Mon05042015

News

Street crack-sealing project begins Monday, May 4

The City of Los Altos is beginning a city-wide street crack-sealing project on Monday (May 4).

City officials said the traffic impact for this project will be minimal. No streets will be closed and vehicles can resume normal traffic flow shortly aft...

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Schools

Homestead students use projects  to solve environmental problems

Homestead students use projects to solve environmental problems


Alisha Parikh/Special to the Town Crier
Homestead High School junior Maya Dhar, a Los Altos resident, left, and classmate Carolyn MacDonald support the school’s AP Environmental Science classes at the Arbor Day Festival April 23.

As summer app...

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Community

CHAC appoints new leader

CHAC appoints new leader

Naomi Nakano-Matsumoto, LCSW, has been named the new executive director of the Community Health Awareness Council (CHAC). A seasoned nonprofit leader, Nakano-Matsumoto is scheduled to assume duties July 1. She takes over for outgoing executive direct...

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Sports

St. Francis swimmers shine

St. Francis swimmers shine


Megan V. Winslow/Town Crier
St. Francis High’s Benjamin Ho competes against Sacred Heart Cathedral Thursday. The junior swam on all three victorious relays at the home meet, which the Lancers won easily.

Flexing its power in the pool, host St....

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Comment

Halsey House deserves preservation: Other Voices

Halsey House deserves preservation: Other Voices


Many contributing supporters to the Friends of Historic Redwood Grove believe that the Halsey House, designated a historic landmark by the Los Altos City Council in 1981, deserves to be saved and renovated for adapted use by the community.

Set in ...

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Special Sections

Sneaky shots: A photographer’s guide to capturing the proposal

Sneaky shots: A photographer’s guide to capturing the proposal


Elliott Burr/Special to the Town Crier
A stealthy photographer scouts locations ahead of time to find not just a place to perch, but also the ideal position for the subjects.

It’s showtime.

You’re about to ask the person in front of...

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Business

Pharmaca celebrates grand opening over weekend

Pharmaca celebrates grand opening over weekend


Megan V. Winslow/Town Crier
Pharmaca is coming to 400 Main St. with a grand-opening celebration scheduled Saturday and Sunday.

If natural health and beauty products are your cup of tea, expect to find them – and hot tea – this weekend at the gran...

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Books

People

JANE BUTTERFIELD PRINGLE LYND

JANE BUTTERFIELD PRINGLE LYND

October 30, 1924 - April 8, 2015

Jane Butterfield Pringle Lynd, daughter to Liebert and Elise Butterfield of San Francisco, passed away quietly at her home in Palo Alto surrounded by her family, following a short illness. Jane was a proud third ge...

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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

'Birds' landing in Mtn. View

'Birds' landing in Mtn. View


Ray Renati/Special to the Town Crier
The Pear Avenue Theatre production of Paul Braverman’s “Birds of a Feather” stars Troy Johnson as mafia boss Sean Kineen, left, and Diane Tasca as private eye Frankie Payne.

Pear Avenue Theatre’s world premi...

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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

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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Police report spike in burglaries

Los Altos Police are warning residents to take added precautions in securing their homes and vehicles to help prevent burglaries.

Police Capt. Andy Galea told the Town Crier that the city has experienced an average of nearly 10 residential or commercial burglaries per month during the 2012-2013 fiscal year – more than double the monthly average from the previous 12-month span. In August, he noted, police recorded a combined total of eight residential and commercial burglaries. Conversely, the city totaled 45 incidents in 2011-2012, or slightly fewer than four burglaries per month, which Galea termed “a fairly low rate.”

He noted that Los Altos isn’t the lone Bay Area city experiencing a bump in burglaries.

“This is not something that is unique to Los Altos. Everywhere in the Bay Area there’s been an increase,” said Galea, who added that local incidents “tend to come in waves.”

Crimes of opportunity

Without citing specific statistics, Galea said “a significant” number of the break-ins occurred because thieves entered the homes through an unlocked door or window.

In other cases, he noted, residents left their garage doors raised, which prove “too tempting” to thieves, who walk in and swipe items typically found in a garage – bicycles are a “primary target.”

During one August incident, a resident who left her garage door open while home came face to face with a man attempting to steal a bike from her garage storage closet. The startled burglar dropped the bike when confronted and fled the scene.

“They can be in and out of there literally in about 10 seconds,” Galea said.

Galea said the department has also seen a rash of auto burglaries throughout Los Altos. In several cases, he added, the crimes “proved too tempting” to burglars, because cars owners left their vehicles unlocked and failed to remove valuables like GPS units, laptops, iPads, purses and wallets.

“A significant number of these thefts from vehicles have been crimes of opportunity,” he said. “Locking your vehicle and not having things in plain sight really help prevent those opportunities.”

An ounce of prevention

Galea noted that residents could do more to make their homes less susceptible to a break-in. They should always lock all doors and windows to their homes, even when leaving for short errands. When traveling on vacation or business, Galea recommended that residents notify a nearby trusted neighbor of their plans, in addition to arranging for someone to check the home periodically and pick up mail.

The goal, he said, is to make the “home look occupied,” because burglars typically look for telltale signs like unattended front lawns and piled-up newspapers before breaking in. Other deterrents noted by Galea include the purchase and installation of video surveillance systems or house alarms. Smaller steps, like hiding an emergency house key in less predictable locations, can also help prevent burglaries.

“If you’re going to hide a key somewhere, be more creative than leaving it under the doormat or a potted plant near the front door,” he said. “That’s where everyone leaves their spare keys.”

Galea concluded that the best rule of thumb for residents to follow is to contact police whenever there’s even a shred of doubt.

“We can drive down the street or see someone standing on the corner, but it’s the residents in the neighborhoods who can tell when things are out of place,” he said. “They know their neighborhood best.”

To report suspicious activity, call the Los Altos Police Department at 947-2770.

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