Wed05062015

News

LASD, city move toward land discussions

The ice may be thawing a bit as the Los Altos School District and the city of Los Altos consider resurrecting discussions on the potential use of public land as a school site.

The city voted to discontinue conversations about civic land with the sch...

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Schools

Mental health expert dispels myths

Mental health expert dispels myths


Megan V. Winslow/Town Crier
Palo Alto University Professor Paul Marcille addresses a crowd of psychology students and mental health activists last week about myths surrounding mental illness and violence.

In the wake of the 2011 Sandy Hook Elementa...

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Community

Q&A: Meet the city's new public works and administrative services directors

The city of Los Altos has hired three new department directors in the past ten months. The Town Crier recently profiled new Recreation Director Manny Hernandez. This week, the Town Crier profiles Susana Chan, new public works director, and Kim Juran-...

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Comment

Familiar icon pops up in Los Altos: A Piece of My Mind

I was walking to my car parked on State Street when my eye fell on an old familiar acquaintance from my early childhood, totally unexpected to meet in Los Altos. It was the “Steinway” logo over the door of the new Steinway Piano Gallery,...

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Special Sections

New Los Altos shop brews milk tea for gourmands

New Los Altos shop brews milk tea for gourmands


Eliza Ridgeway/Town Crier
Teaspoon, the milk tea shop at Village Court in Los Altos, above, serves a range of bubble teas and snow ice drinks, right.

Los Altos made it onto the milk tea map this spring with the opening of Teaspoon, a new bubble tea ...

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Business

Ed center scores spot in Foothills Crossing

Ed center scores spot in Foothills Crossing


Alicia Castro/ Town Crier
C2 Los Altos tutor Max Shih, left, instructs Homestead High School student Rajesh Suresh.

Los Altos families have a new resource for helping their children ace the test.

C2 Los Altos – a recently opened education cente...

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Books

People

DOROTHY RUTH MATHIS PUDER

DOROTHY RUTH MATHIS PUDER

9/17/1918-4/15/2015

Dorothy Puder died on April 15th in Sunnyvale, California. She will be remembered for her gentle, loving, positive and caring ways and will be greatly missed by family and friends.

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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

 PYT's comedic musical opens this weekend in Mtn. View

PYT's comedic musical opens this weekend in Mtn. View


Lyn Flaim/Spotlight Moments Photography
The cast of Peninsula Youth Theatre’s “Once Upon a Mattress” includes, from left, Sophia Graziani (of Los Altos) as Winnifred, Chris Gough (Sunnyvale) as the Prince and Reilly Arena (Palo Alto) as the Queen. ...

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Spiritual Life

Mercifully in His grip: Exploring our true position in Christ

I recently read a wonderful analogy about our true position in Christ. It was shockingly contrary to the messages impressed upon me in church, but deeply rooted in the Bible. The analogy is that of child and a parent. If you have ever taken a small ...

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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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Breaking news: LASD puts charter school on notice

Alleging that Bullis Charter School breached the terms of the Los Altos School District’s Final Offer and Facilities Use Agreement, the district put the charter school on notice and demanded that it cease violations within 45 days.

In a letter sent Monday, the district requested that Bullis Charter School representatives attend the district’s Nov. 12 board meeting to evaluate whether the charter school’s violations “should disqualify it from receiving an offer of facilities for the 2014-2015 school year or result in other appropriate remedies.”

The letter listed the charter school’s violations, including:

• Violating enrollment limitations at both Blach Intermediate and Egan Junior High schools.

• Violating the grade-level restrictions (grades 4-8) at Blach.

• Using an allocated classroom as a chorus room, creating a distraction for Blach students using the adjacent library.

• Using the soccer fields outside the times outlined in the slated sharing schedule.

• Maintaining a Blach school start at 8:45 a.m. and end at 2:30 p.m., creating a conflict with the Blach schedule.

“This is an untenable situation,” stated the letter, signed by Doug Smith, district board president. “Bullis Charter School has no legal basis to flout those conditions and its refusal to abide by them creates a lawless regime that is unsustainable under any facilities-sharing arrangement.”

The letter requests that the charter school cease the alleged violations immediately, threatens penalties for past violations and questions whether such actions should disqualify the charter school from receiving facilities for the 2014-2015 school year.

The possible punitive measures the district suggests include:

• Legal remedies through the court, including monetary and injunctive.

• Adjustment of facilities, furnishings and equipment offered to the charter school in response to the 2014-2015 request.

• Imposition of enforcement measures, including but not limited to a requirement that Bullis Charter School certify under penalty of perjury that it is complying with the Final Offer and Facilities Use Agreement.

• Other remedies appropriate under law included by the district.

Before enforcing available penalties, district officials want to give charter school representatives an opportunity to respond to their concerns.

“The district will use Bullis Charter School’s response to determine whether it will pursue available remedies to enforce the terms of its Final Offer and Facilities Use Agreeement,” the letter concluded.

“(The district) persists in inventing its own alternate reality,” wrote Ken Moore, chairman of the Bullis Charter School Board of Directors, in an email to the Town Crier. “There is no legal ‘cap’ on enrollment, there are not environmental ‘restrictions’ enforceable against Bullis Charter School and there is no judgment that says anything to the contrary.”

Moore said the allegations are currently being fought in court and that he expects the charter school to emerge victorious.

“They are losing their war against Los Altos residents who choose the charter school and now desperately threaten our school and families directly,” Moore said. “If taxpayers weren’t outraged at (the district) before, just read this latest letter.”

To read a full copy of the letter, visit losaltosonline.com.

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