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News

LA council votes to delay community center update

LA council votes to delay community center update


Ellie Van Houtte/ Town Crier
The Los Altos City Council voted to delay adoption of a community center conceptual design plan last week. The plan includes elements from a design charette held earlier this fall, left.

The Los Altos City Council last...

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Schools

Scientists bring experiments into MV classrooms

Scientists bring experiments into MV classrooms


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
During a Science is Learning geology lesson, Theuerkauf Elementary School students learn about igneous rocks by observing how sugar changes form when heated.

Hundreds of local elementary students perform experiments w...

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Community

Local actors star in PYT's 'Oklahoma!'

Local actors star in PYT's 'Oklahoma!'


Courtesy of Peninsula Youth Theatre
PYT’s “Oklahoma!” features, from left, David Peters of Mountain View, Jenna Levere of Los Altos and Kai Wessel of Mountain View.

Time is running out to catch Peninsula Youth Theatre’s production of “Oklahoma!”...

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Sports

Eagles advance

Eagles advance


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Los Altos High’s Carmen Annevelink, left, and Kristen Liu put up a block against Mountain View. Annevelink totaled 20 kills.

Mountain View High’s out-of-the-gate energy could last for only so long against rival and he...

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Comment

Coping with addictions: Haugh About That?

Preparing to deal with my lifelong addiction, I stood in front of the mirror ready to confess the shame I’d been hiding. The first step to healing, I reminded myself, is to admit something is wrong.

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Special Sections

NASA, Google agreement preserves Hangar One

NASA, Google agreement preserves Hangar One


Bruce Barton/Town Crier
Hangar One, pictured here last January, will be restored under an agreement between Google and NASA.

NASA and Google Inc. forged an agreement last week that allows Google to lease a portion of NASA’s historic Moffett Fede...

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Business

State Street science center closing Nov. 30

State Street science center closing Nov. 30


Ellie Van Houtte/
Helix at 316 State St. is closing after the completion of a one-year grant from Passerelle Investment Co. The science center became a popular destination because of its various exhibits. Town Crier

A popular downtown destination...

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Books

Children's author signs books at Linden Tree

Children's author signs books at Linden Tree


Author Tiffany Papageorge is scheduled to sign copies of new her book 11 a.m. Dec. 6 at Linden Tree Books, 265 State St., Los Altos.

Papageorge’s “My Yellow Balloon” (Minoan Moon, 2014) is a Mom’s Choice “Gold” winner. In the book, the Los Gat...

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People

JAMES WINDELL SMITH

JAMES WINDELL SMITH

January 11, 1939 – November 6, 2014
Resident of Mountain View

James Windell Smith, a 40 year resident of Los Altos, passed away from complications after a post-surgery stroke November 6th, 2014 in Los Gatos, California.

Born on January 11, 1939 on...

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Travel

Olive Sonoma: There's more to the quaint town than wine

Olive Sonoma: There's more to the quaint town than wine


Eren Göknar/ Special to the Town Crier
While many day-trippers may think that Sonoma is all about the grapes, the region boasts other delights. Try a biplane ride over the patchwork landscape.

Sonoma, a scenic two-hour drive from Los Altos, boa...

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Stepping Out

LA Stage Company opens 'Fairway'

The Los Altos Stage Company production of Ken Ludwig’s new comedy “The Fox on the Fairway” is slated to run Thursday through Dec. 14 at Bus Barn Theater, 97 Hillview Ave.

A tribute to the English farces of the 1930s and 1940s, “Fox” is a romp that p...

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Spiritual Life

Author of Jewish historical novel slated at Congregation Beth Am

Author of Jewish historical novel slated at Congregation Beth Am


The Beth Am Women have scheduled “A Conversation with Author Maggie Anton” 7:30 p.m. Nov. 20 at Congregation Beth Am, 26790 Arastradero Road, Los Altos Hills.

Anton, winner of the 2012 National Jewish Book Award for Fiction, will discu...

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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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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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