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News

Spooktacular moved indoors


Due to rain, today's downtown Los Altos Halloween activities have been moved to the indoor courtyard of Play! at 170 State St. Enter from the back on the parking lot side to participate in crafts, games and fun. Activities continue until 4 p.m.

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Schools

Gardner Bullis School debuts new Grizzly Student Center

Gardner Bullis School debuts new Grizzly Student Center


Photo by Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Students line up to check books out of the library in the new Grizzly Student Center at Gardner Bullis School.

Gardner Bullis School opened its new Grizzly Student Center earlier this month, introducing a lea...

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Community

Home improvement workshop scheduled Wednesday (Oct. 29)

The County of Santa Clara is hosting a free informational workshop on 6:30 p.m. Wednesday at Los Altos Hills Town Hall, 26379 Fremont Road.

The workshop will offer ways single-family homeowners can increase their homes’ energy efficiency. Eligible i...

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Comment

Off the fence: TC recommends 'yes' on N

The Town Crier initially offered no position on the controversial $150 million Measure N bond on Tuesday’s ballot. But some of the reasons we gave in our Oct. 15 editorial were, on reflection, overly critical and based on inaccurate information.

We ...

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Special Sections

Long-term solutions emerge as water conservation goes mainstream

Long-term solutions emerge as water conservation goes mainstream


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Forrest Linebarger, right, installed greywater and rainwater harvesting systems at his Los Altos Hills home.

With more brown than green visible in her Los Altos backyard, Kacey Fitzpatrick admits that she’s a little e...

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Business

Local realtors scare up money for charity

Local realtors scare up money for charity


Photo courtesy of SILVAR
Realtors Gary Campi and Jordan Legge, from left, joined Nancy Domich, SILVAR President Dave Tonna and Joe Brown to raise funds for the Silicon Valley Realtors Charitable Foundation.

Los Altos and Mountain View realtors raise...

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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

DAVID S. NIVISON

DAVID S. NIVISON

David S. Nivison, 91 years old, and a resident of Los Altos, California since 1952, died Oct. 16, 2014 at home.  His neighbors had recently honored him as the “Mayor of Russell Ave., in recognition of 62 years of distinguished living” on that ...

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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

ECYS opens season Sunday

ECYS opens season Sunday


Ramya Krishna/Special to the Town Crier
The El Camino Youth Symphony rehearses for Sunday’s concert, above.

The El Camino Youth Symphony – under new conductor Jindong Cai – is scheduled to perform its season-opening concert 4 p.m....

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Spiritual Life

Christian Science Reading Room hosts webinar on prayer and healing

Christian Science practitioner and teacher Evan Mehlenbacher is scheduled to present a live Internet webinar lecture, “Prayer That Heals,” 7:30 p.m. Nov. 14 in the Christian Science Reading Room, 60 Main St., Los Altos.

Those interested ...

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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 submits preliminary facilities offer to BCS

The Los Altos School District delivered its preliminary facilities offer for the 2014-2015 school year to Bullis Charter School Saturday, lifting site-specific grade-level restrictions.

Similar to the charter school’s current configuration, the introductory offer would split facilities between Egan Junior High and Blach Intermediate schools. The district’s offer allocated facilities assuming that K-4 charter school students would attend Egan and students in grades 5-8 would attend Blach.

Under Proposition 39, the district is required to provide Bullis Charter School with “reasonably equivalent” facilities for its in-district students. Since Bullis Charter School was placed at Egan 10 years ago, the district and the charter school have been duking it out in court over what constitutes “reasonably equivalent.”

With district officials projecting 407 in-district charter school students at the Egan campus next year, they anticipate needing two fewer portable classrooms. At Blach, the district projects 197 in-district students, which would require three additional classroom portables and a new 1,440-square-foot portable for flex space.

Multipurpose space at Blach would be available to the charter school 12 days of the year.

A major complaint of charter school parents with children assigned to the Blach campus this year was the lack of play space during recess and lunch breaks. Next year, the district offers shared blacktop space with Blach students if lunches and breaks coincide. If the breaks do not coincide, the district offers the tennis court space and/or track and field space – when it doesn’t conflict with Blach usage.

As for grade-level restrictions, the district requires that the drama room, science labs and some physical education facilities remain reserved solely for the charter school’s seventh- and eighth-graders. Site-specific grade-level restrictions, which the district included in the current-year facilities offer, were not mentioned in the preliminary offer or the attached Facilities Use Agreement (FUA).

Attendance caps will be expanded to 300 at Blach and 710 at Egan once per month for schoolwide assemblies, according to the offer.

FUA and compliance

The preliminary offer included an FUA, similar to the document the district drafted this year that outlines the requirements for occupying the district-owned facilities.

After Bullis Charter School officials refused to sign the agreement for this year last August, disagreeing with some of its provisions, the district prohibited charter school teachers and staff from accessing the Blach facilities prior to the start of the current school year.

The current preliminary offer states that charter school officials must sign the FUA no later than May 30, 30 days after they receive the final facilities offer. If officials fail to sign the document, the district will not add additional facilities for the charter school over the summer.

This year’s preliminary offer also includes procedures and possible consequences if the charter school does not comply with the parameters of the FUA. First notice of violations will result in a written notice, with an opportunity to correct the violations within 15 days. The district would then have an opportunity to review the charter school’s response.

The district reserves the right to schedule a public hearing regarding any FUA violations and can determine whether the violations should result in sanctions.

Sanctions include but are not limited to:

• An adjustment of the terms and conditions of the final offer or FUA.

• Referral to Bullis Charter School’s chartering agency, the Santa Clara County Office of Education.

• Reclamation of facilities.

• Equitable mitigation of facilities allocated under the final offer.

• Other remedies permitted by law.

Charter school officials have until March 1 to respond to the preliminary offer.

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