Mon05042015

News

Street crack-sealing project begins Monday, May 4

The City of Los Altos is beginning a city-wide street crack-sealing project on Monday (May 4).

City officials said the traffic impact for this project will be minimal. No streets will be closed and vehicles can resume normal traffic flow shortly aft...

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Schools

Homestead students use projects  to solve environmental problems

Homestead students use projects to solve environmental problems


Alisha Parikh/Special to the Town Crier
Homestead High School junior Maya Dhar, a Los Altos resident, left, and classmate Carolyn MacDonald support the school’s AP Environmental Science classes at the Arbor Day Festival April 23.

As summer app...

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Community

CHAC appoints new leader

CHAC appoints new leader

Naomi Nakano-Matsumoto, LCSW, has been named the new executive director of the Community Health Awareness Council (CHAC). A seasoned nonprofit leader, Nakano-Matsumoto is scheduled to assume duties July 1. She takes over for outgoing executive direct...

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Sports

St. Francis swimmers shine

St. Francis swimmers shine


Megan V. Winslow/Town Crier
St. Francis High’s Benjamin Ho competes against Sacred Heart Cathedral Thursday. The junior swam on all three victorious relays at the home meet, which the Lancers won easily.

Flexing its power in the pool, host St....

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Comment

Halsey House deserves preservation: Other Voices

Halsey House deserves preservation: Other Voices


Many contributing supporters to the Friends of Historic Redwood Grove believe that the Halsey House, designated a historic landmark by the Los Altos City Council in 1981, deserves to be saved and renovated for adapted use by the community.

Set in ...

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Special Sections

Sneaky shots: A photographer’s guide to capturing the proposal

Sneaky shots: A photographer’s guide to capturing the proposal


Elliott Burr/Special to the Town Crier
A stealthy photographer scouts locations ahead of time to find not just a place to perch, but also the ideal position for the subjects.

It’s showtime.

You’re about to ask the person in front of...

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Business

Pharmaca celebrates grand opening over weekend

Pharmaca celebrates grand opening over weekend


Megan V. Winslow/Town Crier
Pharmaca is coming to 400 Main St. with a grand-opening celebration scheduled Saturday and Sunday.

If natural health and beauty products are your cup of tea, expect to find them – and hot tea – this weekend at the gran...

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Books

People

JANE BUTTERFIELD PRINGLE LYND

JANE BUTTERFIELD PRINGLE LYND

October 30, 1924 - April 8, 2015

Jane Butterfield Pringle Lynd, daughter to Liebert and Elise Butterfield of San Francisco, passed away quietly at her home in Palo Alto surrounded by her family, following a short illness. Jane was a proud third ge...

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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

'Birds' landing in Mtn. View

'Birds' landing in Mtn. View


Ray Renati/Special to the Town Crier
The Pear Avenue Theatre production of Paul Braverman’s “Birds of a Feather” stars Troy Johnson as mafia boss Sean Kineen, left, and Diane Tasca as private eye Frankie Payne.

Pear Avenue Theatre’s world premi...

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Spiritual Life

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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Climate Action Plan goes forward: Council directs staff to begin environmental review process


Town Crier File Photo
The Los Altos City Council plans to implement a Climate Action Plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The council previously approved installation of electric-vehicle charging stations, above.

A policy document that will serve as a guideline in making Los Altos more environmentally friendly recently entered a new phase.

The Los Altos City Council voted unanimously in favor of preparing a final draft of the city’s Climate Action Plan Sept. 24. In doing so, the council directed city staff to initiate an environmental review process, as required by the California Environmental Quality Act.

The council also approved $11,865 in additional funds to complete work on the plan, which outlines various measures the city can take to achieve a minimum greenhouse gas reduction target of 17 percent below the city’s 2005 level of 182,830 metric tons of carbon-dioxide equivalent.

The city’s Climate Action Plan complies with State Assembly Bill 32, known as the Global Warming Solutions Act. The bill, passed in 2006, established a statewide goal of decreasing greenhouse gas emissions to 1990 emission levels by 2020.

Prior to the vote, Los Altos resident Margaret Suozzo – representing local environmental group GreenTown Los Altos – told the council that the Climate Action Plan was “not perfect, but it’s an excellent start” and urged advancement of the proposal.

“We look forward to working with the city to implement the plan and reduce the carbon footprint of our community,” she said.

Gary Hedden – who serves as an Environmental Commissioner to the city but spoke on his own behalf – said the council should give measures outlined in the report the “highest possible priority” if the city aims to meet its reduction target by 2020.

Council reactions

Despite the unanimous vote to move forward, Councilwoman Megan Satterlee questioned whether the city had the manpower, time and resources available to meet the plan’s reduction goals. Specifically, Satterlee said that while she didn’t relish playing the spoiler role, she simply couldn’t foresee measures in the plan “happening by 2020.”

“I really sort of feel like we have to be a little more honest with ourselves,” Satterlee noted before voting in favor of the plan’s continued development. “We currently have a number of frozen positions on (city) staff, we have a backlog of CIP (Capital Improvement Program) projects (and) we have a backlog of council-requested items to come before us. You add this entire work plan on top of all that existing work and it ain’t all getting done.”

However, Mayor Jarrett Fishpaw noted that he’d like “to see us move forward,” while conceding that he also considered the backlog of work ahead for the city.

Councilwoman Jeannie Bruins praised the efforts of city staffers and consultants in their work while calling the plan a “roadmap” for the city to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions over the next several years.

“When I look at this, this really lends itself to this plan-do-check-act approach to things,” she said. “You plan something, you do it, you check it … and then we take it and act accordingly. I think it is structured to allow us to do that very successfully.”

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