Wed03042015

News

Council considers freezing First St. development

Council considers freezing First St. development


Megan V. Winslow/Town Crier
A pedestrian walks along First Street in downtown Los Altos last week. Future construction on the street could soon be barred by an emergency moratorium on development.

Further construction along First Street could be t...

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Schools

Former NFL player huddles with Blach students about life choices

Former NFL player huddles with Blach students about life choices


Ellie Van HOutte/Town Crier
Former NFL tight end Eason Ramson visited with Blach Intermediate School students, Feb. 13 to share the perils of drug use. Now a motivational speaker, Ramson works with at-risk teens in San Francisco.

Although former ...

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Community

Music for Minors partners with Harvard to expand efforts

Music for Minors partners with Harvard to expand efforts


Palmer

When the thriving Music for Minors began to outgrow its capacity, the local nonprofit organization made new friends.

Beginning in late February, Music for Minors – a Town Crier Holiday Fund recipient – partnered with Harvard Business Sch...

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Comment

Dangerous streets: A Piece of My Mind

I’m driving along El Monte Avenue between Foothill Expressway and Springer Road at approximately 6 p.m. on a midwinter evening. In keeping with the “village feeling” of our town, there are no sidewalks and no streetlights.

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Special Sections

Lions, lambs and Cab Franc for March

Lions, lambs and Cab Franc for March


Christine Moore/Special to the Town Crier
Oven fries, a slice of feta cheese and the bite of harissa mayonnaise make for a late-winter, early-spring dinner perfectly paired with Cabernet Franc.

I can’t help but wonder whether March will come in ...

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Business

Los Altos scientist named Inventor of the Year

Los Altos scientist named Inventor of the Year


Above Photo by Alicia Castro/Town Crier; Below Rendering Courtesy of SST inc.
Robert Showen, above, the Silicon Valley Intellectual Property Lawyers Association’s Inventor of the Year, began researching his ShotSpotter technology in his Los A...

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Books

French novel

French novel "Hunting and Gathering" offers character-driven suspense


Anna Gavalda is a well-known author in her native France, where she has published six books, most of which have met with considerable praise and commercial success. Her fourth novel, “Hunting and Gathering” (Riverhead Books, 2007), is filled ...

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People

HELEN KNOFLOCH

HELEN KNOFLOCH

Aug. 14, 1920 – Feb.12, 2015

Resident of Cupertino

Helen Knofloch, 94, loving wife and devoted mother passed away on Feb. 12th. She was born in Vienna, Austria and moved to Los Altos in 1949, where she met Andy, the love of her life. They resided...

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Travel

Seoul of the city: Korean capital offers mix of old and new

Seoul of the city: Korean capital offers mix of old and new


Ramya Krishna/Special to the Town Crier
Seoul’s Cheonggyecheon public recreation space, above, features an elevated pedestrian bridge.

Seoul, South Korea, is a study in contrasts. Having grown quickly, the city is a mix of old and new.

Using...

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Stepping Out

TheatreWorks jumps into ‘Lake’

TheatreWorks jumps into ‘Lake’


Kevin Berne/Special to the Town Crier
Jason Bowen, from left, Adam Poss and Nilanjana Bose star in “The Lake Effect,” opening this weekend at the Lucie Stern Theatre in Palo Alto and running through March 29.

The TheatreWorks production ...

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Spiritual Life

Is your thought life sabotaging your spiritual journey?

My computer started having problems – there seemed to be some sort of malware running in the background. At first it was just annoying, then it began to slow down my computer, interfering with its basic operations. What is it doing? Why can...

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Magazine

Local events serve up family fun

Local events serve up family fun


Courtesy of Peninsula Youth Theatre
Peninsula Youth Theatre’s production of “Pecos Bill: A Tall Tale” is slated to open March 20 in Mountain View.

For families seeking a break from the daily routine, events abound this month and next in Los Alto...

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Letters to the Editor

Resident bemoans negative impacts of BCS

I am writing to express my great concerns about Bullis Charter School.

Bullis Charter School has tripled in size and can no longer accommodate what it initially intended. Now there are far too many students crowded into a tiny campus that is not built for that population. Because of this, there are very negative impacts on our small, cozy neighborhood, including:

• Massive gridlock traffic on West Portola Avenue, which affects regular nonschool commuters on San Antonio Road. It takes me at least 10 minutes to exit my driveway on West Portola, and I am always fearful that I will hit the numerous students and people milling around. In the afternoon, I am stuck in bumper-to-bumper traffic trying to get home.

• Great safety concerns for all children and adults walking or biking to school because of the heavy traffic on the roads.

• Cars taking shortcuts at great speeds through our neighborhood and posing danger to children and adults walking to school.

• Cars blocking the fire hydrants and our driveways, as well as creating problems for garbage collectors.

• Excessive car noise and pollution, thus depreciating our neighborhood value and every resident’s quality of life.

Los Altos School District Board of Trustees: Please help Bullis Charter School find its own permanent site that is not one of the existing district schools and that is in an area with an infrastructure that can deal with the insane amount of traffic generated by this commuter school.

Monique Yao

Los Altos

LASD needs to stop the circus

I am another Town Crier reader with no affiliation to either the Los Altos School District or Bullis Charter School. Several years ago, I asked the Town Crier to develop a timeline so that we could make some sense out of this ongoing saga.

The recent letter from Rajiv Bhateja of Los Altos Hills pointed out how “time and again the district has fallen on its face in court” (“Resident supports bond because of charter school,” Oct. 2). Yet the response letter from Rebecca Hayman of Los Altos states, “The charter school expects the district to bend to its demands and continues to weaken the already scarce financial educational resources by engaging in lawsuit after lawsuit” (“Letter favoring BCS deemed ‘offensive,’” Oct. 9).

Perhaps a review of the timeline is needed.

The reason the charter school was even proposed was that the district closed Bullis-Purissima School Feb. 10, 2003, and the kids of Los Altos Hills had to commute to other schools.

The parents proposed a charter school to fill their family needs at the closed school – that is why it is called Bullis Charter School. The timeline shows that the district rejected the proposal May 14, 2003.

Sept. 10, 2003, the Santa Clara County Board of Education approved the charter for Bullis Charter School, and the district has been fighting it ever since.

Bullis Charter School has to go to court to defend itself and to receive the equal facilities that a school district is required to provide under Proposition 39, passed Nov. 7, 2000.

I agree with Bhateja that this “circus has to stop.” It certainly is not a battle of what is best for the kids. It’s simply a battle of who wants to be the boss.

Bullis Charter School continues to make great progress. It is time that the district stop the circus. The district is beginning to look like the clown.

Bob Moore

Los Altos

Los Altos council backs intrusion on residents

Note: Following is an open letter to the Los Altos City Council.

A little background reading you may be interested in regarding your recent decision to subject innocent citizens of Los Altos to surreptitious surveillance.

The police department will use hidden cameras, day and night, taking photos at the rate of tens of thousands a day and sharing them (read: placed on an electronic network) with a so-called fusion center – an invention of the federal government, the Department of Homeland Security and the National Security Agency, which are paying Los Altos to implement this intrusion on innocent citizens.

You will also find information indicating how bloody naive the council was when it said it would monitor and demand limits on the data.

You have no prayer of limiting either distribution or storage longevity of the massive amount of data to be gathered. You can’t even control the collection of data on innocent private citizens. Neither can the police department do any of these things.

Do any of you read and contemplate current events beyond those concerning the “village”?

I’d welcome comments if anyone thinks this missive is inaccurate.

Bob Perdriau

Los Altos

Students can’t be forced to eat in cafeteria

After the flurry of controversy my letter to the Town Crier sparked last month, I was pleased to see that your editorial that agrees with me (“Food-truck restrictions not necessary,” Oct. 9). Notwithstanding the reaction from several other readers to my position on the subject a couple of weeks ago, my conclusion remains the same as yours.

The students are well aware of their choices in diet and the nutritional effect on their health. It’s their prerogative to eat the food they want, regardless of the National School Lunch Program. Moving or banning the food trucks won’t force the students to eat in the cafeteria.

And as I suggested in my previous letter, the only rationale your editorial saw for the food-truck ordinance, which impacts residential neighbors with noise, traffic and trash, is easily solved. Embracing the food-truck service by bringing it on campus and providing some picnic tables and trash cans would result in a safe, clean environment, with a variety of lunch choices. The school can extend invitations to gourmet food trucks that serve the most healthful foods. And it will make the students happy. What’s wrong with that?

Ron Knapp

Los Altos

Food vendors serve as ‘attractive nuisance’

I am responding to your Oct. 9 editorial, “Food-truck restrictions not necessary.”

The Mountain View Los Altos Union High School District Board of Trustees is engaged in fighting childhood obesity in our community by requesting that the Los Altos City Council adopt an ordinance that prohibits mobile food vendors from parking in our residential neighborhoods. Neighbors nearest Los Altos High School strongly support such an action, as these mobile vendors serve as an attractive nuisance.

The Mountain View City Council has enacted an ordinance that accomplishes what the Los Altos City Council is being requested to do. This proposal would also restrict mobile food vendors from operating in front of our elementary and junior high school campuses.

Currently, our students are eating food from these vendors that may not be served on our campus because it is unhealthful – high in sugar, fat and salt, all contributors to childhood obesity.

For those students desiring to leave campus for lunch, our downtown is within walking distance and there are many eateries that provide nourishing and nutritious foods. Our students would be supporting our downtown merchants!

We want to keep mobile vendors away from our schools and out of our neighborhoods.

Barry Groves, Ed.D. Superintendent,

Mountain View Los Altos Union High School District

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