Wed05272015

News

City, LASD hire two new crossing guards


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Students cross Foothill Expressway with the aid of a new crossing guard, recently added to ensure the safety of those crossing at Magdalena Avenue.

The Los Altos School District and the city of Los Altos added two new crossing guards last week, an effort to ensure students’ safety.

One crossing guard will cover the Foothill Expressway and Magdalena Avenue crossing and the other will be stationed at the Covington Road and Golden Way crossing.

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County Board of Supervisors reviews election process


The Nov. 4 election tested the patience of many local voters and candidates, who watched as results trickled in daily after Election Day and changed the outcomes in some tight races.

Now that the dust has settled, Santa Clara County Supervisor Joe Simitian, chairman of the Finance and Government Operations Committee, held a special hearing Jan. 28 to discuss election matters involving the county’s Registrar of Voters.

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Council inspired by straightforward strategy on selling civic center redo

Keep it simple. That’s the message Los Altos City Councilmembers needed last week to take a big step forward in putting a civic center master plan before voters.

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News Briefs

New police to join force

Five new faces will be sporting a Los Altos Police uniform this year.

Hiring is underway for a new traffic officer, a position frozen and unfilled since the economic downturn. The Los Altos City Council added it back into the 2014-2015 budget.

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Senator to hold online town hall meeting

State Senator Jerry Hill, whose district includes Los Altos, is holding an online town hall meeting 6:30-7:30 p.m. Feb. 18. Visit http://sd13.senate.ca.gov/AskJerry2015 to participate. Visitors also may use that link to submit questions for the online town hall before or during the event. The town hall is accessible only online. For more information including an FAQ about the online town hall, visit: http://sd13.senate.ca.gov/event/2015-02-18-online-town-hall-ask-jerry .

Despite rain, drought still a concern; Local residents conserving water, but it’s only a drop in the bucket

In a review of year-over-year water consumption data, local residents may believe that they deserve a pat on the back.
    Compared with 2013, water use per capita dropped in Los Altos and Mountain View in 2014 by 39.8 percent and 21.9 percent, respectively, according to the State Water Resources Control Board. Improvement aside, conservation is still in order.
    With only two major storms this winter, a fourth year of drought conditions looks likely in California. The winter months of November through March normally deliver 75 percent of all rainfall for the year. Even with the storm system last weekend, the Mtn. View Corp Yard registers 13.31 inches of rainfall season-to-date (November through March), less than Los Altos’ 15.71 inches of average annual rainfall.
    The deficit in groundwater and reservoir reserves is so great that even a succession of vigorous storms in the spring may not bring precipitation to normal averages. A pivotal winter snowpack measurement in the mountains east of Sacramento Jan. 29 revealed that water content remained at 33 percent of normal for this time of year. Local water districts – including the Purissima Hills Water District, which serves residents of Los Altos Hills – rely almost exclusively on water from melting snow in the Sierra, making the latest snowpack measurements potentially problematic.
    Even with regulations that restrict outdoor irrigation and potable water use to two days per week in August and impose fines of up to $500 on noncompliant homeowners, the Purissima Hills district may urge customers to take even greater conservation steps.


Measures in store
    As the drought continues, residents can expect increased conservation outreach from local water districts.
    Santa Clara Valley Water District officials reported that the district would maintain its water-reduction policies through June. The district plans to continue offering residential and commercial rebates for a variety of water-saving efforts, including installation of greywater laundry-to-landscape systems and high-efficiency toilets and clothes washers, upgrades to irrigation hardware and landscape conversions.
    In addition, several public outreach campaigns are underway. Through its “A Drop in the Bucket” campaign, the Santa Clara Valley Water District is distributing thousands of free 3.5-gallon buckets to encourage residents to reuse their shower water for flushing toilets or watering gardens.
    For more information on the Santa Clara Valley Water District’s conservation efforts, visit valleywater.org/programs/waterconservation.aspx.Ellie Van Houtte?Town Crier
Strong winds downed a powerline on First Street in Los Altos last week. Despite the heavy rains, local water districts continue to prepare for a fourth year of drought.

Water conservation events
    • “Innovations in Water Conservation,” 7-9 p.m. March 12 at Los Altos Hills Town Hall, 26379 W. Fremont Road. Garth Hall, deputy operating officer with the Santa Clara Valley Water District, and Forrest Linebarger, CEO of Inhabiture, are scheduled to discuss home and business innovations for curbing water use.
    • “How to Create Your Own Water-Wise Home Landscape,” 7-9 p.m. March 23 in the Program Room of the Los Altos main library, 13 S. San Antonio Road. Greywater Action co-founder Laura Allen is slated to offer information on plumbing alterations and landscape modifications, including how a greywater system could save users an average of 15,000 gallons of water annually.
    For more information on both events, visit valleywater.org/programs/events_and_workshops.aspx.

Los Altos returns to the big screen in latest Jobs movie


Courtesy of De Anza College
A “Steve Jobs” crew filmed at De Anza College last week, re-creating an Apple product launch.

Town Crier readers who watch the upcoming movie about the late Apple Inc. co-founder Steve Jobs – part of which was filmed in and around Los Altos in recent weeks – might want to keep an eye out for a familiar bell ringer.

The filmmakers recently contacted the Town Crier for help with their plans to re-create editions of the paper from 1976 and 1984 as background for scenes in the movie.

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