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

CARSTEN 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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BCS, LASD dispute split-campus option in court

Lawyers representing Bullis Charter School and the Los Altos School District met in Santa Clara County Superior Court last week to determine whether a split-campus option for the charter school conforms to the intent of state law regarding facilities.

The parties presented arguments related to the district’s 2013-2014 facilities’ offer for the charter school to Judge Mark Pierce, newly assigned to the ongoing controversy.

John Lemmo, attorney for the charter school, contended that the district failed to fulfill its facilities obligation as defined by law. He stated that the law includes a “contiguous site” requirement that the school district must begin its facilities allocation process under the premise that it will provide Bullis Charter School with a single site or adjacent sites and adjust other factors if possible to achieve that result – even if it requires disruption to district programs.

“The Los Altos School District has the discretion to decide how to adjust its facilities in order to provide a contiguous (and reasonably equivalent) site to Bullis Charter School, but it does not have the discretion to decide it prefers not to provide a contiguous site,” Lemmo said.

The charter school’s argument focused on a ministerial duty – which has a prescribed procedure under which it must be accomplished. Lemmo contended that the district did not follow the correct way to allocate facilities, resulting in the split-campus offer.

The district’s counterargument focused on the district’s right to a discretionary duty – which affords the district latitude in determining facilities allocation.

“The district believes that we do have the discretion in how we balance the needs of all students,” said Doug Smith, president of the Los Altos School District Board of Trustees.

Pierce, who did not file a tentative ruling, said he would take the case under submission and file a ruling soon, because there is follow-up litigation between the two parties. He shared his unofficial opinion with the two parties, who have been embroiled in litigation for eight years.

“I find it really disconcerting that so much money is being spent on litigation when the money should be going to the kids and education,” Pierce said. “I think you can all work together. We need to funnel this money into what it is really important, and that is educating the kids.”

The judge added that while he cannot order the two parties to enter into mediation, he highly suggests trying to solve the matter via mediation.

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