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News

LAH measure could boost sewer rates significantly

The Los Altos Hills City Council’s approval of a series of sewer service rate increases means residents could soon see a hefty jump in their tax bills.

There are 1,749 single-family residential units within Los Altos Hills and each currently p...

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Schools

MVLA foundation recounts first year of Learning in the Cloud

MVLA foundation recounts first year of Learning in the Cloud


Traci Newell/Town Crier
Robert Barker, Los Altos High World Literature teacher, demonstrates how students use online discussion in class.

Technology is no longer seen as a distraction in the classroom, as students in the Mountain View Los Altos ...

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Community

Faria and friends unite to raise funds for cancer research

Faria and friends unite to raise funds for cancer research


Courtesy of Joseph Faria
Supporters of last month’s Relay For Life event in Mountain View include, from left, Los Altos residents Matthew Aufricht, Connor Chu, Matthew Demele and Dominic, Eileen and Joseph Faria. The Los Altos Relay For Life is sla...

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Sports

Right  on track

Right on track


Megan V. Winslow/Town Crier
Mountain View High sophomore Rachael Estell leaps for the win in the girls long jump Friday at the CCS championships.

As far as locals go, the underclassmen overshadowed the seniors at the Central Coast Section track ...

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Comment

Coffee with cops? We'll drink to that: Editorial

The recent “Coffee with a Cop” event proved a good public relations move for the Los Altos Police Department. It also provided a great opportunity for residents to ask questions and converse with several officers, including the police chief, in an in...

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Special Sections

Deciphering the irksome sounds cars often make

Ahh – the troublesome, telltale auto noise. It’s that squeak, screech, squeal, groan, grind, hum, hiss, rattle, knock, clicking or ticking that drives drivers crazy.

Even with all the technology in modern cars, the sounds our cars make t...

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Business

Local couple launches downtown restaurant

Local couple launches downtown restaurant


Alicia Castro/Town Crier
The Turn Bar & Grill crew prepares for the restaurant’s impending opening.

Jim and Julie Otis are prepared to realize their longtime dream.

The couple – lifelong Los Altos residents – wanted to ensure ...

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Books

Horan's 'Loving Frank' offers fictionalized account of famed architect's illicit affair

Horan's 'Loving Frank' offers fictionalized account of famed architect's illicit affair


In the 1920s, two married people fall in love, leave their spouses and children and set about living and traveling together. Affairs of this sort were considered shocking at the time. But the scandal was heightened given that the man was Frank Lloy...

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People

DR. WALLACE IRA SAMPSON

DR. WALLACE IRA SAMPSON

     

Dr. Wallace Ira Sampson, 85, passed away peacefully on Monday, May 25, at Santa Clara Valley Medical Center. He leaves his wife of 59 years, Rita (nee Landry) Sampson, brother Sandy, sons Robert, Paul (Suzanne), Buck (Kathryn), ...

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Travel

Flying south for the winter: Antarctica trips are not just for the birds

Flying south for the winter: Antarctica trips are not just for the birds


Photos Courtesy of Dave Hadden
Los Altos residents Dave and Joan Hadden watched the scenery from the large boat and a smaller Zodiac.

Standing on the beach with hundreds of thousands of penguins is “the experience of a lifetime,” according to Ga...

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Stepping Out

Kushner's 'Angels' arrives at Foothill

Kushner's 'Angels' arrives at Foothill


David Allen/Special to the Town Crier
Harper Pitt (Sophia Naylor) describes her life to Joe Pitt (Dan Martin) in “Angels in America,” playing in the Lohman Theatre at Foothill College through June 14.

The Foothill Theatre Arts Department’s produ...

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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

Letters to the Editor

No mystery in downtown parking

The city of Los Altos Downtown Parking Management Plan and the Downtown Public Parking Data sheet both accurately report the number of parking spaces, despite comments to the contrary (“Los Altos mysteries explored,” Jan. 29).

In the mid-1990s, the city purchased two downtown parcels – 400 Main St. and 230 First St. The private businesses operating in those locations were allowed to continue, and the city opened up 54 of the existing parking spaces for public use. While preparing for the eventual sale of the property, the city demolished the buildings in 2010 and used the site as a staging area to minimize construction impacts of the downtown beautification and First Street streetscape projects.

In 2012, with those projects complete, the city chose to allow, on a temporary basis, unregulated parking on the empty, unimproved lot while the site plan was under development. From April 2012 to August 2013, a total of 96 parking spaces were available.

The city’s Downtown Urban Design Plan identifies the First and Main site as a key gateway to the downtown and indicates that future development of the site should incorporate a “mixture of land uses, with retail on the ground floor” (Downtown Urban Design Plan, page 35). The development underway accomplishes that goal and will provide a welcoming entry into the downtown, which will promote vibrancy and economic vitality in downtown Los Altos.

To review the Downtown Parking Management Plan and the Downtown Urban Design Plan, visit losaltosca.gov/masterplans.

Marcia Somers

Los Altos City Manager

Leaf-blower violations merit citations

I am responding to a letter in another local newspaper regarding the Los Altos police beat, which reported 11 persons cited for illegally using gas-powered leaf blowers in Los Altos. The letter writer indicated that this was a waste of police time and taxpayers’ money.

Does the letter writer know about pollution?

The California Air Resources Board documents that the exhaust pollution from one gas blower used for one hour equals the smog produced by 17 cars driven for one hour.

Green alternatives include an electric blower, which has less power to stir up dangerous particulate matter, and a rake and a broom, which provide healthful exercise for the user.

The Los Altos City Council and other councils in the state and the U.S. acknowledged the detrimental environmental effects of these machines and banned them.

We commend the police for taking care of our citizens and citing the lawbreakers who violated our local ban, in effect since 1991.

Myra Orta

Los Altos

Yes to bond measure – if BCS goes to Morgan Hill

After receiving multiple survey phone calls on the wording of the school bond measure, my response has become somewhat brief.

I am all for it, up to $40 million, with one stipulation: Bullis Charter School must reside in Morgan Hill.

What? Oh yes – Morgan Hill! The legal requirement for a location in Santa Clara County would be met.

Bullis Charter School can continue to provide quality education services while cherry-picking enrollment and avoiding those with special needs, less-fluent English and substandard affluence. The obligatory $5,000 tuition will be paid without question.

It does beg the question of why Los Altos Hills doesn’t seek private financing for its own students as a strictly private school, which by all other aspects it is. Land is available.

Oh – by the way, if the stipulation of Morgan Hill isn’t met, my answer to the bond measure is no.

Kurt Ayers

Los Altos

Kudos to The European Cobblery

As a former mayor of Los Altos and downtown property owner, I extend a very special thanks to the many Los Altans and the Town Crier for quietly and politely letting both The European Cobblery and its landlord, Passarelle Investment Co., know how special the shop is to our village.

It provides a unique service, and they are staying – a welcomed development.

A final special thanks goes to The Cobblery and Passerelle.

Ron Packard

Los Altos

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