Wed05062015

News

LASD, city move toward land discussions

The ice may be thawing a bit as the Los Altos School District and the city of Los Altos consider resurrecting discussions on the potential use of public land as a school site.

The city voted to discontinue conversations about civic land with the sch...

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Schools

Mental health expert dispels myths

Mental health expert dispels myths


Megan V. Winslow/Town Crier
Palo Alto University Professor Paul Marcille addresses a crowd of psychology students and mental health activists last week about myths surrounding mental illness and violence.

In the wake of the 2011 Sandy Hook Elementa...

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Community

Q&A: Meet the city's new public works and administrative services directors

The city of Los Altos has hired three new department directors in the past ten months. The Town Crier recently profiled new Recreation Director Manny Hernandez. This week, the Town Crier profiles Susana Chan, new public works director, and Kim Juran-...

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Comment

Familiar icon pops up in Los Altos: A Piece of My Mind

I was walking to my car parked on State Street when my eye fell on an old familiar acquaintance from my early childhood, totally unexpected to meet in Los Altos. It was the “Steinway” logo over the door of the new Steinway Piano Gallery,...

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Special Sections

New Los Altos shop brews milk tea for gourmands

New Los Altos shop brews milk tea for gourmands


Eliza Ridgeway/Town Crier
Teaspoon, the milk tea shop at Village Court in Los Altos, above, serves a range of bubble teas and snow ice drinks, right.

Los Altos made it onto the milk tea map this spring with the opening of Teaspoon, a new bubble tea ...

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Business

Ed center scores spot in Foothills Crossing

Ed center scores spot in Foothills Crossing


Alicia Castro/ Town Crier
C2 Los Altos tutor Max Shih, left, instructs Homestead High School student Rajesh Suresh.

Los Altos families have a new resource for helping their children ace the test.

C2 Los Altos – a recently opened education cente...

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Books

People

DOROTHY RUTH MATHIS PUDER

DOROTHY RUTH MATHIS PUDER

9/17/1918-4/15/2015

Dorothy Puder died on April 15th in Sunnyvale, California. She will be remembered for her gentle, loving, positive and caring ways and will be greatly missed by family and friends.

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Travel

Cuba libre: Local residents join mad rush of travelers

Cuba libre: Local residents join mad rush of travelers


Natalie Elefant/Special to the Town Crier
Los Altos resident Natalie Elefant noted the vibrant street performances as a traveler in Cuba.

The U.S. restored diplomatic relations with Cuba late last year, enabling Americans to import $100 worth of cig...

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Stepping Out

 PYT's comedic musical opens this weekend in Mtn. View

PYT's comedic musical opens this weekend in Mtn. View


Lyn Flaim/Spotlight Moments Photography
The cast of Peninsula Youth Theatre’s “Once Upon a Mattress” includes, from left, Sophia Graziani (of Los Altos) as Winnifred, Chris Gough (Sunnyvale) as the Prince and Reilly Arena (Palo Alto) as the Queen. ...

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Spiritual Life

Mercifully in His grip: Exploring our true position in Christ

I recently read a wonderful analogy about our true position in Christ. It was shockingly contrary to the messages impressed upon me in church, but deeply rooted in the Bible. The analogy is that of child and a parent. If you have ever taken a small ...

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Magazine

Practice prudent pruning: Maintaining manzanita, ceanothus and toyon

Practice prudent pruning: Maintaining manzanita, ceanothus and toyon


tanya kucak/Special to the Town Crier
Shrub manzanitas are known for their sinuous mahogany trunks and branches. If the foliage hides the bark, prune selectively to open the center so that the bark is visible year-round. This Montara manzanita is ...

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Inside Mountain View

Up to the challenge: Local leaders unite to help at-risk youth

Up to the challenge: Local leaders unite to help at-risk youth


Courtesy of Challenge Team
Jeanette Freiberg, bottom of pile, has fun with family members. The Challenge Team named Freiberg, a student at Mountain View High School, its 2015 Youth Champion.

There’s an ongoing joke among members of the Challenge...

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Why I will happily vote for Measure A: Other Voices

It is no secret that I am an enthusiastic supporter of the Los Altos Library. In my mind, there is no service provided by our taxes that gives more value than the public library.

Nearly everyone is a recipient of library services, either personally or through members of the family. Children, seniors, mothers, grandparents, teens, nannies, retirees and the unemployed all take advantage of its availability.

On a hot day, the library is the cool place to go. To people with a few hours to spare, it is the alternative to a coffee shop. To babysitters, it is the best entertainment. It is one of the publicly provided services that people want to use (unlike police, fire, public health – which we want to have but hope not to use). I could go on, but let’s get to Measure A, an initiative that would renew the soon-to-expire 20-year-old Santa Clara County tax, scheduled for a special mail-in ballot that must be returned by 8 p.m. Aug. 27.

I am happy to support Measure A because I believe this year’s modest request – $33.66 per single-family home, approximately the price of one hardcover book – is a sign of the improving health of our library system. I am optimistic that when this Measure A renewal expires, we will not need to subsidize our library again.

The passage of Proposition 13 in 1978 decimated California library funding. All agencies funded by property taxes found their incomes slashed two-thirds – cities, schools, libraries, fire districts, counties, etc. The state passed legislation to ease the impact that lasted until 1990, when the state found itself short on funds.

In 1995, the Santa Clara County Library District followed the lead of Los Altos and Los Altos Hills and asked voters to approve a $33-per-parcel annual tax. That first $33 tax provided more than 40 percent of the library district’s budget. Eighteen years later, the library again is asking for just $33.66, but it will be less than 20 percent of the budget.

That’s a small price to pay to ensure that Los Altos maintains its two top-notch libraries with the books and materials local residents need. Even better, I believe that with the passage of Measure A, the Los Altos Library will ride out the next 20 years in good financial health, and we will leave our children a quality system that will no longer need to be subsidized. I will happily vote for that.

Elayne Dauber is a longtime member of Friends of the Library of Los Altos and Community.

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