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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Letters to the Editor

Consider conflicts when casting votes

While the Los Altos School District Board of Trustees has been tasked with deciding how other district schools should be run, the entire point of a charter is to allow Bullis Charter School administrators to make those decisions for themselves.

Now the district board has gone too far – officials are continuing to lock out teachers and students from the Blach Intermediate School campus, at this writing eight days before the start of school.

They refuse to hand over the keys until Bullis Charter School bows to their will and ideology by allowing only a few grades to have access to the campus and further preventing half of those grades access to outside areas while they are there for recess, lunch or PE.

As a parent volunteer for many years at Bullis Charter School, I have gotten used to making lemonade out of the lemons the Los Altos School District board has given us.

The two-campus situation was a big fat lemon. The solution of rotating grades for focused learning sessions was one of best glasses of lemonade we’ve made. But it seems to have infuriated the district board to the point of irrationality.

It shows the true, sad and ugly agenda of the district trustees that they would lock out children and teachers. Please remember what these officials have done the next time you are asked to elect a representative to the Los Altos School District board.

Christine DiBona

Los Altos

Trail route could threaten serenity

The Town Crier insinuated recently that we in south Los Altos who gathered at the Bay Area’s Stevens Creek Trail meeting were rude to loudly oppose the trail running down a quiet street in our neighborhood.

Our frustration comes because of a threat to our way of life. (I guess it’s not rude to completely alter other people’s lives.) This call for south Los Altos to embrace a large thorn in our lives made me wonder how the outsiders promoting it would like those loud voices outside their bedroom windows. Add the sound of bicycles, lots of voices, dogs barking and throw in a bit of litter. Want that 24/7? Probably not. And neither do we.

Whether we relocated here recently or have lived here 59 years, as I have, we all moved here for the quiet, low-key feel.

What scares me about this intrusion is the lack of caring that comes from the moneyed and powerful Stevens Creek Trail backers. Our feelings and lives are insignificant to “the cause.”

So it’s too damn bad if we’re loud about not wanting a well-traveled trail 20 feet from our beds. Don’t like the noise we make? Imagine having that noise 24/7 where you live.

I am hoping we can keep public places in public places.

Beverly Caballero

Los Altos

Vote Yes on A, then enjoy library

I admit it. I’ve come to take for granted the kind of library we have in Los Altos.

When I hear about Measure A and am reminded that a parcel tax that’s been in place for 20 years is up for renewal, it really is a wake-up call: I need to abandon my complacency long enough to return my mail-in ballot – with my Yes vote for Measure A – so that I can go back to relaxing about the library to which I’ve become so accustomed.

For 20 years, we’ve gotten used to the convenient hours, the enhanced collections and the expertise of a library system that derives its strength from countywide experience and responsibility for exceptional (and award-winning) library services.

Yes, I like the library we’ve got and I wince at the thought that we might have to adjust our expectations because Measure A did not pass. Won’t you join me? Please vote Yes on Measure A.

Bob Simon

Los Altos

Zimmerman column contains errors

I was frustrated by the factual errors and unsubstantiated comments in Grace Acosta’s column regarding the George Zimmerman/Trayvon Martin case (“Neither guilty nor innocent,” July 24).

Acosta proclaimed Zimmerman to be “far from innocent” despite a jury’s decision to the contrary. This after she admitted that she “didn’t follow the Zimmerman trial carefully.”

More disturbing is the blatant misinformation in her column. She wrote, “For example, the Stand Your Ground law is something worth rethinking, considering the consequences of not obligating people to walk away from violence when a legitimate opportunity to do so exists.”

That statement is absolutely false. In late June, I completed four handgun classes in Florida taught by law enforcement officers and state-licensed instructors. The curriculum included an extensive discussion of Florida’s Stand Your Ground law.

Firing on an attacker is a last resort when no apparent means, including fleeing from an assailant, exist to avoid potential death or great bodily harm. Stand Your Ground is not the “blast away” permission implied by Acosta.

There are many other facets and nuances to this complicated, polarizing case involving the unfortunate death of a young man, and some details may never be known.

What is known is that misinformation distorts civil discussion and makes common ground among sensible people harder to find.

John Gordon

Los Altos

Parking problem isn’t solved yet

Ted and Jerry Sorensen’s “Other Voices” column was so self-serving that it was sickening (“Three solutions for improving downtown parking,” Aug. 7).

They say that there’s no parking problem right now. The implication is to let their (unmentioned) project go forward without building adequate parking, and maybe others without building any parking.

With this thinking, there soon will be a problem, which they, as offered in other forums, suggest be solved by bulldozing the trees and small shrubs in our existing parking plazas so that they can be re-striped into narrower slots.

Because of the curves of these lanes in our plazas, this will make it even harder to park and perform ingress/egress from our cars. Even this would be a short-term solution, especially if the Los Altos City Council permits more construction in the plazas themselves.

Naturally, the Sorensens don’t suggest a parking garage, which would be very expensive for them and other downtown businesses as well as taxpayers. Ultimately, a parking garage will be necessary.

My suggestion is for the city council not to approve any more projects without adequate parking. Also, pick a site now for a future garage and protect it so that when the time comes, we are not left with a site without any access to any street whatsoever – i.e., don’t let the city council box us into a corner.

Paul Brooks

Los Altos

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