Thu10302014

News

Police stress need for low speed in school zones

Police stress need for low speed in school zones


Town Crier File Photo
After two recent accidents involving cyclists and motorists, police urge caution – on both sides.

After two recent incidents of vehicles striking student bicyclists, Los Altos Police urge residents to exercise caution whe...

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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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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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