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 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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