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News

Street crack-sealing project begins Monday, May 4

The City of Los Altos is beginning a city-wide street crack-sealing project on Monday (May 4).

City officials said the traffic impact for this project will be minimal. No streets will be closed and vehicles can resume normal traffic flow shortly aft...

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Schools

Homestead students use projects  to solve environmental problems

Homestead students use projects to solve environmental problems


Alisha Parikh/Special to the Town Crier
Homestead High School junior Maya Dhar, a Los Altos resident, left, and classmate Carolyn MacDonald support the school’s AP Environmental Science classes at the Arbor Day Festival April 23.

As summer app...

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Community

CHAC appoints new leader

CHAC appoints new leader

Naomi Nakano-Matsumoto, LCSW, has been named the new executive director of the Community Health Awareness Council (CHAC). A seasoned nonprofit leader, Nakano-Matsumoto is scheduled to assume duties July 1. She takes over for outgoing executive direct...

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Sports

St. Francis swimmers shine

St. Francis swimmers shine


Megan V. Winslow/Town Crier
St. Francis High’s Benjamin Ho competes against Sacred Heart Cathedral Thursday. The junior swam on all three victorious relays at the home meet, which the Lancers won easily.

Flexing its power in the pool, host St....

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Comment

Halsey House deserves preservation: Other Voices

Halsey House deserves preservation: Other Voices


Many contributing supporters to the Friends of Historic Redwood Grove believe that the Halsey House, designated a historic landmark by the Los Altos City Council in 1981, deserves to be saved and renovated for adapted use by the community.

Set in ...

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Special Sections

Sneaky shots: A photographer’s guide to capturing the proposal

Sneaky shots: A photographer’s guide to capturing the proposal


Elliott Burr/Special to the Town Crier
A stealthy photographer scouts locations ahead of time to find not just a place to perch, but also the ideal position for the subjects.

It’s showtime.

You’re about to ask the person in front of...

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Business

Pharmaca celebrates grand opening over weekend

Pharmaca celebrates grand opening over weekend


Megan V. Winslow/Town Crier
Pharmaca is coming to 400 Main St. with a grand-opening celebration scheduled Saturday and Sunday.

If natural health and beauty products are your cup of tea, expect to find them – and hot tea – this weekend at the gran...

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Books

People

JANE BUTTERFIELD PRINGLE LYND

JANE BUTTERFIELD PRINGLE LYND

October 30, 1924 - April 8, 2015

Jane Butterfield Pringle Lynd, daughter to Liebert and Elise Butterfield of San Francisco, passed away quietly at her home in Palo Alto surrounded by her family, following a short illness. Jane was a proud third ge...

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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

'Birds' landing in Mtn. View

'Birds' landing in Mtn. View


Ray Renati/Special to the Town Crier
The Pear Avenue Theatre production of Paul Braverman’s “Birds of a Feather” stars Troy Johnson as mafia boss Sean Kineen, left, and Diane Tasca as private eye Frankie Payne.

Pear Avenue Theatre’s world premi...

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Spiritual Life

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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LA Council Briefs

The Los Altos City Council took the following actions at its May 14 meeting.

City supports Santa Clara in Super Bowl bid

The council unanimously agreed to send a letter in support of the city of Santa Clara’s successful bid to host the 2016 Super Bowl. National Football League owners voted May 21 to award Super Bowl L to the South Bay city, which will become home to the San Francisco 49ers in 2014. The team is currently constructing a $1.2 billion 68,500-seat stadium near Great America theme park.

Mayor Jarrett Fishpaw told the Town Crier that hosting the Super Bowl would not only have a positive economic impact on Santa Clara, but on surrounding communities like Los Altos as well. Fishpaw cited the potential increase in hotel reservations in the area, among other things.

“Should the 49ers not make it to the Super Bowl (that year) – even though we’re naturally rooting for them – every hotel in Santa Clara County would be booked,” he said. “That’s definitely one area where Los Altos would have a positive benefit.”

In its letter to NFL Senior Vice President of Events Frank Supovitz, the city council called the region “an ideal venue for an event that celebrates athletic strength, strategy and spirit.”

In addition, the letter noted that the 49ers’ new home would “provide an extraordinary game-day experience for fans,” citing the stadium’s “state-of-the-art features and distinctive architectural design.” The letter added that the region experiences 300 days of sunshine annually and an average temperature of 62 degrees in February – when the Super Bowl is typically played.

City approves pact with truck drivers union

The council voted unanimously to adopt a resolution approving a new three-year contract between the city and Sanitary Truck Drivers and Helpers Union Local 350.

According to a staff report, the parties reached agreement April 25 on the new deal, unanimously ratified by Local 350 members five days later. The city’s current contract with the union was set to expire at the end of June.

The new agreement calls for 2 percent increases in employees’ base salaries starting the first full pay period of July 2013 and again in July 2014. A 3 percent increase will take effect in the final year of the three-year pact.

The agreement also provides for increased retirement contributions – totaling 6 percent over the life of the contract – by employees hired before October 2011. As a result, according to Los Altos Assistant City Manager J Logan, employees hired before October 2011 would increase their overall pension contributions to 8 percent.

Employees hired after October 2011 are not affected. Those hired after October 2011 but before Jan. 1, 2013, now pay 7 percent toward employee member contributions and are covered under the lower pension benefit of 2-percent-at-60-retirement formula.

As outlined in the Public Employees Pension Reform Act, state employees hired on or after Jan. 1, 2013, are covered under a lower benefit tier and contribute 50-50 to pension plans.

Artistic bike rack policy in the works

The council unanimously voted to direct city staff to develop a citywide policy regarding artistic bicycle racks.

According to a staff report, the city currently allows only black, horseshoe-shaped racks.

n 2012, the Public Arts Commission discussed the possibility of adopting a policy after a Los Altos resident saw artistic bike racks in Long Beach “and thought they would enhance the city of Los Altos,” the report stated. In March, the commission voted in favor of recommending that the city develop the policy.

– Diego Abeloos

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