Fri08012014

News

"Brown is the new green," says local water district


Lina Broydo/Special to the Town Crier
Are downtown Los Altos flower pots getting too much water? The Santa Clara Valley Water District plans to hire “water cops” to discourage overwatering.

The Santa Clara Valley Water District is spending nearl...

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Schools

Foothill camps prepare local students for STEM careers

Foothill camps prepare local students for STEM careers


Photos Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Middle school students make robotic hands using 3-D printers during a STEM Summer Camp at Foothill College.

From designing roller coasters to developing biodegradable plastics, high school students received an i...

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Community

Local entrepreneur opens home to Afghan and Rwandan women

Local entrepreneur opens home to Afghan and Rwandan women


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Businesswomen Joan Mazimhaka of Rwanda, third from left, and Fakhria Ibrahimi of Afghanistan, in orange, traveled to the U.S. with a 26-woman delegation through the Peace Through Business program.

Employees scoop ice ...

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Comment

Moving on: The Rockey Road

Just over a month ago, we decided to put our house on the market. My husband and I had been tossing around the idea of moving back to the area where we grew up, which is only approximately 40 minutes from here. Of course, Los Altos is a great place t...

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Special Sections

Long live the lawn: Los Altos native offers drought-resistant strategies

Long live the lawn: Los Altos native offers drought-resistant strategies


Bill Steiner’s grass is green, left, even amid the drought. He followed Max Todd’s water and maintainence instructions after having his lawn aerated, Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier

Green lawns are not necessarily on the endangered list during the d...

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Business

Halo heads to Los Altos: Blow-dry bar founder opens new First Street location Monday

Halo heads to Los Altos: Blow-dry bar founder opens new First Street location Monday


ElLie Van Houtte/ Town Crier
Armed with blow dryers, Halo founder Rosemary Camposano, left, and store manager Nikki Thomas prepare for the blow-dry bar’s grand opening on First Street Monday.

A blow-dry bar is set to open downtown Monday, and i...

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Books

"Frozen in Time" chronicles harrowing WWII rescue attempts


Many readers can’t resist a true-life adventure story, especially those that shine a spotlight on people who exhibit supreme courage in the face of adversity and end up surviving – or not – against the odds.

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People

DR. ALFRED HUGHES

Long time Los Altos resident, Dr. Alfred Hughes, died May 1st after a long illness. Dr. Hughes was born in 1927 in Maspeth, NY. He served in the US Army from 1945-6, attended Brooklyn Polytechnic University, then graduated from Reed College in Portla...

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Travel

Travel Tidbit: Ritz-Carlton, Lake Tahoe offers spa getaway

Travel Tidbit: Ritz-Carlton, Lake Tahoe offers spa getaway


Courtesy of Ritz-Carlton
The Ritz-Carlton in Lake Tahoe offers fall getaway packages that include spa treatments and yoga classes.

Fall in North Lake Tahoe boasts crisp mornings and opportunities to spend quality time in the mountains. Specially ...

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Stepping Out

'Wizard' winds down at Bus Barn

'Wizard' winds down at Bus Barn


Town Crier file photo
Local actors rehearse a scene from “The Wizard of Oz.”

Los Altos Youth Theatre and Los Altos Stage Company’s collaborative production of “The Wizard of Oz” is slated to close Sunday at Bus Barn Theater, 97 Hillview Ave.

T...

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Spiritual Life

Stanford University appoints new dean for religious life

Stanford University appoints new dean for religious life


Shaw

Stanford University named the Very Rev. Dr. Jane Shaw, dean of Grace Cathedral in San Francisco, its new dean for religious life.

Provost John Etchemendy announced Shaw’s appointment July 21, adding that she also will join the faculty in...

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Magazine

Festival features fun for everyone

Festival features fun for everyone


TOWN CRIER FILE PHOTO
The Los Altos Arts & Wine Festival boasts more than 375 craft and arts booths.

This weekend’s 35th annual Los Altos Arts & Wine Festival promises to be jam-packed with fun activities for just about everyone. The eve...

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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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