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News

LAH measure could boost sewer rates significantly

The Los Altos Hills City Council’s approval of a series of sewer service rate increases means residents could soon see a hefty jump in their tax bills.

There are 1,749 single-family residential units within Los Altos Hills and each currently p...

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Schools

MVLA foundation recounts first year of Learning in the Cloud

MVLA foundation recounts first year of Learning in the Cloud


Traci Newell/Town Crier
Robert Barker, Los Altos High World Literature teacher, demonstrates how students use online discussion in class.

Technology is no longer seen as a distraction in the classroom, as students in the Mountain View Los Altos ...

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Community

Faria and friends unite to raise funds for cancer research

Faria and friends unite to raise funds for cancer research


Courtesy of Joseph Faria
Supporters of last month’s Relay For Life event in Mountain View include, from left, Los Altos residents Matthew Aufricht, Connor Chu, Matthew Demele and Dominic, Eileen and Joseph Faria. The Los Altos Relay For Life is sla...

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Sports

Right  on track

Right on track


Megan V. Winslow/Town Crier
Mountain View High sophomore Rachael Estell leaps for the win in the girls long jump Friday at the CCS championships.

As far as locals go, the underclassmen overshadowed the seniors at the Central Coast Section track and ...

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Comment

Coffee with cops? We'll drink to that: Editorial

The recent “Coffee with a Cop” event proved a good public relations move for the Los Altos Police Department. It also provided a great opportunity for residents to ask questions and converse with several officers, including the police chief, in an in...

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Special Sections

Deciphering the irksome sounds cars often make

Ahh – the troublesome, telltale auto noise. It’s that squeak, screech, squeal, groan, grind, hum, hiss, rattle, knock, clicking or ticking that drives drivers crazy.

Even with all the technology in modern cars, the sounds our cars make t...

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Business

Local couple launches downtown restaurant

Local couple launches downtown restaurant


Alicia Castro/Town Crier
The Turn Bar & Grill crew prepares for the restaurant’s impending opening.

Jim and Julie Otis are prepared to realize their longtime dream.

The couple – lifelong Los Altos residents – wanted to ensure ...

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Books

Horan's 'Loving Frank' offers fictionalized account of famed architect's illicit affair

Horan's 'Loving Frank' offers fictionalized account of famed architect's illicit affair


In the 1920s, two married people fall in love, leave their spouses and children and set about living and traveling together. Affairs of this sort were considered shocking at the time. But the scandal was heightened given that the man was Frank Lloy...

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People

DR. WALLACE IRA SAMPSON

DR. WALLACE IRA SAMPSON

     

Dr. Wallace Ira Sampson, 85, passed away peacefully on Monday, May 25, at Santa Clara Valley Medical Center. He leaves his wife of 59 years, Rita (nee Landry) Sampson, brother Sandy, sons Robert, Paul (Suzanne), Buck (Kathryn), ...

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Travel

Flying south for the winter: Antarctica trips are not just for the birds

Flying south for the winter: Antarctica trips are not just for the birds


Photos Courtesy of Dave Hadden
Los Altos residents Dave and Joan Hadden watched the scenery from the large boat and a smaller Zodiac.

Standing on the beach with hundreds of thousands of penguins is “the experience of a lifetime,” according to Ga...

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Stepping Out

Kushner's 'Angels' arrives at Foothill

Kushner's 'Angels' arrives at Foothill


David Allen/Special to the Town Crier
Harper Pitt (Sophia Naylor) describes her life to Joe Pitt (Dan Martin) in “Angels in America,” playing in the Lohman Theatre at Foothill College through June 14.

The Foothill Theatre Arts Department’s produ...

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Spiritual Life

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

LAH Council Briefs

Following are highlights from the Aug. 15 Los Altos Hills City Council meeting.

The next council meeting is scheduled 6 p.m. Sept. 19 at town hall, 26375 W. Fremont Road.

Grant program keeps giving

The council voted 3-2 to continue support for the town’s Community Service Grants program. The council awarded $65,000 in grants for the 2012-2013 fiscal year – ranging from $800 to $10,000 – to 16 community service agencies.

In a discussion initiated by Councilwoman Courtenay C. Corrigan, who expressed concerns about the town’s role in the “business of philanthropy,” councilmembers weighed in on whether the grants were an appropriate use of funds.

“I in no way want to degrade or downplay the role and importance you play in the role of our residents – this is not what it’s about,” Corrigan told representatives of the community groups in attendance. “The problem I’m having is the fundamental problem of taking taxpayer dollars and giving them away.”

Mayor Gary Waldeck and councilmen John Radford and Rich Larsen countered that the grant program was a necessary supplement to the town’s “meat and potatoes” services like roads and sewers.

Larsen described the program as a “community resource,” adding that the health, social and community services provided by the grantees “contribute to quality of life.”

LAH joins Lehigh appeal

The council voted unanimously to add the city’s name to a Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District amicus brief that supports an appeal by an environmental group targeting the nearby Lehigh Southwest Cement Co.’s Permanente Plant.

The group, Bay Area for a Clean Environment (formerly No Toxic Air), is appealing a Superior Court ruling that upheld the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors’ decision to allow vested rights for mining at the cement quarry in February 2011.

The pending appeal contends that the county board illegally granted vested mining rights to Lehigh, allowing the expansion of mining operations on the 2,656-acre quarry without the need for additional county approval or conditional-use permits.

To build a united front, councilmembers noted that they hope to urge at least one neighboring city – Los Altos or Cupertino – to sign on to the open space district’s brief with them.

New art committee launches

The Art in Public Places Standing Committee is officially on the books as Los Altos Hills’ 13th town committee.

Following four months of discussion and planning, the council approved the addition of the committee June 20 and added it to the roster this month.

Charged with identifying potential sites for art in town and raising funds for acquisition, the committee will shepherd proposals to the council for approval.

“We love our town and just want to make it more beautiful,” said committee member Karen Druker.

Six other residents will join Druker on the committee, and Corrigan will serve as council liaison.

Zoning change eases secondary-dwelling parking

Meeting the town’s requirement for an additional parking space within property setback boundaries can be a squeeze – literally – for Los Altos Hills residents, who are already mandated to maintain a minimum of four unobstructed off-street parking spaces for their primary dwelling.

“Parking compliance and available development area are often an issue for proposed Secondary Dwelling Units,” Community Development Director Debbie Pedro wrote in a staff report to the council. “The proposed Ordinance addresses both issues directly.”

Under the Municipal Code amendment passed by the council Aug. 15, the parking space for a secondary-dwelling unit no longer needs to be unobstructed. Pedro noted that the change could reduce the amount of hardscaping needed to accommodate the secondary-dwelling-unit code.

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