Wed04012015

News

Council eyes bond for Hillview center

Council eyes bond for Hillview center


The Los Altos City Council accepted an $87.5 million cost model for its preferred layout for replacing Hillview Community Center. 

Residents could cast their votes as soon as November on a bond measure to partially fund the redevelopment of...

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Schools

Oak students showcase creativity in Destination Imagination competitions

Oak students showcase creativity in Destination Imagination competitions


Courtesy of Jane Lee Choe
The Sharp Cheddars, a team of Oak Avenue School sixth-graders, perform at the Destination Imagination state competition Saturday in Riverside.

A team of seven Oak Avenue School sixth-graders traveled to Riverside last week...

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Community

Heising-Simons Foundation relocates to 400 Main St. property in Los Altos

Heising-Simons Foundation relocates to 400 Main St. property in Los Altos


Bruce Barton/Town Crier
All in the family: Mark Heising, from left, Caitlin Heising and Elizabeth Simons make up the board of the eight-year-old Heising-Simons Foundation, now in its new headquarters at 400 Main St. in downtown Los Altos.

The He...

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Comment

What would Bob do?: Editorial

The recent passing of an extraordinary Los Altos resident, Bob Grimm, has generated a range of heartfelt reaction, from sympathy to fond memories, from all corners. That’s because Bob did not discriminate in his desire to help others with his money, ...

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Special Sections

Cars that are right on track

Cars that are right on track


Courtesy of BMW
The BMW M4 is packed with power, featuring 425 horsepower and 406 pound-feet of torque.

There’s nothing more fun than driving a responsive automobile that feels alive in the curves and eager to go when given more than a touch ...

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Business

First Street's 'Fort Knox' up for sale

First Street's 'Fort Knox' up for sale


Megan V. Winslow/Town Crier
The Los Altos Vault and Safe Deposit Co. is on the market for $4.5 million. Its fortified steel and concrete structure has been compared to the U.S. Federal Reserve’s gold depository.

A downtown Los Altos structure “b...

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Books

'Pope Joan' Book weaves tale around legend of female pontiff

'Pope Joan' Book weaves tale around legend of female pontiff


The idea that there may have a female pope at one time in history has generated much speculation throughout the centuries. “Pope Joan” (Crown, 1996) by Donna Woolfolk Cross, does not answer the question; rather, the author has created a detai...

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People

JOHN BATISTICH

JOHN BATISTICH

John Batistich of Los Altos Hills died peacefully on March 12 surrounded by his family. John is survived by his wife Claire Batistich (Vidovich) of 67 years and children Gary Batistich of Lodi and Gay Batistich Abuel-Saud of Menlo Park. He is also ...

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Travel

Eat, hike, soak: Cavallo Point Lodge offers Marin experience

Eat, hike, soak: Cavallo Point Lodge offers Marin experience


Eren Göknar/ Town Crier
Cavallo Point Lodge comprises former U.S. Army buildings, like the Mission Blue Chapel, repurposed for guests seeking a luxurious getaway.

It used to be a place where batteries of soldiers lived, with officers’ quarter...

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Stepping Out

'Fire' ignites in Mtn. View

'Fire' ignites in Mtn. View


Courtesy of Kevin Berne
The cast of “Fire on the Mountain,” includes, from left, Tony Marcus, Harvy Blanks, Molly Andrews and Robert Parsons.

TheatreWorks is slated to present the regional premiere of the musical “Fire on the Mountain” this wee...

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Spiritual Life

Spiritual Life Briefs

Oshman JCC hosts Judaism and Science Symposium

The Oshman Family Jewish Community Center has scheduled its inaugural Judaism and Science Symposium, “An Exploration of the Convergence of Jewish & Scientific Thought,” 5 p.m. April 12 at the JCC’s ...

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Magazine

Food for thought: Hidden Villa programs offer teens training in sustainability on the farm

Food for thought: Hidden Villa programs offer teens training in sustainability on the farm


/Town Crier It’s not all cute and cuddly for teens participating in the eight-week Animal Husbandry Apprenticeship program at Hidden Villa in Los Altos Hills. Mia Mosing of Palo Alto, left, and Sophia Jackson of Los Altos clean the pigpens – one of...

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Defendant cites SEC unfairness, inaccuracy in court case: Other Voices

My companies and I have been the subject of numerous articles in your publication over the past 15 months. I write this letter to set the record straight on a number of issues regarding the lawsuit SEC v. Small Business Capital Corp., et al.

The first issue is that the SEC indisputably used false financial illustrations throughout their lawsuit. This is not a matter of conjecture, as the SEC has admitted to using an improper formula. The SEC is the country’s foremost regulatory authority on accounting matters. Yet it managed to make “good-faith mistakes” (SEC’s term in its lawsuit pleadings) to overstate the funds’ actual distributions by 54 percent and, from there, make “Ponzi-like scheme” allegations. The allegations were used to seize $45 million of invested monies, much of this from local investors.

This is a civil lawsuit matter. However, the criminal equivalent of what the SEC has done, with its false formulas, is called “planting evidence” and creating false pretense. Additionally, the SEC falsely labeled the court-appointed receiver a “licensed CPA” in this lawsuit when he is not a CPA at all. While the rest of the business world calls such actions “fraud,” the SEC and the receiver are able to describe these matters as “good-faith mistakes.” Their actions make a mockery of the public’s trust in federal regulatory oversight.

The second issue is “bureaucratic and regulatory creep.” The subject businesses were in good standing with federal and state regulators at the time of the injunction. This includes oversight by the U.S. Small Business Administration that was involved with the investment fund’s federal licensing. Post-Bernie Madoff, the SEC tripled its enforcement actions. This includes reviewing companies that have never been advised of any need to register with the SEC and who, in fact, were already registered to issue securities under the state. Is it fair for a federal agency to suddenly apply the standards of publicly traded companies to small, nontraded private investment funds that had no prior federal regulatory oversight?

The third issue is the actions of the SEC to interfere with due process for legal representation. Both the SEC and the receiver have submitted to the court substantial numbers of false statements and material omissions. A “pro se” defendant (self-represented) faces huge obstacles in being able to conduct discovery (fact finding), and with establishing legal arguments in a format acceptable to the court. In the matter of this lawsuit, the receiver’s attorneys have, time and again, refused to provide information to the court by citing that this writer did not “cross his t’s or dot his i’s” in his requests.

Additionally, the court in its ruling stated the equivalent of “we’re not going to go through your information” to see if you have proved your point.

The court recently ruled in favor of the SEC in its request for summary judgment, which means that this lawsuit may never go to trial. This is a substantial disappointment not just to myself, but also to the scores of investment fund members who have written the court strong letters of disapproval.

More information on this lawsuit is available at markfeathers.com. An appeal was filed Aug. 29 with the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals to overturn the court’s summary judgment in favor of the SEC.

To read the court’s ruling in its entirety, visit this story online.

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