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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Hurdle remains for project on Third Street

A downtown mixed-use project looks to be one step away from final approval by the city.

The Los Altos Planning and Transportation Commission (PTC) Aug. 15 unanimously approved six of seven outstanding conditions for developer David Luedtke’s three-story condominium and office space project at 86 Third St.

The move comes after the Los Altos City Council unanimously voted in May to send the project back to the PTC for further review and approval, citing concerns that included the building’s parking management and below-market-rate (BMR) units. Prior to the council’s May review, the PTC in April recommended approval of the project – which calls for 20 condos and 5,500 square feet of first-floor office space.

Reached by the Town Crier, Los Altos Senior Planner Zach Dahl said the remaining hurdle is the building’s exterior look, noting that some PTC members weren’t “comfortable” with the materials proposed for the commercial side of the building.

“They basically requested a different material than the (scraped) limestone for that side of the building,” said Dahl, who added that Luedtke’s team is reviewing the use of other materials and is tentatively slated to return to the PTC in October.

Exterior aesthetics aside, the project met six other specific conditions outlined by the council – including a request to upgrade one two-bedroom BMR unit into a three-bedroom dwelling.

“I think they get great kudos for the affordable housing. … They went above and beyond in a way that’s extraordinary,” Commissioner Phoebe Bressack said, noting the building’s BMR offerings of a two-bedroom, one-bathroom unit and a three-bedroom, two-bathroom condo on the building’s ground floor.

In addition, the PTC approved a parking management plan that includes opening the building’s underground parking garage during business hours to those patronizing its offices. Other approved conditions included a plan to prewire 11 underground parking spaces for the future installation of electric-vehicle charging stations and a master sign program for the building.

Although the project remains in the city approval pipeline, Dahl said Luedtke has remained patient and willing to make adjustments throughout the process.

“He’s been very receptive to the changes,” Dahl said of the developer.

Prior to casting his vote in favor of the six conditions – as well as a separate vote in favor of continuing the PTC’s exterior materials review – Commissioner Jon Baer noted that he and his colleagues aimed to create the best project possible for the city and the developer.

“When you’re a chef and you make something bad, you eat your mistakes,” Baer said. “But when you build a building that doesn’t work, there’s not much you can do about it.”

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