Wed04012015

News

Council eyes bond for Hillview center

Council eyes bond for Hillview center


The Los Altos City Council accepted an $87.5 million cost model for its preferred layout for replacing Hillview Community Center. 

Residents could cast their votes as soon as November on a bond measure to partially fund the redevelopment of...

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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

Heising-Simons Foundation relocates to 400 Main St. property in Los Altos

Heising-Simons Foundation relocates to 400 Main St. property in Los Altos


Bruce Barton/Town Crier
All in the family: Mark Heising, from left, Caitlin Heising and Elizabeth Simons make up the board of the eight-year-old Heising-Simons Foundation, now in its new headquarters at 400 Main St. in downtown Los Altos.

The He...

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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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Not on the menu? Councilwoman says no to Hillview, maybe to Rosita regarding school site

The city’s stance on Hillview Community Center as a possible school site hasn’t changed, according to a member of the Los Altos City Council.

Councilwoman Megan Satterlee told Los Altos School District board trustees Tammy Logan and Doug Smith that the city isn’t interested in discussing Hillview as a future school site when other options still remain open to the district.

“We’ve had this conversation multiple times and nothing’s changed,” said Satterlee, who added that she simply doesn’t see a “win-win” for the city and district.

Satterlee later added that she “still thinks there are options out there that don’t impact a community resource,” noting that the “threshold” to start conversations about a school site remains a stated assurance that the district will not exercise eminent-domain rights on city property.

The statements came after Smith and Logan told Satterlee and Mayor Jarrett Fishpaw during a Nov. 19 school district-city subcommittee meeting that the district was still interested in exploring a partnership on the site. Smith also broached the subject of a partnership recently during a joint meeting of the Los Altos and Los Altos Hills councils. Councilmembers from both cities discussed a possible alliance to jointly fund a new community center on the Hillview site.

Shared use of Rosita Park?

Reached by the Town Crier, Smith noted that the district remains interested in a “collaborative dialogue about how the interests of all parties might be served best.”

“I’m disappointed in Councilwoman Satterlee’s position, but it’s definitely not new,” Smith stated in an email to the Town Crier. “She has said that she doesn’t think there is a win-win scenario, but I’m not sure how she can say that since we haven’t explored anything yet.”

Smith noted that the district isn’t interested in giving up its eminent-domain rights because it would likely drop the issue of Hillview if joint discussions with the city go nowhere.

“I don’t think it’s appropriate for any government entity to require a person or agency to waive rights before seeing how they might work together to serve the community,” he added.

Instead, Satterlee said the city is more amenable to discussing a “shared use” of Rosita Park if the district exhausts all other school site options. Specifically, Satterlee told Smith and Logan that the district would need to create a proposal that includes the amount of parkland needed to build a school, proposed shared-use guidelines and an idea of which amenities would stay or go, among other details.

Satterlee later told the Town Crier that while the council hadn’t discussed specifics regarding the Rosita site, she believes it would ultimately seek an arrangement that “results in no loss of total land ownership for the city.”

“The reason Rosita is top of mind is because the field and parking lot at Rosita are not generally scheduled or in high use during the school day, making a shared-use arrangement workable,” she noted in an email, while also citing traffic flow concerns around the area as sticking points. “We have also invested a considerable amount in a class (I) pathway that accesses the backside of the Covington site (adjacent to the park).”

Smith said he believes that the district will bring proposals on the park to the city in the future. At the same time, he noted concern that potential talks between Los Altos and Los Altos Hills to rebuild the community center would leave the district out in the cold.

“We should be evaluating all options in parallel,” he said, “not single-streaming them in a way that one group thinks is most optimized for their particular view.”

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