Tue05052015

News

Water district reps address LAH concerns over project taxation

Water district reps address LAH concerns over project taxation

 Gary Kremen

Los Altos Hills residents, city councilmembers and even the Santa Clara Valley Water District Board chairman have protested taxes for water the district doesn't deliver.

"We're getting taxed for something we're not receiving, ...

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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 appro...

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Community

Slideshow: Los Altos Live!

More than 20 acts performed to a soldout crowd April 25 at Los Altos High School's Eagle Theater for the seventh annual "Los Altos Live!" talent show. The show featured an eclectic range of acts, including rock bands, singers, dancers and the Broad...

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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 photographers guide to capturing the proposal

Sneaky shots: A photographers 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 you to spen...

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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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Joint councils consider community center options

When it comes to finding someone to help the city fund a new community center, Los Altos may have an interested partner in Los Altos Hills.

The topic of exploring a joint funding venture to replace the aging Hillview Community Center facility was broached last week at a joint meeting of the Los Altos and Los Altos Hills city councils. Los Altos Hills councilmembers expressed varying degrees of interest in talking about the possibility, an item placed on the joint-meeting agenda at the behest of Los Altos Councilwoman Val Carpenter.

For now, Los Altos City Manager Marcia Somers and her Los Altos Hills counterpart, Carl Cahill, will be “working together to determine if a committee can be formed in the future,” according to Los Altos Public Information Coordinator Erica Ray.

Los Altos Hills Mayor Gary Waldeck told the Town Crier the possibility of the cities working together “has a lot of merit” but added, “I think it’s going to be very expensive. The question now is, what’s involved?”

Councilmembers from both cities characterized the talks as exploratory in nature.

“This is a lot like a Rubik’s Cube with about 20 points per side instead of only three. Other than that, it’s simple,” Waldeck added with a chuckle.

The Los Altos council seeks to fulfill its 2013 priority to find a way to replace the Hillview structure with a new multipurpose, multigenerational community center.

The city hired a consultant earlier this year to study the city’s options.

A 2012 resident survey revealed inadequate support for a bond measure to fund the first phase of a master plan that called for the replacement of several civic center structures.

Los Altos Hills Councilwoman Courtenay C. Corrigan noted that the potential for the cities to “join forces” on future parks and recreation programming made a two-city partnership “even more compelling to me.”

Los Altos Hills Councilman John Radford, meanwhile, expressed interest in a potential third partner – the Los Altos School District (LASD).

“I’m very interested in a three-way partnership that has maybe a higher ability to pass a bond, but also then uses some of that space for the Los Altos School District … that would make it much more attractive to me,” he said.

However, Radford added, “Residents can only take so much, in terms of bonds,” and pointed to the potential for a LASD bond measure in 2014.

LASD Board of Trustees President Doug Smith told councilmembers his district’s involvement as a third partner could prove beneficial. He noted that the district has a lower threshold – 55 percent – to pass a bond measure, versus the two-thirds vote required by cities.

Other scenarios, he added, include the possibility of having LASD purchase or lease a portion of civic center land to help fund a new community center.

“We would love to participate in that and see if there is a way that we can craft something that works,” Smith said.

Los Altos Councilwoman Megan Satterlee, however, pointed out potential problems with having a shared site, noting conflicts between typical school hours and peak hours of use by community center patrons.

“Right now, our feeling is that there are other solutions to the need for a school site,” she said.

Satterlee later told the Town Crier that each city’s timing to see movement on the project – among other factors – will play a role in any future discussions with Los Altos Hills.

“It sounded to me like the (Los Altos Hills) council was open to discussions,” she said, “and that’s a good place to start.”

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