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News

Hills council strikes down proposed moratorium on substandard lots

With a divided vote, the Los Altos Hills City Council Wednesday (June 3) struck down a proposed 45-day moratorium on substandard lot development.

Mayor Courtenay C. Corrigan and Councilmember John Radford cast dissenting votes opposing the moratoriu...

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Schools

MVLA foundation recounts first year of Learning in the Cloud

MVLA foundation recounts first year of Learning in the Cloud


Traci Newell/Town Crier
Robert Barker, Los Altos High World Literature teacher, demonstrates how students use online discussion in class.

Technology is no longer seen as a distraction in the classroom, as students in the Mountain View Los Altos ...

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Community

Faria and friends unite to raise funds for cancer research

Faria and friends unite to raise funds for cancer research


Courtesy of Joseph Faria
Supporters of last month’s Relay For Life event in Mountain View include, from left, Los Altos residents Matthew Aufricht, Connor Chu, Matthew Demele and Dominic, Eileen and Joseph Faria. The Los Altos Relay For Life is sla...

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Sports

Right  on track

Right on track


Megan V. Winslow/Town Crier
Mountain View High sophomore Rachael Estell leaps for the win in the girls long jump Friday at the CCS championships.

As far as locals go, the underclassmen overshadowed the seniors at the Central Coast Section track ...

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Comment

Coffee with cops? We'll drink to that: Editorial

The recent “Coffee with a Cop” event proved a good public relations move for the Los Altos Police Department. It also provided a great opportunity for residents to ask questions and converse with several officers, including the police chief, in an in...

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Special Sections

Deciphering the irksome sounds cars often make

Ahh – the troublesome, telltale auto noise. It’s that squeak, screech, squeal, groan, grind, hum, hiss, rattle, knock, clicking or ticking that drives drivers crazy.

Even with all the technology in modern cars, the sounds our cars make t...

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Business

Local couple launches downtown restaurant

Local couple launches downtown restaurant


Alicia Castro/Town Crier
The Turn Bar & Grill crew prepares for the restaurant’s impending opening.

Jim and Julie Otis are prepared to realize their longtime dream.

The couple – lifelong Los Altos residents – wanted to ensure ...

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Books

Horan's 'Loving Frank' offers fictionalized account of famed architect's illicit affair

Horan's 'Loving Frank' offers fictionalized account of famed architect's illicit affair


In the 1920s, two married people fall in love, leave their spouses and children and set about living and traveling together. Affairs of this sort were considered shocking at the time. But the scandal was heightened given that the man was Frank Lloy...

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People

DR. WALLACE IRA SAMPSON

DR. WALLACE IRA SAMPSON

     

Dr. Wallace Ira Sampson, 85, passed away peacefully on Monday, May 25, at Santa Clara Valley Medical Center. He leaves his wife of 59 years, Rita (nee Landry) Sampson, brother Sandy, sons Robert, Paul (Suzanne), Buck (Kathryn), ...

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Travel

Flying south for the winter: Antarctica trips are not just for the birds

Flying south for the winter: Antarctica trips are not just for the birds


Photos Courtesy of Dave Hadden
Los Altos residents Dave and Joan Hadden watched the scenery from the large boat and a smaller Zodiac.

Standing on the beach with hundreds of thousands of penguins is “the experience of a lifetime,” according to Ga...

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Stepping Out

Kushner's 'Angels' arrives at Foothill

Kushner's 'Angels' arrives at Foothill


David Allen/Special to the Town Crier
Harper Pitt (Sophia Naylor) describes her life to Joe Pitt (Dan Martin) in “Angels in America,” playing in the Lohman Theatre at Foothill College through June 14.

The Foothill Theatre Arts Department’s produ...

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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

LAH open space stewardship gets green light


Photo By: Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
The proposed 2013-2014 Los Altos Hills budget includes ,000 for open space stewardship. Thistles and piles of trash, like those found at O’Keefe preserve, above, populate some of the towns open spaces.

With more than 157 acres of town-owned open space preserves in Los Altos Hills, some residents argue that more weeds than people populate the areas.

Yellow starthistle, French broom and stinkweed are just a few of the offenders that residents claim deter them from enjoying the public spaces. A new stewardship program spearheaded by the Los Altos Hills Open Space Committee may uproot the thorny invaders.

The committee proposed that the city allocate $50,000 annually for invasive species management, native habitat protection, fire hazard reduction and erosion control in three of the town’s largest open spaces: O’Keefe Lane Preserve, Byrne Preserve and Juan Prado Mesa Preserve. After the Los Altos Hills City Council approves the 2013-2014 budget this summer, councilmembers plan to authorize a request for proposal to solicit a professional contractor for the work.

The new stewardship program is not only about eradicating weeds, it also aims to reinvent open spaces into valuable “town jewels,” according to Open Space Committee member Nancy Couperus. She said the committee has been lobbying the council to fund cleanup and restoration efforts at the open spaces since 2007.

Although the town currently performs periodic mowing in the preserves and the Parks and Recreation Department hosts pathways cleanups, a contractor with specialized experience in open-space management and community outreach is needed to ensure proper care, Couperus said. She envisions a group like Acterra, a nonprofit environmental agency that currently manages Redwood Grove, receiving the contract.

“The intent is to enhance its attractiveness for local residents in line with the town’s general plan,” said Couperus, who added that funding would improve O’Keefe Lane Preserve and other open spaces by opening opportunities for walking, jogging and bird watching.

In the future, the committee hopes to forge other partnerships for open-space management. Committee members are applying for a grant from the Santa Clara Water District to restore Purissima Creek and plan to approach the fire district about coordinating additional brush cleanup.

Residents voted in 2002 to enact an ordinance preventing the sale or development of town-owned open spaces without a vote.

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