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News

E. coli found in Los Altos water indicated breach, but only low risk

E. coli found in Los Altos water indicated breach, but only low risk


Courtesy of Microbe World
Colorized low-temperature electron micrograph of a cluster of E. coli bacteria

When E. coli and other bacteria were discovered in some Los Altos water last week, officials from the local water supplier, California Water...

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Schools

BCS hosts Stretch to Kindergarten program for underserved youth

BCS hosts Stretch to Kindergarten program for underserved youth


Traci Newell/Town Crier
The six-week, tuition-free Stretch to Kindergarten program, hosted at Bullis Charter School, serves children who have not attended preschool. A teacher leads children in singing about the parts of a butterfly, above.

Local un...

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Community

Google car painting project calls on artists

Google car painting project calls on artists


Google self-driving car

Already known as an innovator in the tech field, Google Inc. is now moving in on the art world.

The Mountain View-based company July 11 launched the “Paint the Town” contest, a “moving art experiment” that invites Califo...

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Sports

Pedaling with a purpose

Pedaling with a purpose


courtesy of
Rishi Bommannan Rishi Bommannan cycled from Bates College in Maine to his home in Los Altos Hills, taking several selfies along the way. He also raised nearly $13,000 for the Livestrong Foundation, which supports cancer patients.

When R...

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Comment

The truth about coyotes: Other Voices

The Town Crier’s recent article on coyotes venturing down from the foothills in search of sustenance referenced the organization Project Coyote (“Recent coyote attacks keep residents on edge,” July 1). Do not waste your time contac...

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Special Sections

Grant Park senior program made permanent

Grant Park senior program made permanent


Photos by Alicia Castro/Town Crier
Local residents participate in an exercise class at the Grant Park Senior Center, above. Betsy Reeves, below left with Gail Enenstein, lobbied for senior programming in south Los Altos.

It all began when Betsy Reev...

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Business

New State Street rug retailer has downtown Los Altos covered

New State Street rug retailer has downtown Los Altos covered


Alicia Castro/Town Crier
Los Altos Rug Gallery owner Fahim Karimi stocks his State Street store with a wall-to-wall array of floor coverings.

A new downtown business owner plans to roll out the red carpet – along with rugs of every other color –...

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Books

Book Signings

• Fritz and Nomi Trapnell have scheduled a book-signing party 4-6 p.m. Aug. 1 at their home, 648 University Ave., Los Altos.

Fritz and his daughter, Dana Tibbitts, co-authored “Harnessing the Sky: Frederick ‘Trap’ Trapnell, ...

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People

GRACE WILSON FRANKS

GRACE WILSON FRANKS

Resident of Los Altos

Grace Wilson Franks, our beloved mother and grandmother, left us peacefully on July 16, 2015 just a few weeks short of her 92nd birthday. She was born to Ross and Florence (Cruzan) Wilson in rural Tulare, California on Septem...

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Travel

Gearing up: Make travel more civilized with accessories

Gearing up: Make travel more civilized with accessories


Eren Göknar/Special to the Town Crier
San Francisco-based humangear Inc. sells totes, tubes and tubs for traveling.

In travel, as in romance, it’s the little things that count.

Beyond the glossy brochures lie the travel discomforts too mun...

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Stepping Out

Going out with a 'Bang'

Going out with a 'Bang'


Richard Mayer/Special to the Town Crier
“Chitty Chitty Bang Bang” stars, clockwise from top left, Alexander Sanchez, Sophia Sturiale, Deborah Rosengaus and Danny Martin.

Los Altos Stage Company and Los Altos Youth Theatre’s joint production of t...

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Spiritual Life

Build a 'light' house and get out of that dark place

Most of us have a place inside our hearts and minds that occasionally causes us trouble. For some, it is sadness, depression or despair. For others, it may be fear, anger, resentment or myriad other emotional “dark places” that at times seem to hij...

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Magazine

Inside Mountain View

Residents gather at NASA Ames for Pluto Flyby event

Residents gather at NASA Ames for Pluto Flyby event


Megan V. Winslow/Town Crier
NASA Ames’ Pluto Flyover event kindles the imaginations of young attendees.

Sue Moore watched the July 20, 1969, moon landing beside patients and staff members of the San Francisco hospital where she worked as a nurse...

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Measure M on the chopping block?: Defendant in hospital’s legal challenge says initiative des


Photo By: Town Crier File Photo
Photo Town Crier File Photo

El Camino Hospital employee Kary Lynch, right, remains unable to secure legal representation after being named a defendant in the legal case against Measure M’s validity.

A voter-approved initiative that caps executive pay at El Camino Hospital may meet its end before ever taking effect.

Kary Lynch, a 34-year El Camino Hospital psychiatric technician, told the Town Crier that he’s been unable to secure pro bono representation after the hospital named him and Laura Huston – also a hospital employee – as defendants in a lawsuit challenging Measure M’s legality. Lynch and Huston co-sponsored the initiative.

Hospital district voters approved the measure – which limits hospital executive pay to no more than double the annual salary of the California governor – by 51.55 percent in November.

Lynch, served with the lawsuit Dec. 26, said his attempts to access legal help from his union – the Service Employees International Union-United Healthcare Workers West (SEIU-UHW) – among others, have been unsuccessful.

Without the means to mount a defense, Lynch said, the courts will likely invalidate the measure. He noted that the 30-day window to respond to the lawsuit has since elapsed.

“To stand by helplessly and watch the voters’ will go by the wayside is frustrating,” Lynch said. “I believe (the measure) is dead. … My expectation is that a judge will throw it out without ruling on its legality.”

Emails to hospital and SEIU-UHW officials seeking comment were not returned by the Town Crier’s press deadline. A Jan. 24 statement on the hospital’s website, however, noted that it named Lynch and Huston as defendants in the lawsuit because they served as official co-sponsors of the initiative, and not because of a personal vendetta.

“The hospital believes the ballot initiative is unconstitutional,” the statement noted. “The only way to challenge its validity in court is to sue the official sponsors of the initiative. The hospital cannot sue SEIU, as it is not an official sponsor of the measure.”

Lynch said that while he has received some offers of help, none has come close to meeting his legal and financial needs.

“I talked to several (attorneys). … Some offered to assist in my defense, but I needed more than that,” he said. “The (SEIU-UHW) said accurately that they’re not the ones being sued. And because they’re not being sued, they can’t provide representation.”

In the weeks leading up to Election Day, opponents of the measure argued that the hospital’s compensation practices were fair, noting its philosophy of paying employees at the 50th percentile of similar hospitals and health-care systems nationwide.

Those supporting the measure, Lynch recalled, pointed to hospital CEO Tomi Ryba – who reportedly earns more than $600,000 annually in base pay – as proof that the hospital’s salary structure was too generous. Lynch said he believes the measure resonated with area voters, noting that it passed with little to no campaigning by supporters.

“There really was no effort on anyone’s part to campaign on behalf of Measure M,” he said. “It basically passed on its own merit.”

When asked what he plans to do next, Lynch said he wants to move on from the matter – at least for now.

“I’m basically trying to let go of it,” he said. “But in two years, there will be more board members up for re-election and I’ll bring this up again. I will remind people about this.”

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