Sun01252015

News

UPDATED: Missing Los Altos High School student found

UPDATED at 10:20 p.m. Jan. 21: Mountain View Police report that Avendano is safe after being located in Los Angeles County.

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The Mountain View Police Department is looking for 17 year-old Mountain View resident Lizbeth Avendano. Accordin...

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Schools

MVLA revisits prospect of ninth-grade PE exemptions

MVLA revisits prospect of ninth-grade PE exemptions


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
The Mountain View Los Altos Union High School District Board of Trustees is scheduled to vote on a proposal to exempt ninth-grade student-athletes from taking PE. Students take part in a physical education class at Mount...

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Community

Midnight Express offers late-night rides from SF

Midnight Express offers late-night rides from SF


From Midnight Express Instagram
A group of millennial-aged Santas celebrating a night on the town prepare for a safe ride from San Francisco to their South Bay homes, courtesy of Cory Althoff’s new Midnight Express shuttle.

It’s no understatemen...

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Comment

More open than ever: Editorial

One of the Los Altos City Council’s objectives for 2015 is implementing an open-government policy. The title of the policy may be somewhat misleading, because it’s not as if the city has had a closed-government policy. But the new proposal goes beyon...

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Business

Cassidy Turley, DTZ plan to combine

Cassidy Turley, DTZ plan to combine


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Cassidy Turley, which has offices at 339 S. San Antonio Road, is combining with DTZ following its recent acquisition.

Commercial real estate services companies DTZ and Cassidy Turley have joined forces to operate as a sin...

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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

JUDY HOFFMANN

JUDY HOFFMANN

Judy Hoffmann passed away unexpectedly October 17, 2014 in New York City. It was only fitting Judy would be traveling and enjoying special adventures in so many different places until the very end.

Judy has lived since 1969 in Los Altos with her h...

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Travel

Cuban photographer slated to appear at Foothill

Cuban photographer slated to appear at Foothill


Courtesy of Raúl Cañibano
Cuban photographer Raúl Cañibano is set to appear at Foothill College tonight. His work – including the image “Series: Guajira’s Land, Viñales, 2007,” right – is on display at the KCI Gallery t...

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Stepping Out

TheatreWorks launches '2 Pianos' in Mtn. View

TheatreWorks launches '2 Pianos' in Mtn. View


Suellen Fitzsimmons/Special to the Town Crier
Christopher Tocco stars in TheatreWorks’ “2 Pianos 4 Hands,” which opened last week.

TheatreWorks’ production of “2 Pianos 4 Hands” is scheduled to run through Feb. 15 at the Mountain View Center fo...

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Spiritual Life

Start something great by ringing in the new year with prayer

There is a tradition, which I’m told originates in the Midwest, that calls for people to pray in the new year. A few years ago, I was invited to a friend’s house and a number of people stayed up until midnight (approximately two hours pa...

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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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