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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City moves forward with Lehigh amicus brief

NEWS lehigh
Town Crier File Photo
The Los Altos City Council agreed to join the legal filing over Lehigh Southwest Cement Co.'s vested mining rights.

The Los Altos City Council last week reaffirmed its participation in an amicus brief that supports the appeal of a court decision over vested mining rights by Lehigh Southwest Cement Co.

The 5-0 vote Sept. 24 upholds the council’s unanimous decision two weeks earlier to join the legal filing by the Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District, known as a “friend of the court” filing. The brief supports Bay Area for Clean Environment’s (BACE) appeal of a Superior Court ruling earlier this year that upheld a decision by the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors to grant vested rights – and expanded operations – on unused land purchased by Lehigh in 1948.

The council reviewed the issue Sept. 24 after attorneys representing Lehigh sent correspondence to the city alleging, among other things, misrepresentation by Cupertino City Councilman Barry Chang. At earlier public meetings, Chang had urged Los Altos and Los Altos Hills to join the filing.

The council voted to participate after Councilwoman Megan Satterlee said the city received information that clarified claims by Lehigh representatives. Satterlee didn’t offer specifics, but the council agreed to match the contributions of Los Altos Hills and other participating cities, not to exceed $7,500.

“Between our last motion and now, there were some allegations made by attorneys representing the respondent (Lehigh), and I think we have subsequently gotten the information we need to address those (allegations),” Satterlee said.

Los Altos Hills Mayor Gary Waldeck, whose city is also participating in the filing, urged his counterparts in Los Altos to continue their support despite Lehigh’s allegations.

“The real thing we’re trying to accomplish, I think, is to send a message to the people who make decisions about this stuff that says, ‘You know, you’ve got an awful lot of people lined up, and they’re all in a line looking at you.’ That’s the real message we’re trying to give here,” he said.

Lehigh’s allegations

In its correspondence to Los Altos – which included a copy of a letter to the city of Cupertino and other documentation – Lehigh’s legal team stated that Chang attempted to garner support without properly disclosing his position as a member of BACE’s board of directors.

Lehigh representatives also alleged that the IRS suspended BACE’s nonprofit status for failure to file tax returns for three years. It added that Chang failed to disclose that he and his wife started a small Cupertino business on his Form 700 Statement of Economic Interest filing. The Cupertino City Council subsequently discontinued discussions on joining the amicus brief filing until a later date.

“Given BACE’s failure to disclose its financial information to the Internal Revenue Service and the public – a basic obligation of a nonprofit – it is impossible for the public to know whether, and to what extent, Chang is compensated by BACE,” the letter stated.

BACE attorney responds

Reached by the Town Crier, attorney Stuart Flashman, representing BACE, said Lehigh’s allegations were based on outdated information and that the organization’s problems with the IRS have since been resolved.

“The (California) Franchise Tax Board is happy. … BACE’s status has been reinstated as a corporation in good standing,” he said.

Flashman said BACE’s tax problems came about after the organization originally filed taxes using the employer ID number of its original name – No Toxic Air. The IRS assigned a second employer ID when the organization changed its name to BACE. Flashman added that BACE’s accountant filed the missing state tax returns in May.

Flashman labeled Lehigh’s allegations against Chang “another tempest in a teapot,” noting that the councilman recently filed new 700 forms disclosing his economic interests. He added that board directors like Chang are not paid by BACE.

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