Council holds off on paying down Rosita Park debt

Ellie Van Houtte/ Town Crier
The city of Los Altos opted not to prepay the remaining principal it owes for the purchase of the Rosita Park site in the 1990s, a bid to shore up its financing strategy for a new community center.

The Los Altos City Council last week postponed a vote that would have paid down more than $1.6 million in city debt – for a very specific reason.

The council delayed voting for the prepayment of $1.67 million outstanding in the remaining principal for Certificates of Participation (COP) issued to purchase the 5.5-acre St. William School site – now Rosita Park. The council opted to delay the prepayment after some councilmembers expressed concern that the action could adversely affect the city’s still-to-be-determined financing strategy for a new community center and park (see page 1).


Sung assumes West Valley commander role, with Binder promoted to assistant sheriff

There’s a new captain in town and his name is Rick Sung.

The longtime Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Office employee is taking the reins of the West Valley Patrol from Capt. Kenneth Binder, who was recently promoted to assistant sheriff.


Police Blotter

Police seek victims after child porn arrest

Mountain View Police are attempting to identify victims who may have been in contact with a man arrested earlier this month on child pornography and other charges.

The outreach effort by Mountain View Police comes after detectives arrested 47-year-old Mountain View resident Jorge Huerta-Alvarez Jan. 8 on charges of lewd and lascivious acts on a child and possession of child pornography.


LASD schedules study session highlighting bond implementation

The Los Altos School District boardroom is the place to be Monday for residents curious about how the district will begin cashing in on its recently passed $150 million bond.

Superintendent Jeff Baier instructed the board of trustees last week to schedule the study session to take an in-depth look at the construction process and available financing options.


UPDATED: LAH burglary thwarted; one arrested, another apprehended after fleeing

UPDATED at 2:50 p.m. Jan. 21: Los Altos Police apprehended the second suspect Tuesday morning. For more details, see the Jan. 28 edition of the Town Crier.


A Los Altos Hills resident’s instinct to call the sheriff’s office when two suspicious people knocked on his door may have thwarted a burglary.

The Loyola Drive resident’s report to the Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Office Monday night (Jan. 19) led to the arrest of one of the men for auto theft and outstanding warrants; the other suspect escaped.

“There is no doubt in our mind that these guys were out here to commit a burglary,” said Captain Rick Sung, Commander Chief of the West Valley Division.

The resident contacted the sheriff’s Office at approximately 8 p.m. Monday after the two men asked him for gas, according to Sung. Deputies arrived minutes later, located the suspects – described as Hispanic males – and soon discovered they both had multiple warrants for their arrests.

One suspect fled the scene and escaped capture, despite the search perimeter set up by deputies, who dispatched K-9 officers and received air assistance from a San Jose Police Department helicopter.

The second suspect was arrested on warrants for vehicle theft, drug possession and driving without a license. His bail was set at $47,000.

According to Sung, the arrested suspect said that he and his associate were in the area “looking for a party.” Their vehicle – reported as stolen – was found parked along Interstate 280. Sung said that marijuana and methamphetamine pipes were found inside.

Sung said the sheriff’s office and neighboring agencies are on the lookout for the other suspect. In addition to facing warrants for possession of methamphetamine and being under the influence of controlled substances (totaling $110,00 in bail), Sung said the suspect now faces additional charges for fleeing the scene and stealing a vehicle.

Although burglaries in Los Altos Hills dipped in October through December, Sung encouraged residents to remain vigilant and report any suspicious activity – just like the Loyola Drive resident did.

“Don’t wait five minutes or 10 minutes,” he said. “Our deputies will be there in minutes.”

Loyola Bridge renovation schedule pushed back

Town Crier File Photo
Construction work to widen Loyola Bridge has been delayed several weeks.

Renovations to widen Loyola Bridge are slated to kick off this year – albeit slightly later than originally anticipated.

Dan Collen, deputy director of the Santa Clara County Roads and Airports Department, said last week that the county is reviewing contract bids for the project, which calls for the widening of Loyola Bridge by 23 feet on the north side and 15 feet on the south side. Collen said the county is waiting for award approval from Caltrans before proceeding with the project, which is estimated to take one year to complete and is partly funded by the Federal Highway Administration.


Health-care contract snafu hits PAMF customers

Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Palo Alto Medical Foundation, which has offices at 370 Distel Circle in Los Altos, warns patients of upcoming health coverage changes in the wake of a contract dispute between Blue Shield and Sutter Health.

Local residents who are insured by Blue Shield and rely on Palo Alto Medical Foundation (PAMF) for medical services may be in for a surprise this year.

Blue Shield has announced that it could not come to terms on a new contract with Sutter Health – PAMF’s parent company – by Dec. 31, according to a Santa Cruz Sentinel report last week.


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