Tue08042015

News

E. coli found in Los Altos water indicated breach, but only low risk

E. coli found in Los Altos water indicated breach, but only low risk


Courtesy of Microbe World
Colorized low-temperature electron micrograph of a cluster of E. coli bacteria

When E. coli and other bacteria were discovered in some Los Altos water last week, officials from the local water supplier, California Water...

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Schools

BCS hosts Stretch to Kindergarten program for underserved youth

BCS hosts Stretch to Kindergarten program for underserved youth


Traci Newell/Town Crier
The six-week, tuition-free Stretch to Kindergarten program, hosted at Bullis Charter School, serves children who have not attended preschool. A teacher leads children in singing about the parts of a butterfly, above.

Local un...

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Community

Google car painting project calls on artists

Google car painting project calls on artists


Google self-driving car

Already known as an innovator in the tech field, Google Inc. is now moving in on the art world.

The Mountain View-based company July 11 launched the “Paint the Town” contest, a “moving art experiment” that invites Califo...

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Sports

Pedaling with a purpose

Pedaling with a purpose


courtesy of
Rishi Bommannan Rishi Bommannan cycled from Bates College in Maine to his home in Los Altos Hills, taking several selfies along the way. He also raised nearly $13,000 for the Livestrong Foundation, which supports cancer patients.

When R...

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Comment

The truth about coyotes: Other Voices

The Town Crier’s recent article on coyotes venturing down from the foothills in search of sustenance referenced the organization Project Coyote (“Recent coyote attacks keep residents on edge,” July 1). Do not waste your time contac...

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Special Sections

Grant Park senior program made permanent

Grant Park senior program made permanent


Photos by Alicia Castro/Town Crier
Local residents participate in an exercise class at the Grant Park Senior Center, above. Betsy Reeves, below left with Gail Enenstein, lobbied for senior programming in south Los Altos.

It all began when Betsy Reev...

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Business

New State Street rug retailer has downtown Los Altos covered

New State Street rug retailer has downtown Los Altos covered


Alicia Castro/Town Crier
Los Altos Rug Gallery owner Fahim Karimi stocks his State Street store with a wall-to-wall array of floor coverings.

A new downtown business owner plans to roll out the red carpet – along with rugs of every other color –...

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Books

Book Signings

• Fritz and Nomi Trapnell have scheduled a book-signing party 4-6 p.m. Aug. 1 at their home, 648 University Ave., Los Altos.

Fritz and his daughter, Dana Tibbitts, co-authored “Harnessing the Sky: Frederick ‘Trap’ Trapnell, ...

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People

GRACE WILSON FRANKS

GRACE WILSON FRANKS

Resident of Los Altos

Grace Wilson Franks, our beloved mother and grandmother, left us peacefully on July 16, 2015 just a few weeks short of her 92nd birthday. She was born to Ross and Florence (Cruzan) Wilson in rural Tulare, California on Septem...

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Travel

Gearing up: Make travel more civilized with accessories

Gearing up: Make travel more civilized with accessories


Eren Göknar/Special to the Town Crier
San Francisco-based humangear Inc. sells totes, tubes and tubs for traveling.

In travel, as in romance, it’s the little things that count.

Beyond the glossy brochures lie the travel discomforts too mun...

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Stepping Out

Going out with a 'Bang'

Going out with a 'Bang'


Richard Mayer/Special to the Town Crier
“Chitty Chitty Bang Bang” stars, clockwise from top left, Alexander Sanchez, Sophia Sturiale, Deborah Rosengaus and Danny Martin.

Los Altos Stage Company and Los Altos Youth Theatre’s joint production of t...

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Spiritual Life

Build a 'light' house and get out of that dark place

Most of us have a place inside our hearts and minds that occasionally causes us trouble. For some, it is sadness, depression or despair. For others, it may be fear, anger, resentment or myriad other emotional “dark places” that at times seem to hij...

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Magazine

Inside Mountain View

Residents gather at NASA Ames for Pluto Flyby event

Residents gather at NASA Ames for Pluto Flyby event


Megan V. Winslow/Town Crier
NASA Ames’ Pluto Flyover event kindles the imaginations of young attendees.

Sue Moore watched the July 20, 1969, moon landing beside patients and staff members of the San Francisco hospital where she worked as a nurse...

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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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