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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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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