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News

"Brown is the new green," says local water district


Lina Broydo/Special to the Town Crier
Are downtown Los Altos flower pots getting too much water? The Santa Clara Valley Water District plans to hire “water cops” to discourage overwatering.

The Santa Clara Valley Water District is spending nearl...

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Schools

Foothill camps prepare local students for STEM careers

Foothill camps prepare local students for STEM careers


Photos Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Middle school students make robotic hands using 3-D printers during a STEM Summer Camp at Foothill College.

From designing roller coasters to developing biodegradable plastics, high school students received an i...

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Community

Local entrepreneur opens home to Afghan and Rwandan women

Local entrepreneur opens home to Afghan and Rwandan women


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Businesswomen Joan Mazimhaka of Rwanda, third from left, and Fakhria Ibrahimi of Afghanistan, in orange, traveled to the U.S. with a 26-woman delegation through the Peace Through Business program.

Employees scoop ice ...

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Comment

Moving on: The Rockey Road

Just over a month ago, we decided to put our house on the market. My husband and I had been tossing around the idea of moving back to the area where we grew up, which is only approximately 40 minutes from here. Of course, Los Altos is a great place t...

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Business

Halo heads to Los Altos: Blow-dry bar founder opens new First Street location Monday

Halo heads to Los Altos: Blow-dry bar founder opens new First Street location Monday


ElLie Van Houtte/ Town Crier
Armed with blow dryers, Halo founder Rosemary Camposano, left, and store manager Nikki Thomas prepare for the blow-dry bar’s grand opening on First Street Monday.

A blow-dry bar is set to open downtown Monday, and i...

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Books

"Frozen in Time" chronicles harrowing WWII rescue attempts


Many readers can’t resist a true-life adventure story, especially those that shine a spotlight on people who exhibit supreme courage in the face of adversity and end up surviving – or not – against the odds.

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People

DR. ALFRED HUGHES

Long time Los Altos resident, Dr. Alfred Hughes, died May 1st after a long illness. Dr. Hughes was born in 1927 in Maspeth, NY. He served in the US Army from 1945-6, attended Brooklyn Polytechnic University, then graduated from Reed College in Portla...

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Travel

Travel Tidbit: Ritz-Carlton, Lake Tahoe offers spa getaway

Travel Tidbit: Ritz-Carlton, Lake Tahoe offers spa getaway


Courtesy of Ritz-Carlton
The Ritz-Carlton in Lake Tahoe offers fall getaway packages that include spa treatments and yoga classes.

Fall in North Lake Tahoe boasts crisp mornings and opportunities to spend quality time in the mountains. Specially ...

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Stepping Out

'Wizard' winds down at Bus Barn

'Wizard' winds down at Bus Barn


Town Crier file photo
Local actors rehearse a scene from “The Wizard of Oz.”

Los Altos Youth Theatre and Los Altos Stage Company’s collaborative production of “The Wizard of Oz” is slated to close Sunday at Bus Barn Theater, 97 Hillview Ave.

T...

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Spiritual Life

Stanford University appoints new dean for religious life

Stanford University appoints new dean for religious life


Shaw

Stanford University named the Very Rev. Dr. Jane Shaw, dean of Grace Cathedral in San Francisco, its new dean for religious life.

Provost John Etchemendy announced Shaw’s appointment July 21, adding that she also will join the faculty in...

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Magazine

Festival features fun for everyone

Festival features fun for everyone


TOWN CRIER FILE PHOTO
The Los Altos Arts & Wine Festival boasts more than 375 craft and arts booths.

This weekend’s 35th annual Los Altos Arts & Wine Festival promises to be jam-packed with fun activities for just about everyone. The eve...

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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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