Wed02102016

News

SPLAT targets data, outreach as airplane noise continues

SPLAT targets data, outreach as airplane noise continues


Graphic courtesy of Don Gardner
Activists claim that a new SFO flight path leaves a “sound shadow” that impacts Los Altos and Los Altos Hills.

Sky Posse Los Altos Team – more simply known as SPLAT – seeks to squelch the noise...

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Schools

Los Altos High student-run charity plans '5 Gallon Gala'

Los Altos High student-run charity plans '5 Gallon Gala'


Courtesy of Lia Evard
Water by Youth members gave Egan students a chance to carry a 40-pound Jerry can, to see how difficult it is to obtain water in developing nations.

Water by Youth, a club at Los Altos High School, is making a splash by pla...

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Community

What would you do with a box of cookies? Local Girls Scouts help Tanzanian orphanage

What would you do with a box of cookies? Local Girls Scouts help Tanzanian orphanage


Courtesy of Alicia Madden
Sales of local Girl Scout cookies support service projects, such as funding an orphanage in the village of Mto wa Mbu in Tanzania.

Girl Scout cookies – whether you think of them as a treat, a tradition or a diet comp...

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Sports

Scoreless spells sink LA boys

Scoreless spells sink LA boys


Megan V. Winslow/Town Crier
Los Altos High point guard Nolan Brennan attempts a shot in Friday’s game versus Palo Alto. He scored eight points in the loss.

There have been several games this season in which the Los Altos High boys basketball t...

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Comment

New 'York' values

New 'York' values


Hughes

 

As we have witnessed California suffer through one of its worst droughts in history over the past few years, all of us, I’m sure, have been keenly aware of our surroundings and have done a small part in trying to conserve wa...

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Special Sections

Getting a charge  out of the Volt

Getting a charge out of the Volt


Courtesy of Chevrolet
The 2016 Chevrolet Volt can be driven up to 50 miles on the power stored in its batteries.

Just five years ago, we wondered in this column what the power supply would be for the car of the future. Gasoline, diesel, electric ba...

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Business

Nearing V-Day: Shops stock sweets, treats

Nearing V-Day: Shops stock sweets, treats


Megan V. Winslow/Town Crier
Los Altos resident Ella Roosakos, 11, with her mother, Gail, puzzles over which Gourmet Works sweets to buy as a valentine for Ella’s friend.

The gift-buying rush isn’t exclusive to Christmas. It may jump over...

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People

ALAN RODNEY MILLS

ALAN RODNEY MILLS

Alan Rodney Mills, PhD, 83, of Los Altos passed away peacefully on Saturday, January 30th, 2016. He was born in Rochdale, England in 1933 and came to California in 1962. He was a proud alumni of Manchester Grammar in England, University of Liverpoo...

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Stepping Out

PYT 'Gets Famous'

PYT 'Gets Famous'


Lyn Flaim Healy/Spotlight Moments Photography
Renee Vetter of Palo Alto, left, and Megan Foreman of Los Altos star in Peninsula Youth Theatre’s “Judy Moody Gets Famous.” Performances are scheduled Friday and Saturday.

Peninsula...

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Spiritual Life

A time to prepare: Fasting for Lent isn't limited to food

 

Today is Ash Wednesday, which in the Christian calendar marks the beginning of Lent – the 40 days of preparation for Resurrection Sunday, otherwise known as Easter.

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Inside Mountain View

New right-to-lease ordinance promises relief for renters

New right-to-lease ordinance promises relief for renters


Mountain View Tenants Coalition/Facebook
Residents gather in the fall to protest Mountain View’s rising rents. Rent relief is on the way in the form of a new ordinance.

A controversial Mountain View law requiring landlords to provide lease opt...

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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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