Wed04012015

News

Council eyes bond for Hillview center

Council eyes bond for Hillview center


Rendering courtesy of city of Los Altos
The Los Altos City Council accepted an $87.5 million cost model for its preferred layout for replacing Hillview Community Center. Red lines indicate vehicle access points, and yellow lines represent pedestri...

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Schools

Oak students showcase creativity in Destination Imagination competitions

Oak students showcase creativity in Destination Imagination competitions


Courtesy of Jane Lee Choe
The Sharp Cheddars, a team of Oak Avenue School sixth-graders, perform at the Destination Imagination state competition Saturday in Riverside.

A team of seven Oak Avenue School sixth-graders traveled to Riverside last week...

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Community

Heising-Simons Foundation relocates to 400 Main St. property in Los Altos

Heising-Simons Foundation relocates to 400 Main St. property in Los Altos


Bruce Barton/Town Crier
All in the family: Mark Heising, from left, Caitlin Heising and Elizabeth Simons make up the board of the eight-year-old Heising-Simons Foundation, now in its new headquarters at 400 Main St. in downtown Los Altos.

The He...

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Comment

What would Bob do?: Editorial

The recent passing of an extraordinary Los Altos resident, Bob Grimm, has generated a range of heartfelt reaction, from sympathy to fond memories, from all corners. That’s because Bob did not discriminate in his desire to help others with his money, ...

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Special Sections

Cars that are right on track

Cars that are right on track


Courtesy of BMW
The BMW M4 is packed with power, featuring 425 horsepower and 406 pound-feet of torque.

There’s nothing more fun than driving a responsive automobile that feels alive in the curves and eager to go when given more than a touch ...

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Business

First Street's 'Fort Knox' up for sale

First Street's 'Fort Knox' up for sale


Megan V. Winslow/Town Crier
The Los Altos Vault and Safe Deposit Co. is on the market for $4.5 million. Its fortified steel and concrete structure has been compared to the U.S. Federal Reserve’s gold depository.

A downtown Los Altos structure “b...

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Books

'Pope Joan' Book weaves tale around legend of female pontiff

'Pope Joan' Book weaves tale around legend of female pontiff


The idea that there may have a female pope at one time in history has generated much speculation throughout the centuries. “Pope Joan” (Crown, 1996) by Donna Woolfolk Cross, does not answer the question; rather, the author has created a detai...

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People

JOHN BATISTICH

JOHN BATISTICH

John Batistich of Los Altos Hills died peacefully on March 12 surrounded by his family. John is survived by his wife Claire Batistich (Vidovich) of 67 years and children Gary Batistich of Lodi and Gay Batistich Abuel-Saud of Menlo Park. He is also ...

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Travel

Eat, hike, soak: Cavallo Point Lodge offers Marin experience

Eat, hike, soak: Cavallo Point Lodge offers Marin experience


Eren Göknar/ Town Crier
Cavallo Point Lodge comprises former U.S. Army buildings, like the Mission Blue Chapel, repurposed for guests seeking a luxurious getaway.

It used to be a place where batteries of soldiers lived, with officers’ quarter...

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Stepping Out

'Fire' ignites in Mtn. View

'Fire' ignites in Mtn. View


Courtesy of Kevin Berne
The cast of “Fire on the Mountain,” includes, from left, Tony Marcus, Harvy Blanks, Molly Andrews and Robert Parsons.

TheatreWorks is slated to present the regional premiere of the musical “Fire on the Mountain” this wee...

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Spiritual Life

Spiritual Life Briefs

Oshman JCC hosts Judaism and Science Symposium

The Oshman Family Jewish Community Center has scheduled its inaugural Judaism and Science Symposium, “An Exploration of the Convergence of Jewish & Scientific Thought,” 5 p.m. April 12 at the JCC’s ...

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Magazine

Food for thought: Hidden Villa programs offer teens training in sustainability on the farm

Food for thought: Hidden Villa programs offer teens training in sustainability on the farm


/Town Crier It’s not all cute and cuddly for teens participating in the eight-week Animal Husbandry Apprenticeship program at Hidden Villa in Los Altos Hills. Mia Mosing of Palo Alto, left, and Sophia Jackson of Los Altos clean the pigpens – one of...

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Caltrans signals plan to modify Page Mill, I-280 interchanges


Photo By: Courtesy of CalTrans
Photo Courtesy Of Caltrans Caltrans deemed the intersections on Page Mill Road at Interstate 280 in Los Altos Hills a safety hazard and proposed new traffic lights and design modifications.

The four-way stops at Page Mill Road when exiting Interstate 280, particularly in the southbound direction toward Los Altos Hills, frustrate motorists – and, according to Caltrans, they’re dangerous.

Caltrans engineer Ramiel Gutierrez said the agency has initiated a project to mitigate accidents at the busy intersections.

“We have an accident history at both of these intersections, and they’re correctable by regulating movement by signal,” he said.

According to Gutierrez, the southbound intersection averages more than five accidents per 15-month period, qualifying for funding from the State Highway Operation and Protection Program and the Minor Program, which earmarks funds for traffic projects that address safety risks.

A preliminary proposal for traffic lights at the southbound and northbound ramps from Interstate 280 onto Page Mill and for traffic moving east and west on Page Mill, including ancillary sidewalks and crossing elements for pedestrians and cyclists, is projected to cost $3 million.

Because Caltrans owns the property at the interchanges, Los Altos Hills bears no financial obligation. Caltrans noted that project funding has yet to be allocated, and a study report and final engineering documents could take at least three years to complete.

Although the Los Altos Hills City Council’s consensus is that the intersection is dangerous, some councilmembers and the town’s planning commissioners expressed the need to solicit further community input before proceeding.

“This is going to affect about a third of town,” said Richard Partridge, chairman of the Los Altos Hills Planning Commission, of the six stoplights proposed and how little residents know about the plan. “I think (councilmembers) really have an obligation to let people know this is coming. … If you have people coming with pitchforks and torches, you know that you’ve stirred up a heart attack.”

After reviewing Caltrans’ initial plan April 4, planning commissioners shared their reservations with the council. They determined that the project was inconsistent with the town’s rural nature, could cause an increase in traffic and required deeper study before progressing.

Even if the council hosted a public hearing and ultimately objected to the changes, Gutierrez said there is little the town could do to stop the Caltrans improvements.

“We’re kind of on the hook ourselves to do something,” he said. “Now, obviously, if you write a letter and want to stop it, it could change the mechanisms a little bit.”

Gutierrez warned the council that it could be liable for accidents at the intersection if it stalls Caltrans’ efforts to improve safety.

Councilmembers said they want to take steps to ensure that the project doesn’t come as an unpleasant surprise to residents.

“We need to get a process in place,” said Councilman John Radford. “Then, no matter what happens, we can at least be assured that we got everyone involved (through a public hearing and committee review) ... so that we know we did thorough due diligence in a timely matter to complete the project.”

View the preliminary plans for the proposal here.

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