Tue09162014

News

Council approves directional signs for Los Altos' Woodland Plaza

Council approves directional signs for Los Altos' Woodland Plaza


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
The Los Altos City Council last week approved the installation of two new directional signs on Foothill Expressway pointing motorists to the Woodland Plaza Shopping District.

The Los Altos City Council voted unanimou...

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Schools

New head of curriculum’s ideologies align with LASD

New head of curriculum’s ideologies align with LASD


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Edsel Clark, new Los Altos School District assistant superintendent for curriculum and instruction, above, facilitates a junior high mathematics curriculum meeting last week.

Edsel Clark, Ed.D., new assistant superintend...

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Community

Closing reception caps Foothill photo show on rural China

Closing reception caps Foothill photo show on rural China


From IncredibleTravelPhotos.com
Jacque Kae’s “Mischievous” is one of the many photographs on display at Foothill College this month.

Photographs of the land and culture of Huangshan and Zhangjiajie, China, are on exhibit through Sept. 26 at t...

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Sports

Spartans shine in opener

Spartans shine in opener


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Mountain View High’s Frank Kapp snares a touchdown pass from quarterback Owen Mountford in Friday’s win.

Leading by a point at halftime, the Mountain View High football team outscored visiting Del Mar 20-0 the rest of...

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Comment

A look ahead to the Nov. 4 election: Editorial

Election season is upon us. In Los Altos, we have three major local races ahead – two seats on the Los Altos City Council, and three seats each on the Los Altos School District and Mountain View-Los Altos Union High School District boards of tr...

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Special Sections

Renovation complete,  Villa Siena looks to future

Renovation complete, Villa Siena looks to future


Above and Below Photos Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier; Left Photo Courtesy of Villa Siena
Villa Siena in Mountain View recently underwent a $35 million face-lift. The five-year project expanded their senior living community’s space and ability to serv...

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Business

Transitioning from postage to pets

Transitioning from postage to pets


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
A new Pet Food Express store is scheduled to open at the Blossom Valley Shopping Center this month.

A site that previously existed to meet postal service needs will soon have an entirely different purpose – serving pe...

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Books

‘The Humans’ transcends alien genre to glean human insights

‘The Humans’ transcends alien genre to glean human insights


A good story about aliens is always great fun to read – after all, it’s only by attempting to understand the human race from another perspective that we can see ourselves more objectively.

But readers who might be tempted to dismiss ye...

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People

JEANNE PACKARD

After suffering a stroke in May, Jeanne Packard died August 10, 2014 at age 83. She was born in 1931 in Berlin, Germany, the only child of Emily Channel and Frank Howe Packard of Chicago, IL. Jeanne is survived by 5 great grandchildren. She was a lon...

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Travel

LA photographer spends a night with cranes – and moose – in Alaska

LA photographer spends a night with cranes – and moose – in Alaska


Sandy Powell/Special to the Town Crier
Los Altos resident and bird photographer Sandy Powell recently visited Homer, Alaska, to photograph Sandhill cranes, below. While there, Powell also encountered moose, left.

Los Altos resident Sandy Powell, a...

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Stepping Out

'Trailer Park' opens in Los Altos

'Trailer Park' opens in Los Altos


Courtesy of Los
The cast of Los Altos Stage Company’s “The Great American Trailer Park Musical” includes, from left, Mylissa Malley as Lin, Vanessa Alvarez as Betty, and Christina Bolognini as Pickles. Altos Stage Company

Los Altos Stage Company...

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Spiritual Life

9/11 survivor Michael Hingson finds purpose

Imagine walking down 78 flights of stairs – 1,463 individual steps. You are in imminent danger as you walk, unsure whether you can make it out of the building before it collapses or explodes. Struggling for each breath, you smell the heavy sten...

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Magazine

Los Altos Hills home showcases resort-inspired living

Los Altos Hills home showcases resort-inspired living


Courtesy of Spectrum Interior Design
In place of a more traditional fireplace, this modern living room features a linear-flame firebox that emits heat while offering a sculpturelike design element.

After traveling the world and visiting a host...

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LASD revises working agreement for bond measure

While no future facilities discussions between Bullis Charter School and Los Altos School District are currently scheduled, the district moved forward last week by revising a draft agreement to generate mutual support for a potential bond measure.

Following the Sept. 23 Los Altos School District board meeting, trustees revised the draft agreement designed to address short- and long-term charter school facilities issues in an effort to work mutually toward a successful district bond measure.

“This proposal incorporates all of the short-term requests that Bullis Charter School made that feasibly could be adopted, while also addressing community concerns in a way that respects the Bullis Charter School program while building community support for a bond,” wrote Doug Smith, district board president, in a letter sent to the charter school Saturday.

The draft agreement addresses:

• Enrollment and admissions practices. It was clear during previous facilities discussions that charter school officials did not want to alter their enrollment and admissions processes to gain support for a bond. The district changed the language defining the issue, calling for the charter school to “seek and achieve” an enrollment representative of the district’s student population.

The agreement also includes language removing the charter school’s current enrollment preference for the previous Bullis Purissima Elementary School boundaries (predominantly Los Altos Hills). Smith stated in his letter that he was unsure whether charter school officials would support the amendment.

• Bullis Charter School support for a bond. Los Altos School District parent Laura Orella, who attended the charter school’s Sept. 23 meeting, said she was shocked to hear charter school board member Janet Medlin’s statements objecting to a bond for the school district.

“I do not trust that the Los Altos School District would use the bond monies in a fair and prudent way given their long-term and recent behavior,” Medlin wrote in an email to the Town Crier.

• An end to all current litigation on both sides.

• Charter school financial support for a new site (estimated at $5 million to $7 million).

• Site certainty. The agreement includes language that calls for housing the charter school on a new site for no less than 15 years – “waiv(ing) any and all claims to obtain further facilities from the district under Proposition 39.”

• Extension of the split-site in the interim. The district’s letter explained that the annual facilities request-and-offer process generates conflict that is “poisonous to the bond effort.” The draft includes language that the charter school would agree to the same facilities for the 2014-2015 and 2015-2016 school years as it has for 2013-2014, providing “sufficient time to pass a bond.”

• Solutions to short-term problems with the Facilities Use Agreement. The draft agreement addresses the charter school’s difficulties with grade-level restrictions, enrollment caps and play equipment connected with this year’s facilities offer.

Future meetings

The district’s letter proposes that the parties meet soon to work through the draft to reach closure on an agreement.

Smith said district Trustee Mark Goines has attempted to contact charter school officials to schedule a final short-term facilities discussion but has yet to receive a response.

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