Mon05042015

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 Saturday 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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State senator seeks to return money to Los Altos Hills

A bill sponsored by State Sen. Jim Beall (D-15th District) would return money to Los Altos Hills and other Silicon Valley communities.

On a recent visit with the Silicon Valley Association of Realtors (SILVAR), Beall explained Senate Bill 629, tax-equity allocation legislation that would require the county to redirect approximately $2.1 million in property taxes to the cities of Los Altos Hills, Cupertino, Monte Sereno and Saratoga beginning in the 2014-2015 fiscal year.

Because of the current tax formula, the cities receive less property-tax revenue (approximately 4 percent) than other cities in the state (7 percent). Beall said he is working to correct the inequity by requiring the Santa Clara County auditor to revise property-tax allocation formulas and reimburse the cities.

Beall said the matter is a question of fairness, because the loss in revenue has limited the ability of some cities to maintain library hours and provide adequate road repairs and parks and recreation services.

“We’re trying to correct that and working to have their property taxes returned to them,” he said of the affected cities. “Let’s work on that together.”

Beall also shared a bit of good news during his SILVAR appearance. After years of deficits, he said, California’s budget is healthy, with projections of a $2 billion surplus for 2014. Beall noted that this time around, the state needs to set aside much of that money as reserves.

“We need to avoid the tendency to overspend and keep a rainy-day fund,” he said.

Beall is also sponsoring SB 628, a bill on infrastructure financing around transit stations. The measure would require municipalities that use infrastructure-financing district bonds for transit projects to designate a portion of property-tax revenue to increase and improve lower- and moderate-income housing in the district.

During his chat with realtors, Beall outlined additional priorities, including advocating a good state drug and mental-health policy. Specifically, Beall noted that the state should focus on recidivism, as 70 percent of offenders released return to state prison after only a couple of years. A good drug and mental-health policy would not only help offenders, but also communities as a whole, he added.

Beall said money spent on incarceration continues to rise at the expense of education, leading to state tuition increases for public colleges and universities, forcing students to shoulder a heavier loan debt.

“Many families have these problems, and that’s bad for the economy,” Beall said. “For me, making policy to fund higher education and limit tuition increases is good for real estate.”

The Silicon Valley Association of Realtors provided information for this article. For more information, email Rose Meily at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

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