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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Denial for all the wrong reasons: Editorial

It’s a given that no one likes traffic and noise. So it seems logical that a request by two schools at Union Presbyterian Church to expand enrollment by 20 students would increase traffic and noise around its location at 858 University Ave., right?

Not so fast. A traffic analysis conducted by Los Altos city staff reported virtually no difference in traffic if the schools’ enrollment were capped at 120 students rather than the current 100. In addition, several improvements have been made in the two years since the Los Altos City Council last denied the 120-limit request, including striping along University to help manage auto traffic and the schools’ commitment to carpooling and staggering their opening and closing times to reduce congestion.

But despite recommendations for approval from city staff and the Planning and Traffic Commission, the council last week once again denied an amendment to the church’s current use permit to allow a maximum of 120 students.

We believe that the majority of the council was wrong to reject the increase (Mayor Jarrett Fishpaw and Councilwoman Jeannie Bruins voted in favor of it), for what came down to a dismissal of the traffic study and a refusal to acknowledge that factors beyond the schools were adding to traffic and noise in the neighborhood.

Councilwoman Val Carpenter was particularly out of line in one of her reasons for denying the request, claiming that the schools have too few students residing in Los Altos. Her provincial rationale failed to account for the church itself, which has been in Los Altos more than 100 years and has a long history of contributing to the community.

Carpenter suggested that the 600-student Bullis Charter School could occupy the 6-acre site instead, should the church’s schools be forced to move to another location. At least, she reasoned, the traffic and noise would come from more local residents. Hmm. Would residents somehow tolerate noise and traffic from 480 additional students, knowing the students are from Los Altos families?

Union Presbyterian Church has been a good neighbor. The church needs the revenue the schools generate, among its facility rental sources, to maintain its mission. It’s clear that a 20-student increase wouldn’t impact traffic, but rejecting the increase could hurt the schools and ultimately the church. Sorry, council, but your priorities are all out of whack. Your denial is a slap in the face to a longtime friend.

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