Fri09192014

News

Meet the Mountain View City Council candidates

Meet the Mountain View City Council candidates


Nine candidates have filed to run for three open seats on the Mountain View City Council in the Nov. 4 election – none of them incumbents. The Town Crier asked them to introduce themselves to readers in the following Q&A format. We knew the...

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Schools

LASD committee looks to rank campus improvement projects

LASD committee looks to rank campus improvement projects


Traci Newell/Town Crier
The Los Altos School District’s newly expanded Facilities Advisory Committee met for the first time last week. The 28-member committee’s first task is to prioritize campus improvement projects.

The Los Altos Scho...

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Community

Sports

New-look Lancers find their footing

New-look Lancers find their footing


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
St. Francis High’s Jenna Adams, left, and Carly Deale attempt to bump the ball Friday night. The juniors combined for 28 kills.

This year’s St. Francis High girls volleyball team faintly resembles last season’s squad ...

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Special Sections

MV Whisman teachers cite low pay

MV Whisman teachers cite low pay


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
An estimated 75 supporters of higher teacher pay turned out for the Sept. 4 Mountain View Whisman School District board meeting.

Teachers, trustees and administrators are recovering from a dramatic Mountain View Whism...

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Business

Skin rejuvenation studio joins Rancho

Skin rejuvenation studio joins Rancho


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Esthetician Marjan Kashi showcases one of the treatment rooms at her new studio, Pure Serenity Skincare at Rancho Shopping Center. Kashi provides services including microdermabrasion and various light and heat energy the...

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Books

A woman's perspective on the Greatest Generation

A woman's perspective on the Greatest Generation


During World War II, Virgilia Short Witzel, a young mother and U.S. Navy officer’s wife, grappled on the home front in Menlo Park with wartime rationing, shortages and loneliness. During the ensuing Cold War, she experienced adventure and misadventur...

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People

JERALD (JERRY) NELSON CHRISTIANSEN

JERALD (JERRY) NELSON CHRISTIANSEN

Resident of San Jose and Los Altos, California

July 21, 1931 to August 4, 2014

Born in Arimo, Idaho, to Jerald Emmett and Rebecca Henderson Nelson Christiansen. Raised in Davis and Riverside, California, with summers in Downey, Idaho, and in Loga...

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Travel

LA photographer spends a night with cranes – and moose – in Alaska

LA photographer spends a night with cranes – and moose – in Alaska


Sandy Powell/Special to the Town Crier
Los Altos resident and bird photographer Sandy Powell recently visited Homer, Alaska, to photograph Sandhill cranes, below. While there, Powell also encountered moose, left.

Los Altos resident Sandy Powell, a...

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Stepping Out

Pear puts on a pair of plays

Pear puts on a pair of plays


J. Smith/Special to the Town Crier
Dan Kapler (as Teddy) and Betsy Kruse Craig (Trish) star in Pear Avenue Theatre’s “House.”

The Pear Avenue Theatre production of two interlocking comedies by Alan Ayckbourn – “House&...

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Spiritual Life

Back to Church Sunday offers opportunity to recommit

The children in Los Altos are back to school, and I can still hear parents cheering. Summer is officially over, even if the calendar doesn’t quite think so.

Parents have attended Back to School nights to meet their children’s teachers. B...

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Magazine

Los Altos Hills home showcases resort-inspired living

Los Altos Hills home showcases resort-inspired living


Courtesy of Spectrum Interior Design
In place of a more traditional fireplace, this modern living room features a linear-flame firebox that emits heat while offering a sculpturelike design element.

After traveling the world and visiting a host...

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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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