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Council approves budget, seeks to 'clean up' project list

The Los Altos City Council June 23 unanimously adopted two financial plans – the city’s 2015-2017 operating budget and the 2015-2020 Capital Improvement Program budget.

Following feedback from the council’s May 28 budget study session, staff incorporated additions to the financial plan. Highlights include $300,000 for a downtown plan, $392,000 to account for staff positions expected to be filled, $100,000 to study the viability of a downtown parking structure and $300,000 to improve Grant Park & Community Center.

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In a year of make-do, survey studies the who and why of local homelessness


Courtesy Of SAnta Clara County Office of Supportive Housing
The graphic reveals the combination of factors leading to county residents becoming homeless – and remaining so.

Unsheltered residents proliferated in Los Altos and Mountain View over the past two years.

The narrative of Silicon Valley homelessness most often highlights the tent camps in San Jose, but outdoor spaces in Los Altos, Los Altos Hills and Mountain View also see the homeless in fluctuating numbers year by year. And while countywide homeless rates have declined 14 percent, two local cities saw a spike in numbers.

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Police Blotter

Trespass

June 30, 2 p.m., Raymundo and Mountain View avenues: A resident reported three to five adult males skateboarding in the creek – posted as the private property of the Santa Clara County Water District. Officers admonished the men and released them at the scene.

Theft

July 4, 10:25 a.m., 1600 block of Ben Roe Drive: A resident noticed mail stuffed into a shrub and contacted the police. Officers collected the documents and located the victims of the mail theft.

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State suspends outdoor burning


Saema Adeeb/Special to the Town Crier
To prevent brush fires such as this grass fire along Interstate 280 in Los Altos in June, the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection has suspended outdoor residential burning.

In response to dire drought conditions, the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection June 29 suspended outdoor residential burning in Santa Clara County until further notice.

Campfires within organized campgrounds or on private property otherwise permitted are allowed as long as the flames don’t present a fire hazard.

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Effective today, library cards free again in Los Altos

Both Los Altos libraries should see a spike in use soon. After the elimination of an $80 annual card fee that had been in place since 2011, nonresidents will receive free library cards at local libraries, effective today.

Residents of Mountain View and other cities can freely check out books and use the Internet at Los Altos’ main library and Woodland Branch, along with all of the other libraries in the Santa Clara County Library District. The change is due in part to a better economy, healthier budgets and greater distribution of library users. Newly opened city libraries in Palo Alto and San Jose have eased the burden on the county district branches.

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Water reductions could squeeze city's green assets


Alicia Castro/town crier
Phil Doetsch predicts that the city’s landmark apricot orchard will survive the drought.

When Phil Doetsch discusses the Los Altos apricot orchard, it’s with both reverence and pragmatism.

“This whole area grew up on apricots,” he said. “With the drought, we just have to learn how to manipulate nature.”

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Recent coyote attacks keep residents on edge


Photo by Kira Gunderson/Special to the Town Crier
A coyote prowls Rancho San Antonio Preserve earlier this year

 A recent coyote attack in Mountain View that left a neighborhood cat dead has local residents concerned, but animal services officials said pet owners can take simple precautionary measures to avoid such encounters.

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