Mon12222014

News

Council seeks more options for community center

Council seeks more options for community center


Town Crier File Photo
The Los Altos City Council approved an appropriation to examine options for a new community center to replace the aging Hillview facility.

The Los Altos City Council last week voted narrowly in favor of examining further opti...

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Schools

Local schools participate in  national Hour of Code activities

Local schools participate in national Hour of Code activities


Ellie Van HOutte/Town Crier
Himan Shu Raj, a volunteer from Microsoft, advises Los Altos High ninth-graders, from left, Serhat Suzer, Jamie Bennett and Chris Yang as they participate in the school’s Hour of Code Showcase.

Local schools participa...

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Community

Take a dive into the holiday archive

Take a dive into the holiday archive

Town Crier staff made a quick cruise back through the newspaper's archives to find some late-December reading as inspiration for eating, drinking, decorating and more:

Beloved holiday books build the spirit of the season and staff at Los Altos’ Li...

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Sports

Pinewood poised for another title run

Pinewood poised for another title run


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Pinewood’s girls basketball team is receiving contributions from several new players, including freshman Stella Kailahi, above.

Complacency shouldn’t be a problem for the defending Division V state champion Pinewood S...

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Comment

Letters to the Editor

Ticket motorists for U-turns on Main Street

As I was walking downtown on Main Street recently, something came to me out of the blue. The town of Los Altos is missing out on a huge revenue stream. I realized that if all the cars – there were th...

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Special Sections

Looking Ahead

Looking Ahead


s in line to be mayor of Mountain View in 2015.

Mountain View anticipates the following changes in 2015:

• Beginning Jan. 1, Mountain View City Councilmembers will receive a raise to $1,000 per month as a result of the passage of Measure A in...

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Business

Your 2015 stock market game plan

It’s been a maddening month because of oil and gas, especially in stocks and bonds. Then, consumer spending pushed stocks higher Thursday, easing investors’ jitters about the global economy and prompting them to consider how to invest in ...

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Books

Gawande's

Gawande's "Being Mortal" proves an important book on aging


Books about death and dying are usually not on my list of “must reads.”

I couldn’t resist, however, the best-selling “Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End” (Metropolitan Books, 2014) by Atul Gawande.

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People

SANGEETA SACHDEVA

SANGEETA SACHDEVA

Sangeeta Sachdeva, 55, wife of Subhash Sachdeva and mother to Natasha and Tanya, died at 8:54pm, Sunday, December 7, 2014 from respiratory failure.

Sangeeta was born on October 18, 1959 in Delhi, India. She was born to Moti Sagar and Raj Kapoor an...

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Travel

South Tahoe renovations enhance off-mountain seasonal fun

As any enthusiast knows well, there is more to the enjoyment of winter sports than skiing or snowboarding.

While many winter resorts make minor upgrades each season, the off-mountain attractions and amenities can be as enticing as the activities on ...

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Stepping Out

Aurora Singers to emit 'Musical Glow' Friday

Aurora Singers to emit 'Musical Glow' Friday


courtesy of Aurora Singers
The Aurora Singers are scheduled to perform a seasonal concert Friday night in Palo Alto.

The Aurora Singers’ “Winter’s Musical Glow” holiday concert is set for 7 p.m. Friday at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Pal...

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Spiritual Life

Enter the superhero: Finding the God who loves you

In my life-coaching practice, I see a lot of pain. Much of it stems from fear and guilt, often expressed as low self-esteem, anxiety, a lack of forgiveness both for oneself and others, anger – and so on.

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Magazine

Christmas At Our House home tour celebrates 26 years

Christmas At Our House home tour celebrates 26 years


Courtesy of Christopher Stark
Homes on the St. Francis High School Women’s Club’s Christmas at Our House Holiday Home Tour showcase a variety of architectural styles.

The days grow short on sunshine but long on nostalgia as the holidays approach...

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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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