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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City prepares mobile food vendor ordinance


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
The Los Altos City Council directed staff to draft an ordinance that would restrict food trucks in residential areas, including the Los Altos High School neighborhood.

Los Altos High students may soon need to find a new way to get their fill of food-truck menu items.

The Los Altos City Council last week directed City Attorney Jolie Houston to research and prepare a draft ordinance that would limit the presence of mobile food vendors in residential areas of the city. The move comes after the Mountain View Los Altos Union High School District (MVLA) and some residents sought the city’s assistance in limiting the presence of mobile food vendors at lunch near Los Altos High.

As previously reported by the Town Crier, MVLA Superintendent Barry Groves outlined his request in an email, telling the council that the vendors offer Los Altos High students unhealthful menu items compared to the offerings found at the school cafeteria.

At the time, Groves said the district stands to lose approximately $40,000 in food sales annually because of the food trucks. He added that the city of Mountain View passed an ordinance last year banning food trucks on the public right-of-way within 100 feet from schools.

MVLA Associate Superintendent Laura Stefanski told the council last week that the food trucks near Los Altos High School offer foods not available on campus since the passage of California Senate Bill 12 in 2005. The bill set limits on the amount of fat, saturated fat, sugar and calories in foods sold by state K-12 public schools. Instead of patronizing the trucks, she suggested, students should seek food alternatives near campus.

“For those students desiring to leave campus for lunch, our downtown here in Los Altos is within walking distance, and there are many eateries which do provide nourishing and healthy foods,” said Stefanski, who noted that the district is aiming to combat childhood obesity with the ban as well.

Several residents near Los Altos High told the council that the presence of the food vendors can lead to pollution and noise problems in their neighborhood. Among them was Jardin Drive resident John Wagner, who informed the council that students line up daily to get their “quota of grease” near his home. Often, he added, students will leave trash behind on the street and in residents’ yards.

“We have problems here – this is a residential neighborhood,” he said. “Things zoned residential should not allow commercial operations – be they fixed or on wheels.”

Prior to the council’s direction to draft the ordinance, Councilwoman Val Carpenter said she was sensitive to the residents’ concerns. Still, she questioned the effectiveness of any ordinance that prohibits mobile vendors within a certain distance from a school.

“If our students are capable of walking whatever it is – half a mile or a mile – to downtown, they’re probably capable of walking in a different direction to find where the mobile food truck is,” she noted, while adding that the ordinance should apply to all of the city’s schools.

With other pressing city issues to tackle, Houston told the council that the ordinance would likely take two to three months to research and prepare. She added that it would require initial review from the Planning and Transportation Commission, as well as the Los Altos Police Department, before returning to the council for final approval.

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