Tue09162014

News

Council approves directional signs for Los Altos' Woodland Plaza

Council approves directional signs for Los Altos' Woodland Plaza


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
The Los Altos City Council last week approved the installation of two new directional signs on Foothill Expressway pointing motorists to the Woodland Plaza Shopping District.

The Los Altos City Council voted unanimou...

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Schools

New head of curriculum’s ideologies align with LASD

New head of curriculum’s ideologies align with LASD


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Edsel Clark, new Los Altos School District assistant superintendent for curriculum and instruction, above, facilitates a junior high mathematics curriculum meeting last week.

Edsel Clark, Ed.D., new assistant superintend...

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Community

Closing reception caps Foothill photo show on rural China

Closing reception caps Foothill photo show on rural China


From IncredibleTravelPhotos.com
Jacque Kae’s “Mischievous” is one of the many photographs on display at Foothill College this month.

Photographs of the land and culture of Huangshan and Zhangjiajie, China, are on exhibit through Sept. 26 at t...

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Sports

Spartans shine in opener

Spartans shine in opener


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Mountain View High’s Frank Kapp snares a touchdown pass from quarterback Owen Mountford in Friday’s win.

Leading by a point at halftime, the Mountain View High football team outscored visiting Del Mar 20-0 the rest of...

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Comment

A look ahead to the Nov. 4 election: Editorial

Election season is upon us. In Los Altos, we have three major local races ahead – two seats on the Los Altos City Council, and three seats each on the Los Altos School District and Mountain View-Los Altos Union High School District boards of tr...

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Special Sections

Renovation complete,  Villa Siena looks to future

Renovation complete, Villa Siena looks to future


Above and Below Photos Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier; Left Photo Courtesy of Villa Siena
Villa Siena in Mountain View recently underwent a $35 million face-lift. The five-year project expanded their senior living community’s space and ability to serv...

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Business

Transitioning from postage to pets

Transitioning from postage to pets


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
A new Pet Food Express store is scheduled to open at the Blossom Valley Shopping Center this month.

A site that previously existed to meet postal service needs will soon have an entirely different purpose – serving pe...

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Books

‘The Humans’ transcends alien genre to glean human insights

‘The Humans’ transcends alien genre to glean human insights


A good story about aliens is always great fun to read – after all, it’s only by attempting to understand the human race from another perspective that we can see ourselves more objectively.

But readers who might be tempted to dismiss ye...

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People

JEANNE PACKARD

After suffering a stroke in May, Jeanne Packard died August 10, 2014 at age 83. She was born in 1931 in Berlin, Germany, the only child of Emily Channel and Frank Howe Packard of Chicago, IL. Jeanne is survived by 5 great grandchildren. She was a lon...

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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

'Trailer Park' opens in Los Altos

'Trailer Park' opens in Los Altos


Courtesy of Los
The cast of Los Altos Stage Company’s “The Great American Trailer Park Musical” includes, from left, Mylissa Malley as Lin, Vanessa Alvarez as Betty, and Christina Bolognini as Pickles. Altos Stage Company

Los Altos Stage Company...

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Spiritual Life

9/11 survivor Michael Hingson finds purpose

Imagine walking down 78 flights of stairs – 1,463 individual steps. You are in imminent danger as you walk, unsure whether you can make it out of the building before it collapses or explodes. Struggling for each breath, you smell the heavy sten...

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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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Council offers support for library-tax renewal


Photo By: Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Photo Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier

Sophia Chen browses the stacks at the Los Altos main library Monday. The Los Altos City Council voted to support renewal of the Santa Clara County Library District tax.

The Los Altos City Council last week approved a resolution supporting a measure that would renew the soon-to-expire 20-year-old county library tax.

Councilmembers voted 5-0 June 25 to support ballot Measure A, scheduled for the Aug. 27 Special Election, which would extend funding for the Santa Clara County Library District for an additional 20 years at its existing annual rate of $33.66 per single-family home. The Los Altos Hills City Council also supported the measure with a unanimous vote June 20.

Voters in the library district, which includes the Los Altos main and Woodland Branch libraries, are slated to decide its fate via mail-in ballot. District members include Cupertino, Monte Sereno, Morgan Hill, Saratoga, Campbell, Gilroy, Milpitas and unincorporated areas of Santa Clara County.

The measure requires approval from two-thirds of voters to pass. Los Altos City Councilwoman Jan Pepper told the Town Crier that the measure would provide approximately $5.6 million in annual funds to the district.

“I think it’s great that the council supports it,” said Pepper, the city’s representative on the library district’s Joint Powers Authority Board. “The libraries are one of the more important assets that we have in our town. … This special tax represents 18 percent of the district’s (annual) budget.”

The council voted to support the measure after a presentation by Los Altos community librarian Jane Cronkhite noted that the tax would help district libraries maintain their current levels of service.

Specifically, Cronkhite listed ongoing needs such as maintaining library services and summer reading programs, retaining qualified staff and purchasing books and updated research materials. Without continued tax support, she added, local libraries would be forced to reduce hours by a day or more each week and potentially eliminate programming that benefits seniors, children and teens.

“There are more than 100,000 school-age and preschool children who attend library programs each year,” Cronkhite said during a prepared speech before the council. “School libraries are often open only a few days per week, making public libraries more important than ever for children’s education.”

Cronkhite added that the new measure would alter the way tax dollars are distributed among district members.

“Every Measure A dollar raised within the city is returned for the benefit and operation of the local library in that city,” said Cronkhite, who noted that the measure was not a tax increase, but simply a way to continue an existing level of support for the library district.

Under the soon-to-expire tax, the district applied a funding formula that equally weighs each member municipality’s population, property-assessed valuation and library circulation to allocate costs. The formula was a source of contention among some local officials, who claimed that cities received disproportionate amounts of funding compared to the tax dollars collected from Los Altos and Los Altos Hills residents.

Pepper reiterated Cronkhite’s assertion, noting that locally collected taxes would “go directly to the operations of the Los Altos and Woodland libraries” – an estimated sum of $636,000 for the upcoming fiscal year, should the measure pass.

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