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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Arastradero Preserve exercise controls brush, tests wildland fire fighting skills


Photo By: Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Photo Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier Firefighting personnel supervise a controlled burn at the Arastradero Preserve near Los Altos Hills last week in preparation for the dry summer season.

 

During a prescribed burn at Arastradero Preserve May 30, the image of before and after was stark. A deer creeping through dry brush from the tree cover along Los Trancos Creek juxtaposed with a charred field spotted with lines of smoke dissipating into the brightness of the noon light just an hour later.

Whether created by nature or by man, fire is a natural mechanism for cleansing the landscape and preserving native species and animals. Last week’s prescribed burn at the preserve, 622 acres near Los Altos Hills, served the purpose of removing brush that could fuel a major wildland fire at the preserve and subsequently inflict damage on the homes and property around it.

Fire risk is high for residents who live in Los Altos Hills. A 1985 blaze at Liddicoat Lane and Arastradero Road destroyed nine homes and caused millions of dollars in damage.

During last week’s burn of an 11-acre plot, firefighters cut a clear path, creating a defensive zone in the landscape along a defined perimeter for fire containment.

A team of 30 to 40 trained personnel from Santa Clara County Fire Department and Cal Fire were briefed and tasked with roles. Wind and temperature were monitored for danger, the perimeter checked and rechecked, stray brush re-trimmed and crew from the Santa Clara County Fire Department and teams strategically stationed at possible problem zones.

A firing line moved quickly along the path of the prescribed burn, lighting the grass low to the ground with small torches. A back line followed the fire, along with a mobile unit equipped with hoses and water to extinguish wayward sparks or hot embers.

The fire concluded on schedule and as safely as planned. Commuters passing through Arastradero preserve during the evening commute – or even the returning deer – might not even know that the fire had occurred.

To view more photos from the prescribed burn, click here.

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