Tue05052015

News

Water district reps address LAH concerns over project taxation

Water district reps address LAH concerns over project taxation

 Gary Kremen

Los Altos Hills residents, city councilmembers and even the Santa Clara Valley Water District Board chairman have protested taxes for water the district doesn't deliver.

"We're getting taxed for something we're not receiving, ...

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Schools

Local high schools awarded 'Gold Ribbon'

The Mountain View Los Altos High School District received notice today that both Mountain View High School and Los Altos High School have been selected as Gold Ribbon Schools.

Three-hundred seventy-three schools out of more than 2,600 middle and hig...

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Community

Slideshow: Los Altos Live!

More than 20 acts performed to a soldout crowd April 25 at Los Altos High School's Eagle Theater for the seventh annual "Los Altos Live!" talent show. The show featured an eclectic range of acts, including rock bands, singers, dancers and the Broad...

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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 photographers guide to capturing the proposal

Sneaky shots: A photographers 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 you to spen...

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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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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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