Mon05042015

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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Letters to the Editor

Small cars could pose big problems

Those cute, colorful little cars I see around town that look as if half their bodies are missing are becoming too affected by their gorgeous physiques and their environmental fame.

As their drivers zoom around Los Altos’ crowded streets, they ignore some of the rules of courteous and cautious driving. I hope they do not end up in an accident.

To the super-energetic drivers of these common little cars, we appreciate your concern for the environment and your willingness to conserve gas, but please refer to your driving manuals and keep our streets safe.

Just a gentle and small reminder: When approaching a crosswalk in downtown Los Altos, offer priority to pedestrians – children, parents and seniors who may be walking slowly while carrying a cup of their favorite java.

Lina Broydo

Los Altos Hills

Broadcast video for quick capture of perps

Reading about the recent bank robberies in our area makes us wonder why those banks’ security videos are not shown repeatedly on local TV stations. The Boston Marathon bombers were captured within a few days after their faces were displayed on TV.

Having regular, short newsflashes of local crimes would most likely lead to the quick capture of the perpetrators.

Susan and Les Besser

Los Altos

‘Powers that be’ don’t support LA nightlife

Regarding Alyssa Jacobson’s “Other Voices” column (“Downtown Los Altos could take a tip from Los Gatos,” May 22), the best I can say is, “Right on.”

I am a longtime Los Altos resident who, like my friends and neighbors, goes to nearby towns like Mountain View, Palo Alto, Los Gatos and San Jose for evening activities. These cities collect revenues from the money we spend at their shops, services, restaurants, movie theaters, etc.

Attempts to upgrade Los Altos and make it a more attractive destination are turned down by “the powers that be” – whoever they are.

I attended meetings where I suggested constructing a pedestrian shopping mall for parts of Main Street, sponsoring a city shuttle to take people from the city center to downtown and around local neighborhoods, keeping shops and restaurants open late, permitting a small movie theater and building a parking garage.

All suggestions are met with a negative “We like the town the way it is” or a challenging “Where will the money come from?”

I conclude that we will never have a thriving, vibrant city that is an evening destination. We will need to go elsewhere for activities after 6 p.m. Oddly enough, I do not recall ever voting on this issue.

On another topic, there are many residents of Los Altos and Los Altos Hills who are tired of reading about the whining, complaining and demanding from the Bullis Charter School crowd. Can we move on to something else, or could they locate their special school elsewhere and not expect the rest of us residents to pay for them?

Myra Orta

Los Altos

New Boy Scouts policy ‘tragic waste of talent’

I’ve read numerous articles about the Boy Scouts allowing gay youth to become members.

I’m delighted that at least that step has been taken. But I’m truly perplexed that gay adults are still excluded. Where do the gay Eagle Scouts go once they cannot become Boy Scout leaders?

Do they become Girl Scout or Camp Fire Girl leaders? Or do they disappear from the Scouting scene with their skills disregarded?

To me, this seems like a tragic waste of talent.

Barbara Emerich

Los Altos

Sewer rate hike requires voter approval

A 46 percent increase (in my case) for sewer service is outrageous.

Many of us in Los Altos are retired and living on fixed incomes. Those fixed incomes are not growing at all in these times of zero interest rates.

The city says it needs a 7 percent sewer increase. How can that possibly justify a 46 percent increase for those in my category and be considered fair? The city needs to revisit this proposal and come up with a more equitable solution.

This type of property fee assessment overreach is exactly what Proposition 13 was passed several decades ago to curtail. The consultants’ recommendation: “If less than a majority of the properties affected by the proposed sewer fee submit written protests to the fee, then the city may establish the fee” is not a legal method for approval of this increase.

Proposition 13 clearly requires that this type of fee must be passed by a two-thirds vote at a scheduled election.

If the city needs to push through these ridiculous increases, then let’s have the courage to get approvals the way the system requires – at the ballot box, not through the back door.

Bill Goodman

Los Altos

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