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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Letters to the Editor

API article deemed ‘biased reporting’

As I understand it, the Town Crier’s editorial goal is to help the community resolve differences between the Los Altos School District and Bullis Charter School.

If the Town Crier truly wants to help bring the schools community together, then your staff writer should be oriented to that objective. Biased reporting is not helping in pursuit of that goal.

Upon first reading of Traci Newell’s reporting the 2013 Academic Performance Index results (“Schools keep top rankings despite dip in test scores,” Sept. 4), in paragraph 2, it looks like the district is No. 4 and the charter school No. 14.

Instead, in Newell’s coverage, one would believe that the district placed fourth in the state, and Bullis Charter School ranked as the 14th-highest-scoring elementary school on the 2013 API. Huh?

Why not try to accurately reflect up-front top-performing Bullis Charter School?

Only after reading the entire article did the truth and accuracy finally emerge from paragraph 11: “Bullis Charter School was the top-scoring school in Los Altos, fifth in Santa Clara County and 14th in the state with a score of 989, a five-point decline from last year. In addition to earning the highest-ranking API score in Los Altos, the school is the top-performing charter school in the state.”

If the Town Crier’s goal is to be realized, it’s time to stop the biased reporting and give credit where credit is due. It wouldn’t hurt to start by recognizing that Bullis Charter School is a jewel in the community.

Duffy Price

Los Altos Hills

Editor’s note: The article on API scores chronicled local schools’ scores and how they ranked on the state level. Our reporter mentioned the Los Altos School District’s and Bullis Charter School’s rankings in the same paragraph as a broader statement about schools in the community – with further details later in the story.

Reporting choices are never simple when it comes to covering the local schools debate – and almost guaranteed to draw criticism from one or both sides.

Want a bond measure? Stop the lawsuits

I am puzzled by the Bullis Charter School leadership. Do they really believe that Los Altos School District residents will pass a bond measure that benefits them when they have five outstanding lawsuits against those very same residents?

Realistically, I just can’t see that happening. Last year, a survey showed only lukewarm support for a bond measure, and when respondents were told that the bond measure might benefit Bullis, support dropped even further.

So, what to do? For starters, ending the lawsuits immediately might help. Voters in June 2014 (I believe that’s the earliest a bond measure could be placed on the ballot) would have had only nine months in which to forget the lawsuits – and nine months might not be enough time.

Ending the lawsuits would free up however much the charter school pays its attorneys annually ($1 million? $2 million? More?). Bullis Charter School could then offer this for a site in the spirit of cooperation and sharing. (Note that other charter schools in California have bought and constructed their own facilities entirely out of their own pocket, completely eliminating any district involvement.)

Absent dropping the lawsuits and absent a substantial contribution toward a new school for Bullis, I don’t see any chance that a bond measure would pass.

Vladimir G. Ivanovic

Los Altos

Mountain View growing too much

The Mountain View City Council has thrown a bomb on local residents. The bomb has exploded with shrapnel in the form of:

• Encouraging and making way for developers to build high-rise apartments and businesses with no forethought on its real future impact to our city.

• Forcing small businesses out of business.

• Approving substantially reduced required parking for the new structures.

• Failing to provide adequate parking in the downtown area.

• Creating congestion through the narrowing of El Camino Real and Castro Street to force Mountain View residents to ride bicycles.

• “Manhattanizing” Mountain View by creating canyons of buildings throughout the city.

And the list goes on.

Sadly, all of these problems apply not only to Mountain View, but also to the entire Peninsula.

Please answer these questions:

• How will people grocery shop on bicycles or get to doctors appointments without cars? How will people with disabilities get around? We have no viable public transportation. Valley Transportation Authority is not the answer. We would need a reliable, extensive and inexpensive mode of public transportation in place before and if this development is forced through.

• Why are city governments allowing the Association of Bay Area Governments (ABAG) to continue this insane onslaught of development? Why aren’t they fighting ABAG’s so-called requirements? Why is there a push to make Mountain View and the Bay Area like Manhattan?

What we can learn from looking at these huge cities is that fast-track building with no forethought to real future impact does not work.

Psychological studies have proven over and over that when more people are stuffed into a limited space, the results are more violent crimes, a decline in overall health and an increase in the already great divide between rich and poor.

Why do you want to create this in Mountain View and on the Peninsula? This is neither green nor sustainable.

Denise Pinto

Mountain View

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