Sat11012014

News

Spooktacular moved indoors


Due to rain, today's downtown Los Altos Halloween activities have been moved to the indoor courtyard of Play! at 170 State St. Enter from the back on the parking lot side to participate in crafts, games and fun. Activities continue until 4 p.m.

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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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Westwind riding program proves profitable for LAH: Other Voices

The Town Crier’s May 15 article on Westwind Barn led readers to believe that the Los Altos Hills Parks and Recreation Department’s Year-Round Riding Program is a money loser for the town (“LAH looks to concessionaire model to balance Westwind Barn budget”).

The facts prove just the opposite. This extremely popular horse-riding program, which provides riding lessons for people who don’t own horses, has been a net generator of income for the town. This year alone the income is projected at more than $12,000.

Of the 42 horses currently housed on Westwind property, only three belong to the Year-Round Riding Program – and they are paying full board.

Not mentioned in the article is that the seven other Year-Round Riding Program horses are kept in the nearby open-space pasture of Byrne Preserve, with negligible costs to the town, which provides no food or other services to the horses. Parks and Recreation has granted the riding program the privilege of pasturing two horses at Byrne Preserve for the past 35 years, a benefit also extended to the 4-H Riding for the Handicapped program. The operator of the riding program uses four holding paddocks on the Westwind property when horses are brought out of the pasture for feeding or to prepare for classes, but all costs – feeding, cleaning and maintenance – are borne by the Year-Round Riding Program operator.

Many factors have contributed to the current situation at Westwind and the town’s continued financial losses, particularly salaries. Under a concessionaire model, which the town has now recognized as a better management model (and one that all other area barns operate under), costs could be reduced and revenues increased.

In addition to the main boarding facilities, Westwind is home to three programs that serve the community: 4-H Riding for the Handicapped, the Pacific Ridge Pony Club and the Parks and Recreation’s Horse Camps and Year-Round-Riding Program.

All three, together with several public events, contribute to West- wind being a true “community barn,” allowing those who do not own a horse the opportunity to learn to ride.

The takeaway from the Town Crier’s article is that while Los Altos Hills values all of its programs, the town recognizes that it must get out of the barn management business and allow someone who understands the horse business to run the operation.

The town did a magnificent job in completing the seismic retrofit and renovation of Westwind Barn.

The time has arrived to hand over the running of the barn to a professional, while preserving the programs that have made Westwind Barn such a community asset – both for horse enthusiasts and the general public.

Los Altos Hills resident Nancy Couperus is a member of the Westwind Barn Task Force and a representative of the 4-H Riding for the Handicapped program.

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