LASD parent announces run for school board

Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Los Altos School District Board of Trustees candidate Sangeeth Peruri asks Covington School students for feedback on education issues.

The race for a seat on the Los Altos School District Board of Trustees is off to an early start as a second candidate announced his intention to run in the November election.

Covington parent Sangeeth Peruri joins Martha McClatchie in the race. McClatchie in April declared her intent to run.


Backyard brush has potential to spark fires

Courtesy of CalFire
Regional brush and weed abatement programs encourage home- owners to create defensible spaces, illustrated above. Clearing debris can prevent fires from spreading to adjacent properties.

Drought has accelerated the start of fire season, prompting authorities to issue a reminder to local residents: Don’t brush aside the responsibility of keeping yards free of dangerous fuels that could feed flames.

“It’s starting much earlier than last year,” said Duffy Price, president of the Los Altos Hills County Fire District. “We want to make sure that all of Los Altos Hills and the unincorporated areas take it seriously.”


Police Blotter

Los Altos runaway found by police

An 11-year-old Los Altos girl with autism is home safe with her family after she ran away May 25, resulting in a police search that ended on Highway 101 in Palo Alto.

According to Los Altos Police Sgt. Cameron Shearer, the ordeal began after the girl left home in the early afternoon following an argument with her mother – who subsequently contacted police to report her missing.


Council OKs house design – with conditions

The Los Altos City Council last week upheld a Ray Avenue resident’s appeal to construct a new home deemed too bulky by some neighbors.

The council voted 4-1, with Councilwoman Jan Pepper dissenting, May 27 to uphold homeowners Anand and Stefi Ganesan’s appeal of a design review application for a 3,278-square-foot two-story home at 1055 Ray Ave. – provided that its overall mass is reduced to fit in with the surrounding neighborhood. The home’s design meets the city’s zoning requirements for the area, according to a city staff report, and includes a 2,337-square-foot basement not considered part of the overall floor area.


MV police chief to leave

vermeerAfter a public safety career spanning 28 years, the last 12 with the Mountain View Police Department, Police Chief Scott Vermeer announced today he is leaving the force.

Vermeer said he has accepted an executive position with Security Industry Specialists, a San Jose-based private security firm.

“I want to thank my Mountain View police family, the City of Mountain View, and the community for an outstanding experience as Chief that has exceeded all my expectations,” Vermeer said on a Mountain View police blog. “The personnel of MVPD lead locally and nationally on many issues and enjoy a wonderful partnership with our community. I move on to the next chapter in my career so proud of an organization that sets the standard for police professionalism.”

Chief Vermeer started his career with the Redwood City Police Department in 1986. He promoted through the ranks in Redwood City to the rank of Captain. In March of 1999, he accepted the position of Chief of Police for the City of Menlo Park. In January of 2002, Vermeer then joined MVPD where he continued his community oriented leadership and team focus.

Vermeer's last day on the force is Aug. 3.

Anti-drug group linked to Scientology back in school – for a day

An anti-drug program tied to Scientology reappeared in Bay Area classrooms this school year – including at Los Altos High School – after a decade-long absence.

Free classroom talks by Narconon made their way back into public high schools throughout the state almost a decade after the state Department of Education rejected the program for promoting phony science. Los Altos High hosted a Narconon presentation during the fall semester for a health class mostly serving 10th-graders.


Commission offers lukewarm review of plaza reconfiguration

Town Crier File Photo
The Los Altos Planning and Transportation Commission offered mixed opinions on a policy proposal that would allow developers to reconfigure the city’s nine downtown parking plazas. File photo

A proposed policy allowing developers to reconfigure downtown parking plazas to meet their city-mandated parking requirements received mixed reviews from the Los Altos Planning and Transportation Commission (PTC).

PTC commissioners offered a host of varied opinions May 15 – and ultimately a handful of refinements and additions – on a draft version of the policy. The Los Altos City Council in March voted 4-1 to move forward with drafting a policy that would give downtown property owners a way to redevelop and meet city-imposed parking requirements – by funding the reconfiguration of a downtown parking plaza to create more spaces.


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