Wed05042016

News

LASD trustees discuss input process for bond spending

As the deadline for the acquisition of a 10th school site looms, the Los Altos School District Board of Trustees last week discussed gathering community input on the process.

The details of acquiring a new school site are addressed in closed session...

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Schools

Local AAUW gives gift of science to junior high students

Local AAUW gives gift of science to junior high students


Courtesy of Jessica Harell
Blach Intermediate School seventh-grader Paris Harrell, who loves science and animals, recently received a scholarship from the local branch of the AAUW to attend Tech Trek camp.

It’s not every day that a junior hig...

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Community

Director leads FHDA Foundation with a solid strategy – and a smile

Director leads FHDA Foundation with a solid strategy – and a smile


Bruce Barton/Town Crier
Tess Chandler recently celebrated her first year as executive director of the Foothill-De Anza Foundation.

Tess Chandler radiates positive energy. Wearing a perpetual smile, the executive director of the Foothill-De Anza...

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Comment

Attend an event, get involved, have fun: Editorial

You don’t have to run for city council to get involved in the community. Sometimes it can be as simple as attending a Los Altos event. You’ll have plenty of opportunities, as the May and June calendars are bustling with activity.

The Dow...

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Special Sections

Racing around Monterey

Racing around Monterey


Gary Anderson/Special to the Town Crier
The easy handling of the VW Golf R, above, makes for an ideal ride along the Big Sur coast.

 

When automotive journalists are asked to list their favorite places in the world to drive, Monterey alwa...

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Business

'Steampunk' eatery toasts local libations

'Steampunk' eatery toasts local libations


Courtesy of Eureka
Eureka, a new restaurant in downtown Mountain View, highlights local craft beer and whiskeys on a menu of food spanning from sea to farm.

Craft beer and fancy whiskeys headline the menu at Eureka, the new restaurant that opene...

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People

Stepping Out

PA Players seek escape in 'Into the Woods'

PA Players seek escape in 'Into the Woods'


Courtesy of Palo Alto Players
The Baker’s Wife, left, and Cinderella’s erstwhile Prince stand out in the Palo Alto Players production of “Into the Woods.”

Little Red Riding Hood sets forth at the outset of “Into the...

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Spiritual Life

Los Altos United Methodist Church service salutes Heifer International

Los Altos United Methodist Church service salutes Heifer International


Courtesy of Los ALtos United Methodist Church
Hidden Villa will bring some of its farm animals to Los Altos United Methodist Church Sunday to support the nonprofit Heifer International.

Los Altos United Methodist Church is scheduled to salute th...

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More trouble for suspected bank robber


The man believed to be responsible for a string of Los Altos robberies earlier this year has now been charged with an identical crime in neighboring Mountain View.

According to Cindy Hendrickson, Santa Clara County supervising deputy district attorney, 26-year-old Thomas Andrew Cronin was arraigned July 10 for the May 22 robbery of a Wells Fargo Bank branch at Cuesta Drive and Miramonte Avenue in Mountain View.

Los Altos police arrested Cronin seven days later, the same day he allegedly robbed the U.S. Bank at 1001 Fremont Ave. The additional Mountain View charge comes after Cronin’s May 31 arraignment for allegedly committing eight robberies in Los Altos, beginning in February. He is accused of twice targeting Standard Liquors on First Street and Co- merica Bank on Third Street.

Hendrickson said they were not able to charge Cronin for a second Mountain View robbery that occurred several days before the Wells Fargo incident – May 11 at China Café. The restaurant is located in the same shopping center as the bank.

“There just isn’t enough evidence at this point to be able to prove it beyond a reasonable doubt,” she said of the restaurant robbery.

The ninth robbery charge for the Wells Fargo heist, Hendrickson said, means Cronin now faces a maximum of 13 years in state prison. He would have to serve at least 85 percent of that sentence if convicted, according to Hendrickson.

She added that Cronin – who remains jailed in lieu of $800,000 bail – would not be eligible to serve time in county jail as part of the state’s prison realignment efforts. Hendrickson noted that Cronin could possibly receive a lesser sentence if he chooses to settle his case without a trial.

“Generally, a defendant who resolves the case before trial usually serves less than the maximum sentence,” she said.

Suspect doctors fake gun

Hendrickson told the Town Crier that a search of Cronin’s home turned up an Airsoft BB gun that police and prosecutors believe he used in some of the robberies. She said that while Airsoft guns typically include a red tip to differ from actual guns, Cronin went to extra lengths to ensure that his nonlethal gun looked like a Glock pistol.

“It had the red tip colored (black) so that it looked like a real gun,” said Hendrickson, who has prosecuted cases involving robbery suspects using BB guns. “Everyone who saw it thought it was a real gun.”

But Hendrickson said Cronin would not face an enhanced weapons charge, which carries an additional 10-year sentence under California law, because he used a nonlethal weapon to commit the crimes.

Hendrickson added that the case remains in the discovery phase – which includes the introduction and exchange of evidence between sides – and that Cronin likely won’t enter a plea “for some time.” His next court appearance is scheduled Aug. 7.

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