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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Los Altos OKs Styrofoam ban

A ban on expanded or extruded polystyrene (EPS) products – commonly known as Styrofoam – is coming to Los Altos on Independence Day.

The Los Altos City Council last week voted 4-1 to approve an expansive ordinance that will prohibit the use and sale of EPS products for the vast majority of local and national food establishments and retailers in the city beginning July 4. The ordinance also prohibits the use of EPS products at events but includes some exemptions for products like egg cartons and raw meats sold from a butcher case, as well as documented hardships for certain businesses.

Councilwoman Val Carpenter cast the lone dissenting vote after she unsuccessfully sought a reduction of the $3,000 appropriation for mailings to local businesses advising them of the upcoming ban.

A city staff report noted that the EPS ordinance affects 36 out of more than 111 food service businesses in Los Altos – including four that use the product solely for pre-packed meats, vegetables or pastries. The report added that just a handful of local municipalities – including Los Altos Hills and Palo Alto – currently have EPS foodware bans in place.

“It seems to me – from the report and all – that we have a lot of receptivity. We don’t have any pushback from all of our wonderful people who serve our residents,” said Councilwoman Jeannie Bruins, who along with three of her council colleagues voted for a July 4 start date to give businesses more time to adjust to the change.

The council’s decision comes after some of its members in December sought a further-reaching measure than the one before them. The original proposal – part of a regional California Environmental Quality Act process led by San Jose – called for phasing out the use of EPS food containers by Los Altos restaurants and other food establishments, but not sales by retailers that stock foam ice coolers and disposable foodware products. The original proposal also called for a ban affecting national food vendors on Earth Day, April 22. It included a second deadline for local vendors exactly one year later.

A chorus of support

A number of Los Altos residents spoke in favor of the ban – one urging the council to implement it on April 22 instead of July 4.

GreenTown Los Altos member Michael McTighe pressed the council to adopt Earth Day as the start of the EPS ban, adding that it was “worthy to note” that less than 40 businesses would be impacted.

“I think we’re not looking at a large number of people, if you consider it,” said McTighe, noting that the April time frame for implementation coincides with the start of the downtown Los Altos Farmers’ Market.

Los Altos Village Association Executive Director Nancy Dunaway, whose organization coordinates the seasonal Farmers’ Market on State Street, told councilmembers that it wouldn’t see a negative impact because of the ban – regardless of its implementation date.

“I believe actually last year most of the food vendors (at the market) were using compostable products,” she said.

Environmental Commissioner Gary Hedden, speaking on behalf of himself, not the commission, said the commission visited all food service providers in the city and concluded that most “are already onboard with this measure.”

He added that two out of three Los Altos businesses already use alternative products, while those who still use EPS do so only in small quantities and “are simply waiting for the ban to take effect.”

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