Wed05062015

News

LASD, city move toward land discussions

The ice may be thawing a bit as the Los Altos School District and the city of Los Altos consider resurrecting discussions on the potential use of public land as a school site.

The city voted to discontinue conversations about civic land with the sch...

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Schools

Mental health expert dispels myths

Mental health expert dispels myths


Megan V. Winslow/Town Crier
Palo Alto University Professor Paul Marcille addresses a crowd of psychology students and mental health activists last week about myths surrounding mental illness and violence.

In the wake of the 2011 Sandy Hook Elementa...

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Community

Q&A: Meet the city's new public works and administrative services directors

The city of Los Altos has hired three new department directors in the past ten months. The Town Crier recently profiled new Recreation Director Manny Hernandez. This week, the Town Crier profiles Susana Chan, new public works director, and Kim Juran-...

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Comment

Familiar icon pops up in Los Altos: A Piece of My Mind

I was walking to my car parked on State Street when my eye fell on an old familiar acquaintance from my early childhood, totally unexpected to meet in Los Altos. It was the “Steinway” logo over the door of the new Steinway Piano Gallery,...

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Special Sections

New Los Altos shop brews milk tea for gourmands

New Los Altos shop brews milk tea for gourmands


Eliza Ridgeway/Town Crier
Teaspoon, the milk tea shop at Village Court in Los Altos, above, serves a range of bubble teas and snow ice drinks, right.

Los Altos made it onto the milk tea map this spring with the opening of Teaspoon, a new bubble tea ...

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Business

Ed center scores spot in Foothills Crossing

Ed center scores spot in Foothills Crossing


Alicia Castro/ Town Crier
C2 Los Altos tutor Max Shih, left, instructs Homestead High School student Rajesh Suresh.

Los Altos families have a new resource for helping their children ace the test.

C2 Los Altos – a recently opened education cente...

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Books

People

DOROTHY RUTH MATHIS PUDER

DOROTHY RUTH MATHIS PUDER

9/17/1918-4/15/2015

Dorothy Puder died on April 15th in Sunnyvale, California. She will be remembered for her gentle, loving, positive and caring ways and will be greatly missed by family and friends.

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Travel

Cuba libre: Local residents join mad rush of travelers

Cuba libre: Local residents join mad rush of travelers


Natalie Elefant/Special to the Town Crier
Los Altos resident Natalie Elefant noted the vibrant street performances as a traveler in Cuba.

The U.S. restored diplomatic relations with Cuba late last year, enabling Americans to import $100 worth of cig...

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Stepping Out

 PYT's comedic musical opens this weekend in Mtn. View

PYT's comedic musical opens this weekend in Mtn. View


Lyn Flaim/Spotlight Moments Photography
The cast of Peninsula Youth Theatre’s “Once Upon a Mattress” includes, from left, Sophia Graziani (of Los Altos) as Winnifred, Chris Gough (Sunnyvale) as the Prince and Reilly Arena (Palo Alto) as the Queen. ...

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Spiritual Life

Mercifully in His grip: Exploring our true position in Christ

I recently read a wonderful analogy about our true position in Christ. It was shockingly contrary to the messages impressed upon me in church, but deeply rooted in the Bible. The analogy is that of child and a parent. If you have ever taken a small ...

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Magazine

Practice prudent pruning: Maintaining manzanita, ceanothus and toyon

Practice prudent pruning: Maintaining manzanita, ceanothus and toyon


tanya kucak/Special to the Town Crier
Shrub manzanitas are known for their sinuous mahogany trunks and branches. If the foliage hides the bark, prune selectively to open the center so that the bark is visible year-round. This Montara manzanita is ...

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Inside Mountain View

Up to the challenge: Local leaders unite to help at-risk youth

Up to the challenge: Local leaders unite to help at-risk youth


Courtesy of Challenge Team
Jeanette Freiberg, bottom of pile, has fun with family members. The Challenge Team named Freiberg, a student at Mountain View High School, its 2015 Youth Champion.

There’s an ongoing joke among members of the Challenge...

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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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