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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Fallen Leaf residents seek new trail policy

Representatives of a south Los Altos neighborhood association have asked the city to change the rules when it comes to the Stevens Creek Trail Feasibility Study.

A handful of Fallen Leaf Lane Neighborhood Association (FLLNA) members asked the Los Altos City Council Oct. 8 to adopt a policy that calls for a 75 percent approval rate from affected residents before constructing new trail alignments on city residential streets. As part of its request, the group asked the council to halt the trail study and adopt the policy before resuming. The neighbors also presented the council with a petition signed by 550 nearby neighbors supporting adoption of the policy.

“I come here today requesting the city adopt a policy to improve communications and require a dialogue with the residents prior to commencing work on neighborhood-changing projects,” said Michael Eiger, an FLLNA member who lives on Fallen Leaf Lane. “The community of south Los Altos does not feel the council has heard our outcries regarding the Stevens Creek Trail process.”

The request comes at a time when the four-city study – which also includes Mountain View, Cupertino and Sunnyvale – considers potential alignments in Los Altos, Sunnyvale or along the creek corridor itself to connect the trail between Mountain View and Cupertino. Fallen Leaf Lane is among the streets under consideration for an alignment – a source of contention for the neighborhood group.

Reached by the Town Crier, Eiger said the group chose to present the petition to councilmembers before this week’s council meeting – held Tuesday, after the Town Crier’s press deadline – because the agenda included an item to update councilmembers on the study’s progress. Eiger noted that the group “wanted to let (the council) know where our heads are at.”

Eiger added that FLLNA began gathering petition signatures shortly after a June 18 public meeting at Grant Park during which consultants and city staffers updated residents on the study and sought local feedback. Several residents at the meeting expressed reservations that a trail of any kind along Fallen Leaf would increase vehicle and bicycle traffic and negatively impact the values of their homes. Others said the feasibility study process lacked transparency, among other things.

“We want to make sure impacted residents have a vote (with the new policy requested). Unfortunately, you can have a good dialogue but still have a project where only 30 percent of the population is OK with it,” said Eiger, who accused those involved of having a “blatant disregard” for trail alignment options beyond Fallen Leaf.

Official’s reaction

Councilwoman Jeannie Bruins, however, told the Town Crier that while she “can appreciate” the group’s ongoing concerns, any assumptions about a trail coming to Fallen Leaf are premature.

Bruins, the city’s representative for the study, noted that the study continues to examine several trail options, including one favored by the group itself. That option, originally highlighted in a 2008 feasibility study commissioned by Los Altos, calls for a trail connection using Fremont Avenue, Grant Road and Foothill Expressway.

“We don’t know if (a trail connection) will even be considered in Los Altos,” Bruins said. “We have nothing before us with which to render a final decision.”

As for the group’s policy request, Bruins noted that the idea would require a higher approval threshold than voter-supported bond measures (which require a two-thirds approval rate).

“Even if something were to be considered – even if (the policy) said it had to have a majority (approval) – it still may not be in the best interest of the community at large,” she added.

Bruins said she’s pleading patience with the study’s process, noting that those involved “want to allow this thing to come to a conclusion.” She said the effort continues to be an open process, adding that a final decision on a trail in Los Altos ultimately rests with the city council.

“At no point are we abdicating any land-use decisions,” she said. “There are no backroom deals going on – nothing. It’s all being done in the public eye.”

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