Thu09182014

News

Meet the Mountain View City Council candidates

Meet the Mountain View City Council candidates


Nine candidates have filed to run for three open seats on the Mountain View City Council in the Nov. 4 election – none of them incumbents. The Town Crier asked them to introduce themselves to readers in the following Q&A format. We knew the...

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Schools

LASD committee looks to rank campus improvement projects

LASD committee looks to rank campus improvement projects


Traci Newell/Town Crier
The Los Altos School District’s newly expanded Facilities Advisory Committee met for the first time last week. The 28-member committee’s first task is to prioritize campus improvement projects.

The Los Altos Scho...

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Community

Sports

New-look Lancers find their footing

New-look Lancers find their footing


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
St. Francis High’s Jenna Adams, left, and Carly Deale attempt to bump the ball Friday night. The juniors combined for 28 kills.

This year’s St. Francis High girls volleyball team faintly resembles last season’s squad ...

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Special Sections

MV Whisman teachers cite low pay

MV Whisman teachers cite low pay


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
An estimated 75 supporters of higher teacher pay turned out for the Sept. 4 Mountain View Whisman School District board meeting.

Teachers, trustees and administrators are recovering from a dramatic Mountain View Whism...

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Business

Skin rejuvenation studio joins Rancho

Skin rejuvenation studio joins Rancho


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Esthetician Marjan Kashi showcases one of the treatment rooms at her new studio, Pure Serenity Skincare at Rancho Shopping Center. Kashi provides services including microdermabrasion and various light and heat energy the...

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Books

A woman's perspective on the Greatest Generation

A woman's perspective on the Greatest Generation


During World War II, Virgilia Short Witzel, a young mother and U.S. Navy officer’s wife, grappled on the home front in Menlo Park with wartime rationing, shortages and loneliness. During the ensuing Cold War, she experienced adventure and misadventur...

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People

JERALD (JERRY) NELSON CHRISTIANSEN

JERALD (JERRY) NELSON CHRISTIANSEN

Resident of San Jose and Los Altos, California

July 21, 1931 to August 4, 2014

Born in Arimo, Idaho, to Jerald Emmett and Rebecca Henderson Nelson Christiansen. Raised in Davis and Riverside, California, with summers in Downey, Idaho, and in Loga...

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Travel

LA photographer spends a night with cranes – and moose – in Alaska

LA photographer spends a night with cranes – and moose – in Alaska


Sandy Powell/Special to the Town Crier
Los Altos resident and bird photographer Sandy Powell recently visited Homer, Alaska, to photograph Sandhill cranes, below. While there, Powell also encountered moose, left.

Los Altos resident Sandy Powell, a...

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Stepping Out

Pear puts on a pair of plays

Pear puts on a pair of plays


J. Smith/Special to the Town Crier
Dan Kapler (as Teddy) and Betsy Kruse Craig (Trish) star in Pear Avenue Theatre’s “House.”

The Pear Avenue Theatre production of two interlocking comedies by Alan Ayckbourn – “House&...

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Spiritual Life

Back to Church Sunday offers opportunity to recommit

The children in Los Altos are back to school, and I can still hear parents cheering. Summer is officially over, even if the calendar doesn’t quite think so.

Parents have attended Back to School nights to meet their children’s teachers. B...

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Magazine

Los Altos Hills home showcases resort-inspired living

Los Altos Hills home showcases resort-inspired living


Courtesy of Spectrum Interior Design
In place of a more traditional fireplace, this modern living room features a linear-flame firebox that emits heat while offering a sculpturelike design element.

After traveling the world and visiting a host...

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Los Altos Hills aims to be debt-free


Photo By: Image Courtesy of Town of Los ALtos Hills
Photo Image Courtesy Of Town Of Los Altos Hills

An illustration from the town of Los Altos Hills shows how only 6 cents from every dollar in property taxes ends up in city coffers.

The Los Altos Hills City Council Thursday approved an $11.4 million operating budget for the 2013-2014 fiscal year that may clear the town of outstanding debt.

The prospect of fiscal health follows four years of expenditures on capital improvement projects, substantial loan repayments for renovation projects and repayments to the state for unused Roadway Impact Fees.

The town still owes $113,000 to the California Energy Commission for loans used to fund energy efficiency measures.

“Paying off these loans will be a major, one-time expenditure that will improve the town’s overall financial condition and make it debt-free,” wrote City Manager Carl Cahill in a letter to the council.

Following Cahill’s revelation last week that additional roadway funds may be needed in the next year, the council agreed to reconsider whether paying the loans off outright made sense. Although the town expects a $163,000 surplus in its general fund at the end of the fiscal year, councilmembers don’t want to get stuck in a pinch.

“The budget is a plan,” Los Altos Hills Mayor Gary Waldeck said. “Plans change.”

To ensure that Los Altos Hills replenishes its coffers for the future, the town plans to spend 2.8 percent less than it did last year. Cost-cutting measures include eliminating two staff positions and asking each department to cut its budget by 2 percent. The town also intends to trim expenses by decreasing postemployment benefits for staff, discontinuing the sewer connection incentive program, postponing the hiring of a barn manager at Westwind Community Barn and reducing funds for planning consultants and tree removal.

The greatest expenditures in the 2013-2014 budget include $778,200 for Sewer Treatment Plant operations and $488,000 for sewer capital projects – estimated to run 11 percent higher this year than last. Los Altos Hills also plans to allocate $80,000 to hire professionals to complete a state-mandated 2014-2022 housing element update, $50,000 for engineering consultation for Barron Creek and $50,000 for open-space management.

Property taxes – the town’s largest source of revenue at 43 percent – are projected to increase $50,812, or 1.2 percent, in the next fiscal year. Revenue from all other taxes is forecast to decrease $66,900, or 12.7 percent, a result of reduced business-license activity and property transfers.

For a copy of the operating and capital budgets, click “Agenda” for the June 20 council meeting at losaltoshills.ca.gov/city-government/city-council/reports.

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