Wed05272015

News

LASD opens registration for online strategy sessions

As the Los Altos School District plans how to spend its $150 million in Measure N bond funds, its initial goal is to broaden community input.

Following an April 22 meeting, the district is casting a wider net in the hopes of soliciting feedback from...

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Schools

Students discuss academic, social pressure in CHAC forum

Students discuss academic, social pressure in CHAC forum


Traci Newell/Town Crier
Community Health Awareness Council hosted a forum earlier this month where local students discussed the varied pressures they face.

Local students face enormous pressures in their lives, ranging from academic to social, but s...

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Community

Alan Alda discusses career, family and science at the Celebrity Forum

Alan Alda discusses career, family and science at the Celebrity Forum


Alda

Those who laughed along with Hawkeye Pierce on the long-running TV program “M*A*S*H*” would have enjoyed the recent Foothill College Celebrity Forum Speakers Series featuring actor Alan Alda.

Alda appeared May 13-15 at the Flint Center for...

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Sports

Eagles, Spartans advance

Eagles, Spartans advance


Town Crier file photo
Los Altos High’s Lizzy Beutter registered three hits in last week’s playoff win over Watsonville. She was also the winning pitcher.

Led by Lizzy Beutter, host Los Altos High whipped Watsonville 9-0 in the opening ro...

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Comment

Giving the thumb to what's done: Editorial

In the wake of recent Los Altos-area news events, we’re all thumbs.

Thumbs-down: To the Los Altos City Council’s decision to put the Walter Singer bust in storage. This is wrong on so many levels – even worse than the initial council decision to tra...

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Special Sections

Planting is possible despite drought

Planting is possible despite drought


Tanya Kucak/Special to the Town Crier
Wash the soilless mix off the root ball into the same container in which you have placed the clay soil from the planting hole. Remove at least an inch from the top and sides of the plant.

In this continuing dro...

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Business

Los Altos-based startup eyes digital makeup color-matching

Los Altos-based startup eyes digital makeup color-matching


Alicia Castro/Town Crier
Kokko Inc. Makeup Director Meli Pennington, standing, tests different shades of foundation on Los Altos resident Karen Melchior.

Meli Pennington knows cosmetics.

She has painted faces for the pages of Vogue and Glamour,...

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Books

Horan's 'Loving Frank' offers fictionalized account of famed architect's illicit affair

Horan's 'Loving Frank' offers fictionalized account of famed architect's illicit affair


In the 1920s, two married people fall in love, leave their spouses and children and set about living and traveling together. Affairs of this sort were considered shocking at the time. But the scandal was heightened given that the man was Frank Lloy...

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People

GUY WILSON SHOUP

Guy Wilson Shoup, 80, died on April 28, 2015, at his Palo Alto apartment, after a long period of ill health. Born on November 22, 1934, to Margaret Owen Shoup and to Jack Wilson Shoup (the second son of Paul Shoup, widely considered the founder of Lo...

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Travel

Flying south for the winter: Antarctica trips are not just for the birds

Flying south for the winter: Antarctica trips are not just for the birds


Photos Courtesy of Dave Hadden
Los Altos residents Dave and Joan Hadden watched the scenery from the large boat and a smaller Zodiac.

Standing on the beach with hundreds of thousands of penguins is “the experience of a lifetime,” according to Ga...

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Stepping Out

LA Stage Co. goes to 'town'

LA Stage Co. goes to 'town'


courtesy of Los Altos Stage Company
The Los Altos Stage Company production of “Urinetown: The Musical” opens this weekend.

The Los Altos Stage Company caps its 19th season with the musical comedy “Urinetown: The Musical,” scheduled to preview Th...

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Spiritual Life

Mercifully in His grip: Exploring our true position in Christ

I recently read a wonderful analogy about our true position in Christ. It was shockingly contrary to the messages impressed upon me in church, but deeply rooted in the Bible. The analogy is that of child and a parent. If you have ever taken a small ...

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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

El Camino Hospital receives bond-rating upgrade


Photo By: courtesy of El Camino Hospital
Photo Courtesy Of El Camino Hospital

El Camino Hospital recently received an A1 bond-rating upgrade from Moody’s Investors Service.

Moody’s Investors Service last week upgraded El Camino Hospital’s revenue bond rating from A2 to A1, following a review of the hospital’s progress since Moody’s issued its last rating in 2010.

According to Moody’s, the rating upgrade affects $186.9 million of outstanding fixed and variable rate demand revenue bonds issued by the Santa Clara Financing Authority.

“Hospital leadership has worked with the hospital board to expand the governance structure to include community leaders with significant subject-matter expertise, hired nationally known industry leaders to fill the CFO and COO roles, and produced a strategic plan to position us for health reform to effectively meet the needs of our community,” said El Camino Hospital President and CEO Tomi Ryba. “Recognition of the relevance of these improvements by Moody’s is gratifying.”

The report highlighted a number of the hospital’s strengths:

• It is a sizable community hospital located in a geographically favorable area with an operating revenue base of $664 million in fiscal year 2012.

• Its fiscal year 2013 outlook shows another year of strong profitability and operating cash-flow generation, as well as double-digit cash-flow margins.

• It shows steady growth in unrestricted cash and investments to $490 million as of Dec. 31.

• It carries a low debt load.

• Its facilities in Mountain View and Los Gatos are 95 percent seismic compliant through 2030, with the final 5 percent being 2030-compliant upon completion of minor voluntary upgrades, in accordance with approved extensions, by Jan. 1, 2015.

“We are extremely pleased that Moody’s recognized the hard work the hospital has undertaken in the last two years to stabilize and strengthen this valuable community hospital,” said John Zoglin, chairman of the El Camino Hospital Board of Directors. “To receive an upgraded rating at a time when so many other hospitals and hospital systems nationwide are struggling further reinforces that we have the right management team, an enhanced governance structure and long-term strategies in place that will enable us to make the necessary investments to care for the community.”

Moody’s issued a “stable outlook” for the hospital but also acknowledged several challenges it currently faces. Among other things, the Moody’s report cited a highly competitive marketplace in the Bay Area for services; its historical dependence on the Palo Alto Medical Foundation (now affiliated with Sutter Health), which has been responsible for approximately 50 percent of El Camino Hospital’s admissions; and the current uncertainty around Measure M, which caps executive salaries at no more than double the salary of the California governor.

Still, the report noted that it expects El Camino Hospital to “continue to produce strong operating cash flow given its favorable market presence and location and its continued focus on operating efficiencies, in order to support future capital plans, maintain solid liquidity and leverage measures and offset any future reimbursement declines and new competitive pressures.

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