Wed04012015

News

Council eyes bond for Hillview center

Council eyes bond for Hillview center


Rendering courtesy of city of Los Altos
The Los Altos City Council accepted an $87.5 million cost model for its preferred layout for replacing Hillview Community Center. Red lines indicate vehicle access points, and yellow lines represent pedestri...

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Schools

Oak students showcase creativity in Destination Imagination competitions

Oak students showcase creativity in Destination Imagination competitions


Courtesy of Jane Lee Choe
The Sharp Cheddars, a team of Oak Avenue School sixth-graders, perform at the Destination Imagination state competition Saturday in Riverside.

A team of seven Oak Avenue School sixth-graders traveled to Riverside last week...

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Community

Playing for music rather than money, bands flock to downtown First Friday events

Playing for music rather than money, bands flock to downtown First Friday events


Courtesy of losaltosfirstfriday.org
Members of Sunday Seven perform at Main and Second streets in downtown Los Altos.

Los Altos Forward’s April First Friday event is scheduled 6-8 p.m. Friday in downtown Los Altos.

The monthly events feature e...

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Comment

What would Bob do?: Editorial

The recent passing of an extraordinary Los Altos resident, Bob Grimm, has generated a range of heartfelt reaction, from sympathy to fond memories, from all corners. That’s because Bob did not discriminate in his desire to help others with his money, ...

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Special Sections

Cars that are right on track

Cars that are right on track


Courtesy of BMW
The BMW M4 is packed with power, featuring 425 horsepower and 406 pound-feet of torque.

There’s nothing more fun than driving a responsive automobile that feels alive in the curves and eager to go when given more than a touch ...

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Business

First Street's 'Fort Knox' up for sale

First Street's 'Fort Knox' up for sale


Megan V. Winslow/Town Crier
The Los Altos Vault and Safe Deposit Co. is on the market for $4.5 million. Its fortified steel and concrete structure has been compared to the U.S. Federal Reserve’s gold depository.

A downtown Los Altos structure “b...

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Books

'Pope Joan' Book weaves tale around legend of female pontiff

'Pope Joan' Book weaves tale around legend of female pontiff


The idea that there may have a female pope at one time in history has generated much speculation throughout the centuries. “Pope Joan” (Crown, 1996) by Donna Woolfolk Cross, does not answer the question; rather, the author has created a detai...

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People

JOHN BATISTICH

JOHN BATISTICH

John Batistich of Los Altos Hills died peacefully on March 12 surrounded by his family. John is survived by his wife Claire Batistich (Vidovich) of 67 years and children Gary Batistich of Lodi and Gay Batistich Abuel-Saud of Menlo Park. He is also ...

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Travel

Eat, hike, soak: Cavallo Point Lodge offers Marin experience

Eat, hike, soak: Cavallo Point Lodge offers Marin experience


Eren Göknar/ Town Crier
Cavallo Point Lodge comprises former U.S. Army buildings, like the Mission Blue Chapel, repurposed for guests seeking a luxurious getaway.

It used to be a place where batteries of soldiers lived, with officers’ quarter...

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Stepping Out

'Fire' ignites in Mtn. View

'Fire' ignites in Mtn. View


Courtesy of Kevin Berne
The cast of “Fire on the Mountain,” includes, from left, Tony Marcus, Harvy Blanks, Molly Andrews and Robert Parsons.

TheatreWorks is slated to present the regional premiere of the musical “Fire on the Mountain” this wee...

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Spiritual Life

Spiritual Life Briefs

Oshman JCC hosts Judaism and Science Symposium

The Oshman Family Jewish Community Center has scheduled its inaugural Judaism and Science Symposium, “An Exploration of the Convergence of Jewish & Scientific Thought,” 5 p.m. April 12 at the JCC’s ...

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Magazine

Food for thought: Hidden Villa programs offer teens training in sustainability on the farm

Food for thought: Hidden Villa programs offer teens training in sustainability on the farm


/Town Crier It’s not all cute and cuddly for teens participating in the eight-week Animal Husbandry Apprenticeship program at Hidden Villa in Los Altos Hills. Mia Mosing of Palo Alto, left, and Sophia Jackson of Los Altos clean the pigpens – one of...

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Letters to the Editor

Hoping it will all wash away

When the distracting colors appeared at the intersection of Fourth and State streets, I was dazzled by the bright colors which made my progress crossing Fourth and State streets hazardous because I could no longer clearly see curbs and a safe way to go.

I guess walking downtown may become even more difficult when the remaining five installations for “Project Los Altos” are complete. Painting over grass with royal-blue paint is disgusting. I just hope it will all wash away when the rains come.

Ruth Buneman

Los Altos

Stop signs needed, not paint

I may be one of the few people that doesn’t get all warm and fuzzy about the “Project Los Altos” painted intersection at State and Fourth. I want the Town Crier to give us the full inside detail as to who OK’d this project and where the money is coming from.

I would rather see my tax dollars spent on installing two stop signs at Main and Second streets, making it a four-way stop intersection.

This will create a safer pedestrian crossing as well as a better car crossing.

Bob Jones

Los Altos

What does school choice mean to you?

What does “School Choice” mean to you? When I first heard this term, I thought, “That sounds good, I like ‘Choice.’” But what does it really mean?

One thing that we know it means is “Cost.” We can’t have “Choice” without incurring some “Cost.” Anyone who argues otherwise is just trying to mislead us – or sell us on their choice. So, if “School Choice” costs more, is it still a good thing?

If all of our children were receiving a good education and our government had enough money to furnish educational choice, that would be wonderful. But, guess what? All of our children are not receiving a good education. Some of our children are receiving an excellent education – i.e., everyone in Los Altos public schools and some of our children are receiving a poor education (some areas of San Jose, Oakland and many other districts throughout the country).

So, the question really is: Where are our government dollars best spent? Offering choice to the wealthiest students or helping the students who don’t have a good public option?

This is the world that I envisioned when I watched movies like “Waiting for Superman.” I left the theater thinking, “What can I do to help these kids?”

Little did I know, this movie was funded by a “movement” looking to “reform schools” by offering rich kids more options. If you question this, take a look at the funding behind Proposition 39, the “Charter School Law.”

So, when I thought I was helping kids in need by voting for charter schools, was I right? Or was I accidentally supporting some type of political movement?

Tom Fenstermacher

Los Altos

Appreciates animal control services provided

One morning in August, I went out my front door to pick up my paper and was exposed to a gruesome scene: A dead animal, torn in half, in the middle of my front yard.

I returned to the house, called Los Altos police for advice, and they said they would call Palo Alto Animal Services.

Shortly after, an animal services truck pulled up in front of my house. The officer, William Warrior, picked up the entire carcass before talking to me. He showed me such kindness and compassion because I was obviously distressed. Sadly, it turned out to be my neighbor’s cat. Mr. Warrior talked to him also.

I have lived in Los Altos for 57 years and this is the first time I have encountered something like this.

Hats off to the public service officers who do their jobs so well in serving their communities. I will gladly donate to their fundraising event on Nov. 16 (see more information on page 12).

Pat Christofferson

Los Altos

Local women’s caucus announces formation

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

We would like to introduce ourselves. We are a newly formed organization, the Los Altos Women’s Caucus, composed of active and engaged Los Altos women.

Our purpose is to network with other Los Altos women throughout the city; to inform ourselves on current local events and issues; to foster constructive civic engagement with our various governing bodies; and to interact effectively on community issues.

We have been following your recent discussions about civic engagement in city affairs.

We have a strong interest in developing additional interaction between the community and city officials.

We encourage you to continue the dialogue about how to increase citizen participation in civic affairs. You could start such an effort by sponsoring:

• A workshop that includes citizens and businesspersons participating in a conversation with the council on civic engagement.

We would like to share our research on civic engagement that is utilized in other jurisdictions, including our neighboring cities. A few examples of approaches being employed by our neighbors are:

• Publishing a quarterly newsletter to the community.

• Annual or biennial citizen and business satisfaction surveys.

• Neighborhood-based community meetings/workshops on issues of localized importance.

We also support efforts to create a culture that welcomes citizen input. For example, the council could:

• Structure council meetings so there is more time for members of the public to comment on high- interest agenda items.

• Place items in which there is a lot of interest early on the agenda, ahead of the consent calendar and after public comments.

• Resume the practice of work/study sessions on issues that require deeper thought and dialogue before action is contemplated.

• Meet in various locations around the city to encourage more involvement on the part of the community.

We look forward to working together with you in the future.

The Los Altos Women’s Caucus: Brenda Taussig, Marge Bruno, Marie Young, Mary Prochnow, Emy Thurber, Vicki Reeder, Jane Reed, Andrea Eaton, Amy Pearl, Anabel Pelham, Robin Abrams, Maddy McBirney, and Penny Lave

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