Thu12182014

The perfect holiday gift

Dressed to perfection in my new athletic apparel and spiked golf shoes, I stood at the tee with a license to kill in my gloved hand. Knowing the importance of a swing with precision, I slowly raised my $250 driver meticulously over my right shoulder, then, without hesitation, let it rip.

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Taking stock: From the Mayor's Desk


Jan Pepper was sworn in as mayor of Los Altos for 2015 at Tuesday’s city council meeting. To contact her, email jpepper@ losaltosca.gov.

The election is over and a new council is coming on board. So this is an appropriate time for the Los Altos City Council and our city government as a whole to take stock.

As the incoming mayor, these are the goals and expectations I set for myself:

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No. 1 priority: Relocate the charter school campus: Other Voices

Los Altos voters must keep in mind the legal requirement for the Los Altos School District to provide school facilities for Bullis Charter School, and how this requirement might be met if Measure N doesn’t pass. Consider this sequence of events.

Currently, the district houses 10 schools on nine campuses. Although the charter school will have 900 students in 2016, it does not have a campus. Its facilities are divided and housed on the edges of the Blach and Egan middle school campuses. If Measure N passes, the first priority for the funds is enrollment growth management, and clearly the Bullis Charter School/Blach/Egan situation is the severest example of crowding in the district. The charter school needs its own campus, and the district needs to recover its space at Blach and Egan.

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Election 2014: Looking back, looking forward: Editor's Notebook

With the Nov. 4 election results all but finalized, we wonder what voters were thinking with their choices for our city council and school boards, and what the results of Measure N mean.

I think it’s pretty obvious that voters in general opted for a conservative approach with their choices.

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Facts, not faith, behind support for Measure N : Other Voices

When there are facts, there is no need to rely on blind faith to support Measure N – and this is a ballot measure bolstered by facts.

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The Book Nest: Gone but not forgotten: Other Voices


Schmitz

By Ryan C. Fowler

I want to encourage others to remember The Book Nest, a mainstay of the downtown landscape for many of us who grew up in Los Altos, and to thank the man behind the counter. It would be a shame for the community to forget the bookstore and what Ed Schmitz did for Los Altos and for me.

I recall walking into that unostentatious house my sophomore year at Los Altos High School. I selected books from the shelves and wandered into the front room, with its built-in red wooden desk and an old cash register. An older gentleman with a wide smile and a very large, fluffy cat glanced at me. After I had read for a bit, the cat plopped down on the book on my lap and the man and I struck up a conversation about author John Steinbeck. That was our first conversation, more than 28 years ago. The numerous others we shared affected my path and resulted in what I do today.

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Vote 'no' on Measure N: Other Voices

It’s best to vote “no” on the Measure N school bond in November. Strangely, there is a real danger that the Los Altos School District is underestimating its own growth needs. The district’s plans show a strong bias toward improvements on existing schools that do not provide adequately for the projected growth. An extra year or two will provide clarity on several important issues that are as yet indeterminate. These include:

• The state has plans outstanding to require every school district to offer not just one but two years of kindergarten to every student.

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