOANNE DOUGHERTY

1930-2016

Heaven gained a beautiful angel today. Our beloved mother’s blessed life ended in her Los Altos home surrounded by her loving family on April 18, 2016.

Buol Joanne Dougherty was born Sept. 28, 1930 in Chicago. At the age of two, M...

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Stepping Out

'Catch' comes to conclusion LA Stage Co. comedy  ends run this weekend

'Catch' comes to conclusion LA Stage Co. comedy ends run this weekend


Richard Mayer/Special to the Town Crier
Bryan Moriarty, left, stars as Yossarian and John Stephen King plays the Psychiatrist in Los Altos Stage Company’s “Catch-22.”

Los Altos Stage Company’s presentation of “Catch...

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Spiritual Life

Los Altos Hills Briefs

In its first meeting of the new year, the Los Altos Hills City Council met Jan. 24 to discuss the state’s new Complete Streets policy, private roads and a single-use plastic bag ban, among other items. Below is a roundup of issues on the agenda.

The next meeting is scheduled 6 p.m. Feb. 21 in the Los Altos Hills Town Hall Council Chambers, 26379 W. Fremont Road.

Streets resolution passes with reservations

With a 3-2 vote, the council narrowly passed a resolution to adopt the California Complete Streets Act of 2008 (AB 1358) – an unfunded state mandate that requires the town to revise its circulation plan to accommodate a “balanced, multimodal transportation network” by Jan. 1, 2014.

By accepting the resolution, the town becomes eligible for up to $186,000 in project funding from the Metropolitan Transportation Committee through a One Bay Area Grant.

Planning Director Debbie Pedro wrote in a memo that Los Altos Hills would “incorporate Complete Streets infrastructure into existing streets to improve the safety and convenience of users … with the particular goal of creating a connected network.”

The new advisory guidelines of the Complete Streets policy are intended to help the state reduce greenhouse gases and facilitate a shift in transportation patterns to include more public transit, bicycling and walking. In reviewing the Complete Streets policy, the council would have the authority to make exceptions to recommendations if program requirements were not sensitive to local conditions.

Some councilmembers and residents were hesitant to adopt the resolution, wary about the bill’s implications and whether it could impact the town’s rural character.

“You’re going to shackle the town’s residents and the town itself with things that are not in our best interest,” said Planning Commissioner Jim Abraham.

With an influx of growth in neighboring Palo Alto, Abraham expressed concern that the new policy might limit the town’s ability to control its own transportation growth.

“This is state law,” responded City Manager Carl Cahill. “You’re not going to have to turn Fremont Road into a four-lane throughway for Stanford traffic.”

Private roads study session

Responding to a recent flurry of residents struggling to find the resources and neighborhood cooperation necessary to resurface or upgrade their aging private streets, councilmembers plan to schedule a public study session.

“What one person thinks is a deficient roadway, another thinks is OK,” said City Manager Carl Cahill.

The city may consider assisting residents by establishing a framework to draft proposals that include the setup of roadway maintenance agreements, in-lieu fees or state funding structures.

Uncomfortable with the prospect of making the decision without input from the Planning Commission and the public, the council directed town staff to schedule a study session including all interested parties.

Open Space Committee supports bag ban

Although Los Altos Hills’ only commercial operations are Foothill College and the food trucks that linger on campus, members of the town’s Open Space Committee urged the council to expand its February 2012 polystyrene container and nonrecyclable food containers ban to include single-use plastic bags.

“This is largely a symbolic gesture to show solidarity with other cities in the area,” said Open Space Committee member George Clifford.

Councilman John Harpootlian objected, saying it wasn’t appropriate for Los Altos Hills to be “pontificating” on the issue when the town lacks a commercial center and doesn’t have “skin in this game.”

The council resolved to allow staff to draft a bag-ban amendment that could be discussed at a future meeting.

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