Thu10302014

News

Police stress need for low speed in school zones

Police stress need for low speed in school zones


Town Crier File Photo
After two recent accidents involving cyclists and motorists, police urge caution – on both sides.

After two recent incidents of vehicles striking student bicyclists, Los Altos Police urge residents to exercise caution whe...

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Schools

Gardner Bullis School debuts new Grizzly Student Center

Gardner Bullis School debuts new Grizzly Student Center


Photo by Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Students line up to check books out of the library in the new Grizzly Student Center at Gardner Bullis School.

Gardner Bullis School opened its new Grizzly Student Center earlier this month, introducing a lea...

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Community

Home improvement workshop scheduled Wednesday (Oct. 29)

The County of Santa Clara is hosting a free informational workshop on 6:30 p.m. Wednesday at Los Altos Hills Town Hall, 26379 Fremont Road.

The workshop will offer ways single-family homeowners can increase their homes’ energy efficiency. Eligible i...

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Comment

Off the fence: TC recommends 'yes' on N

The Town Crier initially offered no position on the controversial $150 million Measure N bond on Tuesday’s ballot. But some of the reasons we gave in our Oct. 15 editorial were, on reflection, overly critical and based on inaccurate information.

We ...

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Special Sections

Long-term solutions emerge as water conservation goes mainstream

Long-term solutions emerge as water conservation goes mainstream


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Forrest Linebarger, right, installed greywater and rainwater harvesting systems at his Los Altos Hills home.

With more brown than green visible in her Los Altos backyard, Kacey Fitzpatrick admits that she’s a little e...

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Business

Local realtors scare up money for charity

Local realtors scare up money for charity


Photo courtesy of SILVAR
Realtors Gary Campi and Jordan Legge, from left, joined Nancy Domich, SILVAR President Dave Tonna and Joe Brown to raise funds for the Silicon Valley Realtors Charitable Foundation.

Los Altos and Mountain View realtors raise...

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Books

Helping kids catch a few Zs: Local dental hygienist pens meditative bedtime book

Helping kids catch a few Zs: Local dental hygienist pens meditative bedtime book


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Mimi Sommers, who works at a Los Altos dentist’s office, recently wrote a children’s book.

A local dental hygienist recently published a book that aims to ease parents and children during a sometimes anxious e...

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People

DAVID S. NIVISON

DAVID S. NIVISON

David S. Nivison, 91 years old, and a resident of Los Altos, California since 1952, died Oct. 16, 2014 at home.  His neighbors had recently honored him as the “Mayor of Russell Ave., in recognition of 62 years of distinguished living” on that ...

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Travel

Falling leaves: Four places in California to see autumn colors

Falling leaves: Four places in California to see autumn colors


Courtesy of Castello di Amorosa
Castello di Amorosa in Calistoga, above, boasts a beautiful setting for viewing fall’s colors – and sampling the vineyard’s wines.

Yes, Virginia, there is fall in California.

The colors pop out in...

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Stepping Out

ECYS opens season Sunday

ECYS opens season Sunday


Ramya Krishna/Special to the Town Crier
The El Camino Youth Symphony rehearses for Sunday’s concert, above.

The El Camino Youth Symphony – under new conductor Jindong Cai – is scheduled to perform its season-opening concert 4 p.m....

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Spiritual Life

Christian Science Reading Room hosts webinar on prayer and healing

Christian Science practitioner and teacher Evan Mehlenbacher is scheduled to present a live Internet webinar lecture, “Prayer That Heals,” 7:30 p.m. Nov. 14 in the Christian Science Reading Room, 60 Main St., Los Altos.

Those interested ...

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Magazine

Local events add color to autumn calendar

Local events add color to autumn calendar


Van Houtte/town crier Visitors make their way through the Children’s Alley.

As Los Altos’ signature Chinese Pistache trees exchange their summer green for vibrant hues of yellow, orange and red in the fall, an abundance of local events also ad...

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Letters to the Editor

Former BCS supporter frustrated with lawsuits

This letter is to Bullis Charter School. I used to be one of your supporters. As a parent whose child didn’t fit the Los Altos School District system, I was frustrated that there were no alternative/magnet schools and no Independent Study programs. I watched more than just my child slip through the system. So I felt the charter school brought value to our community by offering another option.

But my support has waned. The district is growing rapidly and can’t afford to give up a campus. It is not unreasonable to ask charter students to attend middle school on a different campus. Our district students do that. The district’s offerings have seemed fair, so it is frustrating to watch the charter school counter everything with a lawsuit. That is wasted money!

I’m glad you’re surveying the community. I think you’ll find that past supporters are no longer standing behind you. The costs of the charter school are outweighing the benefits. I’m not saying we don’t need a charter school, because we definitely need alternatives! But we don’t need any more lawsuits. I hope you’ll reconsider the constant courtroom battles. There’s too much damage being done – to our education system and to this community.

Anna Durante

Los Altos

BCS can help build trust

I am hoping to collaborate with Bullis Charter School parents to find and fund new school sites to accommodate the growth of both the Los Altos School District and charter school populations.

Unfortunately, I feel defensive. Bullis Charter School is aggressively marketing to grow as large as possible while they litigate nonstop, forcing the district to spend resources defending themselves instead of on initiatives to improve its schools.

My perception is that the charter school’s ultimate goal may be to close down a local school(s), which would not only affect my children’s education, but as importantly my neighborhood’s entire social fabric. Local schools are not just about the classroom, but seeing the same friends at school as at your neighborhood every-other-Friday block parties, group trips for spring break, etc.

As a district parent, I’d have more trust that charter school officials are really compromising if they stop suing and state explicitly that they would not close a neighborhood school. With this in hand, I am ready to work with Bullis Charter School parents to find and fund new school sites together.

Mike Capuano

Los Altos

Los Altos: Don’t ignore teen market

As a teen, it has come to my attention that downtown Los Altos is a charming, unique place that has many boutiques and little stores that you wouldn’t be able to find anywhere else in the Bay Area.

Many people from urban places like to come to our town to shop simply because it has more individualistic stores with products you won’t see every day. However, to teens and young adults, having an entire town of boutiques can sometimes be less interesting.

I don’t think I can ever remember a single person my age wanting to go downtown to shop for clothing; the only thing we teens come downtown to do is walk around and eat. I know that about 20 years ago, Los Altos decided it didn’t want any chain or big mall stores to have shops downtown. I agree it is fun to have some stores you have never heard of, but in a way this decision to cut off all chain stores has backfired.

Right now, I would say that the only group they are appealing to is mothers and older women, because the small stores around town have more mature clothing.

I think that if Los Altos really wants to stick to its idea of being a small town, it can let in a few popular stores and still keep it that way. I mean, would it really hurt to have one Hollister Co. store at the edge of town? It doesn’t seem like that would ruin the charming feeling of Los Altos.

If the town continues to stay the same as 20 years ago, everyone from ages 11 to 25 will just become increasingly uninterested and keep going to places in Palo Alto and to big malls like Valley Fair in San Jose.

If there were one or two popular teenage stores in town, it would not only attract more business, but would most likely be extremely well attended.

There is a huge market for teens in Los Altos and I know from personal experience that I don’t get to go to the stores that I like very often because my mom doesn’t want to drive me all the way to San Jose.

Even if the town agreed to let in, at most, three chain stores, I think it would make a huge difference.

Pretending that what customers want is the same as 20 years ago won’t work, but compromising while keeping town values at the top of the list could make Los Altos a more sought-after spot for any age group.

Katie Jo Shuman

Los Altos Hills

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