Thu12182014

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

Rotary marks 25th anniversary of AIDS project

Rotary marks 25th anniversary of AIDS project


John Hammerschmidt/Special to the Town Crier
Celebrating the anniversary of the Los Altos Rotary AIDS Project are, from left, front row: Greg Hoblit, Dude Angius, Mary Prochnow and Robin Young. Back: Greg Betts, Joe Renati, Roy Lave, Bob Berka, Dic...

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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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Council scheduled to discuss plastic-bag ban outreach


Photo By: Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Photo Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier

Los Altos resident Gerald Giusti loads his groceries after a stop at Safeway. A single-use plastic-bag ban takes effect July 4.

According to Los Altos Economic Development Manager Kathy Kleinbaum, implementation of a program to educate residents and merchants about the upcoming plastic-bag ban should appear before the Los Altos City Council Tuesday.

The program would disseminate the conditions of the ban on the distribution of single-use plastic bags by most of the city’s merchants starting July 4. The ordinance, introduced Feb. 26 and adopted by the council last week, affects city retailers selling clothing, food and personal items, as well as their customers.

The council declined to approve a $13,000 appropriation to hire a consultant for community education during the Feb. 26 discussions, calling instead for collaboration between the city and several local groups to publicize the ban.

Kleinbaum met with members of the Los Altos Village Association, the Los Altos Chamber of Commerce and GreenTown Los Altos and merchants from several Los Altos commercial districts to discuss public outreach efforts. Educating residents and merchants about the nuances of the ordinance, she said, is “critical.”

“For merchants, they need time to figure out what portions of their merchandise will work (with the new ordinance) and what won’t work. … Three months is a very short time,” she said. “We’ve got to get a lot done in a very short period of time.”

Kleinbaum referred to specific distinctions in the ordinance, such as the fact that retailers must charge customers at least 10 cents for a single recycled-content paper, reusable plastic or cloth bag, while protective bags for produce and meat and dry-cleaning garment bags are exempt. Retailers will be required to itemize customer-purchased bags on sales receipts and store those transaction records for at least three years. The ordinance exempts restaurants, fast-food establishments and nonprofit resellers.

“It’s not as simple as merchants simply stopping (the use of) plastic bags,” she said.

Kleinbaum recommended using direct-mail notification to Los Altos merchants in addition to notices included in residents’ utility bills to advertise the effects of the ordinance.

The city will develop and distribute a retailer toolkit, Kleinbaum noted, that will include a fact sheet, signage for merchants to post as notification of the ban and a list of recycled-content paper bags and reusable plastic bag suppliers.

In addition, separate forums for merchants and residents will be scheduled to clarify any remaining questions. Volunteers from GreenTown Los Altos may go door-to-door to discuss the details further with merchants. Representatives at an information table at downtown’s weekly Los Altos Farmers’ Market will offer educational materials and respond to questions.

The plan includes the distribution of Los Altos-themed reusable bags to residents, which Kleinbaum suggested could be a marketing opportunity to encourage residents to shop locally.

Kleinbaum expects the outreach program to begin in earnest in April if approved.

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