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News

Council seeks more options for community center

Council seeks more options for community center


Town Crier File Photo
The Los Altos City Council approved an appropriation to examine options for a new community center to replace the aging Hillview facility.

The Los Altos City Council last week voted narrowly in favor of examining further opti...

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Schools

Local schools participate in  national Hour of Code activities

Local schools participate in national Hour of Code activities


Ellie Van HOutte/Town Crier
Himan Shu Raj, a volunteer from Microsoft, advises Los Altos High ninth-graders, from left, Serhat Suzer, Jamie Bennett and Chris Yang as they participate in the school’s Hour of Code Showcase.

Local schools participa...

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Community

Take a dive into the holiday archive

Take a dive into the holiday archive

Town Crier staff made a quick cruise back through the newspaper's archives to find some late-December reading as inspiration for eating, drinking, decorating and more:

Beloved holiday books build the spirit of the season and staff at Los Altos’ Li...

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Sports

Pinewood poised for another title run

Pinewood poised for another title run


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Pinewood’s girls basketball team is receiving contributions from several new players, including freshman Stella Kailahi, above.

Complacency shouldn’t be a problem for the defending Division V state champion Pinewood S...

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Comment

Letters to the Editor

Ticket motorists for U-turns on Main Street

As I was walking downtown on Main Street recently, something came to me out of the blue. The town of Los Altos is missing out on a huge revenue stream. I realized that if all the cars – there were th...

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Special Sections

Looking Ahead

Looking Ahead


s in line to be mayor of Mountain View in 2015.

Mountain View anticipates the following changes in 2015:

• Beginning Jan. 1, Mountain View City Councilmembers will receive a raise to $1,000 per month as a result of the passage of Measure A in...

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Business

Your 2015 stock market game plan

It’s been a maddening month because of oil and gas, especially in stocks and bonds. Then, consumer spending pushed stocks higher Thursday, easing investors’ jitters about the global economy and prompting them to consider how to invest in ...

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Books

Gawande's

Gawande's "Being Mortal" proves an important book on aging


Books about death and dying are usually not on my list of “must reads.”

I couldn’t resist, however, the best-selling “Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End” (Metropolitan Books, 2014) by Atul Gawande.

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People

SANGEETA SACHDEVA

SANGEETA SACHDEVA

Sangeeta Sachdeva, 55, wife of Subhash Sachdeva and mother to Natasha and Tanya, died at 8:54pm, Sunday, December 7, 2014 from respiratory failure.

Sangeeta was born on October 18, 1959 in Delhi, India. She was born to Moti Sagar and Raj Kapoor an...

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Travel

South Tahoe renovations enhance off-mountain seasonal fun

As any enthusiast knows well, there is more to the enjoyment of winter sports than skiing or snowboarding.

While many winter resorts make minor upgrades each season, the off-mountain attractions and amenities can be as enticing as the activities on ...

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Stepping Out

Aurora Singers to emit 'Musical Glow' Friday

Aurora Singers to emit 'Musical Glow' Friday


courtesy of Aurora Singers
The Aurora Singers are scheduled to perform a seasonal concert Friday night in Palo Alto.

The Aurora Singers’ “Winter’s Musical Glow” holiday concert is set for 7 p.m. Friday at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Pal...

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Spiritual Life

Enter the superhero: Finding the God who loves you

In my life-coaching practice, I see a lot of pain. Much of it stems from fear and guilt, often expressed as low self-esteem, anxiety, a lack of forgiveness both for oneself and others, anger – and so on.

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Magazine

Christmas At Our House home tour celebrates 26 years

Christmas At Our House home tour celebrates 26 years


Courtesy of Christopher Stark
Homes on the St. Francis High School Women’s Club’s Christmas at Our House Holiday Home Tour showcase a variety of architectural styles.

The days grow short on sunshine but long on nostalgia as the holidays approach...

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LA council approves sewer-charge rate schedule

The Los Altos City Council last week adopted a resolution of intent that proposes incremental annual sewer-service fee hikes as part of a new five-year rate study.

The rate analysis report – completed by city-hired consultant Harris & Associates – comes after the council in April approved a change in the way Los Altos residents are charged for sewer services.

As previously reported in the April 17 issue of the Town Crier, the city opted to use a new hybrid charge method that includes an annual base charge plus sewer-use charges. The city previously relied on a method based solely on a parcel’s sewer use.

At the time, a staff report noted that the change was necessary to cover fixed maintenance and administrative costs for the city’s sewer system – pointing to water conservation efforts by residents that resulted in lower sewer charges than anticipated. During the 2012-2013 fiscal year, 36 percent of Los Altos parcels paid less than $240 annually under the previous rate method.

According to Los Altos Public Works Director Jim Gustafson, a portion of the revenue generated will apply toward expanding and upgrading the Palo Alto Regional Water Quality Control Plant. The plant has operated since 1934 and serves Los Altos, Los Altos Hills, Mountain View, Palo Alto, East Palo Alto and Stanford.

“The new method will affect users differently,” said Gustafson, noting that some parcels with low sewer-use charges would likely see an increase in annual rates.

According to the staff report, the new five-year rate schedule calls for a base annual charge to all city parcels of $209 beginning in fiscal year 2013-2014, accompanied by a sewer-use fee rate of $1.66 per service unit – which equates to 100 cubic feet of sewage (748 gallons). The median single-family parcel generates 110 sewer units based on winter consumption, resulting in an annual combined sewer charge of $391.60.

The report also outlined incremental rate increases for both fixed and sewer-use charges throughout the five-year schedule. The final year would include an annual base charge of $261.35 plus sewer-use rates that had increased to $2.07 per sewer service unit.

Gustafson said the increases for the average ratepayer equate to approximately 7 percent annually over the life of the schedule.

Gustafson noted that the council’s approval activates the state’s Proposition 218 notification requirements. The city will mail notices to all affected property owners, offering them an opportunity to submit written protests against the fee increases.

The city has scheduled the first reading of the rate ordinance June 11 and a public hearing July 9 for written protests, before the decision on the rate ordinance becomes final.

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