Sat10252014

News

Election flyer mimics newspaper coverage

Election flyer mimics newspaper coverage

A flyer is being distributed across Los Altos that looks like it is from the Los Altos Town Crier but was neither created nor distributed by the community’s weekly newspaper. The flyer, pictured at right, is being distributed by workers from Pyrami...

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Schools

LAHS Science and Technology Week features medical examiner

LAHS Science and Technology Week features medical examiner


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
A Los Altos High School student learns how to use robotic surgical equipment at the school’s Science and Technology Week event last year. Students can also attend hands-on presentations at this year’s event, w...

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Community

Ahoy, matey: Pirate Manor ramps up Halloween display

Ahoy, matey: Pirate Manor ramps up Halloween display


Town Crier File Photo
Pirate Manor is once again scheduled to arrive in the front yard of Dane and Jill Glasgow’s home on Manor Way in Los Altos, just in time for Halloween.

Although not the Walking Dead, pirate skeletons have been brought to li...

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Sports

Lancers rule the pool against Spartans

Lancers rule the pool against Spartans


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
St. Francis High’s Eric Reitmeir launches the ball over Mountain View High driver David Niehaus (2) and goalie Kenny Tang. The host Lancers won Friday’s non-league game 9-3.

There wasn’t a lot on the line Friday when ...

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Comment

Reeder, Fung for El Camino HCD: Editorial

The good news for the El Camino Healthcare District (formerly the El Camino Hospital District, for those still getting used to the new name) is that there is a contested election Nov. 4 for the district’s board of directors. Three candidates are runn...

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Special Sections

Plant-based diet offers benefits

Plant-based diet offers benefits


Photo by Ramya Krishna
Los Altos resident Nandini Krishna prepares a meat-free dish According to author Caldwell B. Esselstyn Jr., M.D., a plant-based diet can help prevent cancer.

Shirley Okita of Los Altos has found that adhering to a mostly plant...

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Business

New shop offers haute couture for girls

New shop offers haute couture for girls


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
The Girls @ Los Altos at 239 State St. offers clothing lines such as Nellystella as well as toys and other items for girls.

Cecilia Chen opened The Girls @ Los Altos as a tribute to the party dress. Whether it’s for...

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Books

Helping kids catch a few Zs: Local dental hygienist pens meditative bedtime book

Helping kids catch a few Zs: Local dental hygienist pens meditative bedtime book


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Mimi Sommers, who works at a Los Altos dentist’s office, recently wrote a children’s book.

A local dental hygienist recently published a book that aims to ease parents and children during a sometimes anxious e...

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People

BARBARA DARLING MERIDETH

1946-2014

Born in Palo Alto, raised in Los Altos, retired in southern Oregon. Survived by Peter James Merideth, sons Matthew, Jacob and John Merideth, the loves of her life.

She was a housewife who took great pride in her home, her surroundings and...

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Travel

Falling leaves: Four places in California to see autumn colors

Falling leaves: Four places in California to see autumn colors


Courtesy of Castello di Amorosa
Castello di Amorosa in Calistoga, above, boasts a beautiful setting for viewing fall’s colors – and sampling the vineyard’s wines.

Yes, Virginia, there is fall in California.

The colors pop out in...

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Stepping Out

'Sleepy Hollow' awakens at Bus Barn

'Sleepy Hollow' awakens at Bus Barn



Los Altos Youth Theatre’s production of “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow,” a musical based on Washington Irving’s classic story, is set to run through Nov. 2 at Bus Barn Theater. The cast comprises 27 young actors, directed by Cindy Powell. Courtesy o...

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Spiritual Life

Magazine

Local events add color to autumn calendar

Local events add color to autumn calendar


Van Houtte/town crier Visitors make their way through the Children’s Alley.

As Los Altos’ signature Chinese Pistache trees exchange their summer green for vibrant hues of yellow, orange and red in the fall, an abundance of local events also ad...

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LASD board continues to define BCS facilities for 2014-2015

January may have heralded a new year, but the Los Altos School District and Bullis Charter School still face the same old facilities problems.

The two parties undergo the facilities allocation process every year, a back-and-forth negotiation that begins in November and culminates in April with a final offer. Under state Proposition 39, the school district is required to provide facilities for the charter school’s in-district students.

Bullis Charter School officials recently reaffirmed their projected enrollment of 678 in-district students for the 2014-2015 school year. In December, the school district countered the charter school’s projection, estimating that 73 fewer in-district students would attend the charter school next year.

“It is unfortunate that (the district), with yet another under-projection of Bullis Charter School students, apparently plans to continue its annual pattern of providing facilities insufficient to accommodate (charter school) students as they would be accommodated if they attended a (district-run) school,” stated the charter school’s response to the district’s counter projection. “We respectfully ask you to reconsider.”

The charter school’s response pointed out that district facilities for the current year did not account for 34 in-district K-5 students. The district’s counter estimate indicated that the charter school’s projection exceeded its current enrollment by 32 students. The district requested a number of data points regarding enrollees and registrants from the charter school to confirm its enrollment projection.

Bullis Charter School parents circulated an informal survey of current sixth-grade parents who plan to enroll their students in seventh grade at the charter school next year. The survey recorded that approximately 60 sixth-grade students would return next year.

The district estimated that number at 34 students, and the charter school projected 66, the number of sixth-graders currently attending the charter school. The district backed its claim, citing historically over-projected data for sixth grade, when many students enter or return to district schools or the private school population.

Defining details

Randy Kenyon, district assistant superintendent for business services, requested that district trustees clarify some points at their Jan. 13 meeting to enable him to draft a preliminary option for Monday’s board meeting.

Despite the results from the Bullis Charter School parent survey, the trustees continued to use their projected counter enrollment.

“The survey is interesting, but it does not rise to the standard of scientific data,” said Trustee Doug Smith.

He added that the district’s projections are historically more accurate and that its count is supported by solid analysis.

“When we came back with our (counter), we asked for specific data, but all we received was a rant,” said Tammy Logan, district board president.

Kenyon also asked for instruction on how to design the offer, including whether he should assume that the charter school’s K-4 students would attend the site on the Egan Junior High School campus and fifth- through eighth-graders would attend the Blach Intermediate School site – or whether K-5 students would attend Egan and 6-8 attend Blach.

The trustees agreed that the preferred split would be K-4 and 5-8, which would likely require tweaks to the shared space and play area at Blach. The shared space at Blach must be addressed, trustees said, because they don’t want the current conflicts repeated next year. District trustees did not back away from the grade restrictions currently imposed on the Blach campus.

“I’m not uncomfortable with flexible use of our spaces as long as there is a conceptual way of how to operate, but it is contingent on having a collaborative relationship,” said Trustee Mark Goines. “I don’t think we can get there while in litigation.”

To view a copy of the charter school’s letter, visit losaltosonline.com.

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