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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 nearly $1 million to show that it’s getting serious about water conservation and enforcement. The district last week announced that it plans to hire 10 water enforcement personnel to investigate complaints of water waste.

In the wake of mandatory 20 percent cutbacks statewide over 2013 consumption, the state’s Water Resources Control Board reported July 15 that it will levy $500 daily fines on individuals and businesses overwatering in such activities as landscaping and washing cars. The fines stem from a discovery earlier this month that water use has increased 1 percent statewide over last year, despite the worst drought in recent memory.

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LAH council gives go-ahead to road repairs


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
A cyclist rides along Taaffe Road in Los Altos Hills last week. Taaffe Road is among the 28 roads scheduled for pavement work in coming months.

Approximately 30 streets are scheduled for roadwork during the 2014-2015 fiscal year now that the Los Altos Hills City Council has approved a nearly $1 million contract for the 2014 Pavement Rehabilitation Project.

While Los Altos Hills City Engineer and Public Works Director Richard Chiu said the town’s Pavement Condition Index, a measure of the streets’ quality, is “pretty good” at 77 out of 100, standard roadwork is necessary.

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Mayor to host downtown walking tour in September

Los Altos Mayor Megan Satterlee plans to host a Sept. 6 walking tour of the city’s newest commercial developments for interested residents.

Satterlee’s announcement of the tour at the July 22 Los Altos City Council meeting came more than two months after she originally discussed the idea with her colleagues May 13.

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Police Blotter

Residential burglaries

July 21, 12:01 p.m., 1000 block of Ranchita Drive: An unknown suspect entered a home construction site overnight, broke into a stand-alone storage unit and stole a flat-screen television.

July 22, 4:23 p.m., 500 block of Lincoln Avenue: Someone pried open a window to a home, ransacked the master bedroom and stole laptops and jewelry. The loss was approximately $27,000, police reported.

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LA Council Briefs

The Los Altos City Council took the following actions at its July 22 meeting.

Council amends animal ordinance

The council passed an amendment that eases the ordinance restricting the leading, herding or riding of most animals on public land. The vote was 4-0, with Councilman Jarrett Fishpaw absent from the meeting.

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LA council delays vote on Prop. 13 resolution

The Los Altos City Council last week unanimously opted to postpone its vote on a resolution supporting Proposition 13 reform.

According to a city staff report, the San Francisco-based organization Evolve approached the city earlier this year seeking support for reform of the proposition, which capped residential and commercial property-tax rate increases to 2 percent annually, beginning in 1978. The proposition also calls for the reassessment of sold properties at 1 percent of sale price, with increases capped at 2 percent annually in future years.

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County DA warns of IRS scammers

The Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Office issued an alert last week warning residents of scammers posing as IRS and court officials.

Deputy District Attorney Janet Berry told the Town Crier that some county residents recently received emails and phone calls from people claiming that the IRS has filed criminal charges against them for unpaid taxes. Another scam moving through the area, she noted, involves people posing as jury commissioners who threaten victims with arrest warrants for failure to appear for jury duty.

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