Wed07302014

News

"Brown is the new green," says local water district


Lina Broydo/Special to the Town Crier
Are downtown Los Altos flower pots getting too much water? The Santa Clara Valley Water District plans to hire “water cops” to discourage overwatering.

The Santa Clara Valley Water District is spending nearl...

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Schools

Foothill camps prepare local students for STEM careers

Foothill camps prepare local students for STEM careers


Photos Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Middle school students make robotic hands using 3-D printers during a STEM Summer Camp at Foothill College.

From designing roller coasters to developing biodegradable plastics, high school students received an i...

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Community

Local entrepreneur opens home to Afghan and Rwandan women

Local entrepreneur opens home to Afghan and Rwandan women


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Businesswomen Joan Mazimhaka of Rwanda, third from left, and Fakhria Ibrahimi of Afghanistan, in orange, traveled to the U.S. with a 26-woman delegation through the Peace Through Business program.

Employees scoop ice ...

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Comment

Moving on: The Rockey Road

Just over a month ago, we decided to put our house on the market. My husband and I had been tossing around the idea of moving back to the area where we grew up, which is only approximately 40 minutes from here. Of course, Los Altos is a great place t...

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Business

Halo heads to Los Altos: Blow-dry bar founder opens new First Street location Monday

Halo heads to Los Altos: Blow-dry bar founder opens new First Street location Monday


ElLie Van Houtte/ Town Crier
Armed with blow dryers, Halo founder Rosemary Camposano, left, and store manager Nikki Thomas prepare for the blow-dry bar’s grand opening on First Street Monday.

A blow-dry bar is set to open downtown Monday, and i...

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Books

"Frozen in Time" chronicles harrowing WWII rescue attempts


Many readers can’t resist a true-life adventure story, especially those that shine a spotlight on people who exhibit supreme courage in the face of adversity and end up surviving – or not – against the odds.

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People

DR. ALFRED HUGHES

Long time Los Altos resident, Dr. Alfred Hughes, died May 1st after a long illness. Dr. Hughes was born in 1927 in Maspeth, NY. He served in the US Army from 1945-6, attended Brooklyn Polytechnic University, then graduated from Reed College in Portla...

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Travel

Travel Tidbit: Ritz-Carlton, Lake Tahoe offers spa getaway

Travel Tidbit: Ritz-Carlton, Lake Tahoe offers spa getaway


Courtesy of Ritz-Carlton
The Ritz-Carlton in Lake Tahoe offers fall getaway packages that include spa treatments and yoga classes.

Fall in North Lake Tahoe boasts crisp mornings and opportunities to spend quality time in the mountains. Specially ...

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Stepping Out

'Wizard' winds down at Bus Barn

'Wizard' winds down at Bus Barn


Town Crier file photo
Local actors rehearse a scene from “The Wizard of Oz.”

Los Altos Youth Theatre and Los Altos Stage Company’s collaborative production of “The Wizard of Oz” is slated to close Sunday at Bus Barn Theater, 97 Hillview Ave.

T...

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Spiritual Life

Stanford University appoints new dean for religious life

Stanford University appoints new dean for religious life


Shaw

Stanford University named the Very Rev. Dr. Jane Shaw, dean of Grace Cathedral in San Francisco, its new dean for religious life.

Provost John Etchemendy announced Shaw’s appointment July 21, adding that she also will join the faculty in...

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Magazine

Festival features fun for everyone

Festival features fun for everyone


TOWN CRIER FILE PHOTO
The Los Altos Arts & Wine Festival boasts more than 375 craft and arts booths.

This weekend’s 35th annual Los Altos Arts & Wine Festival promises to be jam-packed with fun activities for just about everyone. The eve...

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LASD loses Sunnyvale-site bid; district, BCS may meet


Photo By:
Smith

The Los Altos School District lost its bid to purchase the Raynor Activity Center in Sunnyvale last week, prompting officials to focus on other options for additional school sites.

The district pursued the Sunnyvale property with the intention of refurbishing it with bond funds and relocating Bullis Charter School to the campus. The Sunnyvale City Council June 12 voted to reject the district’s bid and begin negotiations for the Raynor site with the Stratford School.

Bullis Charter School balked at the Raynor site, located more than 3 miles outside school district boundaries and more than 7 miles from the charter school’s Egan Junior High School campus.

In conjunction with its bid on the Sunnyvale site, the Los Altos School District filed a lawsuit requesting that the court certify the district’s right to place the charter school outside district boundaries. District Board of Trustees President Doug Smith said the district still plans to move forward with the lawsuit.

“The question in front of the court is broader than just the Raynor site,” he said. “It asks the courts to declare the legality around placing Bullis Charter School outside district boundaries. Getting an answer to this question is worth doing.”

Charter school officials, who filed a countersuit to block the district’s proposal to move the charter school outside district boundaries, remain opposed to the district’s bid on Raynor and its ensuing lawsuit.

“This is a public relations, legal and financial disaster of the Los Altos School District’s own creation,” said Joe Hurd, charter school board member. “The trustees own this.”

Hurd said that rather than meet with the charter school’s board to discuss long-term options, the district continues to pursue legal redress.

“Their bid … wasn’t the winning bid because the only interests served here are those of the (district) trustees, not the Los Altos taxpayers, not the citizens of Sunnyvale and most of all not the children of Los Altos – the very people whose interest the trustees are supposed to promote and protect,” he said.

Finding a new site

The district formed a committee to research possibilities for a 10th site. Members have met throughout the year but choose to keep their interest in various sites private for negotiating purposes.

District Trustee Tammy Logan, who serves on the committee, said that while she expects members to meet over the summer, nothing is scheduled to date.

“The committee has identified some interesting sites, but given the litigation initiated by Bullis Charter School concerning Raynor, we have had very limited discussion,” Logan wrote in an email to the Town Crier. “A reply by the court concerning whether the district may legally offer a facility outside of the district will help us better focus our efforts.”

A Santa Clara County Superior Court judge is scheduled to hear arguments in the two suits regarding the Raynor site and the district’s right to place the charter school outside district boundaries the week of July 22.

Smith said district trustees have authorized staff to conduct discussions about potential properties.

“Conversations about other properties, both within and outside the district, are being pursued,” he said, and the timeline is moving “as fast as we can.”

Smith added that the district has yet to bid on other properties, and many sites on the district’s list of interest are not currently for sale.

District, charter school meeting

The Los Altos School District’s Enrollment Task Force last month released a report that emphasized the need for two new campuses to accommodate student growth and the importance of working in tandem with the Bullis Charter School board.

Smith said he reached out to charter school officials with a request that the two boards meet to discuss the task force’s findings.

“We want to move forward together with the charter school board for a permanent solution in regards to the task force recommendations,” he said.

Hurd also approached the district to jump-start the facilities allocation process for the 2014-2015 school year. The annual negotiating process typically begins in September.

Smith responded that the district would consider entering the facilities process early. Hurd is zeroing in on a date that would work for both boards, most likely over the summer.

“If Los Altos School District trustees want to have conversations, we can talk to the lawyers,” Hurd said. “We can agree that anything that is discussed cannot wind up in court – a legal cone of silence. The litigation is the past – let’s talk about the future.”

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