Lehigh settles with EPA over toxic water discharge

Megan V. Winslow/Town Crier
After violating the federal Clean Water Act, Lehigh Southwest Cement Co., which operates the quarry in the foothills near Los Altos, must enhance wastewater treatment processes and pay millions in civil penalities.

A $7.5 million settlement concerning toxic discharge into Permanente Creek could be the first in a series of federal penalties the area’s largest producer of cement will shoulder.

Lehigh Southwest Cement Co., operator of the Lehigh cement plant on Stevens Creek Boulevard in Cupertino, and Hanson Permanent Cement Inc., owner of the facility, violated the federal Clean Water Act, the California Water Code and pollutant discharge permits by releasing process water and stormwater tainted with elevated levels of harmful elements into Permanente Creek and, ultimately, the San Francisco Bay, according to a federal consent decree filed April 28. The companies will pay more than $5 million to install and enhance wastewater treatment operations and $2.55 million in civil penalties.


Los Altos physician assists with relief efforts in Nepal

Longtime Los Altos resident Paul Auerbach, M.D., received a phone call the night of April 25 alerting him to the 7.8 magnitude earthquake in Nepal. The next day, the emergency medicine physician from the Stanford University School of Medicine and member of the International Medical Corps was on his way to Kathmandu.

Auerbach, who traveled to Haiti in the aftermath of the 2010 earthquake, wasn’t able to land in Kathmandu immediately, as the airport’s single runway was crowded with planes shipping supplies to the devastated area.


Pinewood alum dies in off-roading accident

When Andrew Joseph Kruep was just 15, he spent a month living on an Alaskan glacier. At Pinewood High School, he captained his football team. And while still in college, he traveled across Europe conducting pricing and competitive analyses for a top LED lighting company.

Whatever Kruep chose to do, he always did it with great energy and enthusiasm, said Randall Kruep, his father.


Potential construction fee could build public art program

More development could mean additional art for Los Altos if the city approves a proposed fee program.

Based on a recommendation from the Public Arts Commission, the Los Altos City Council April 28 agreed to move forward with establishing a development fee to fund public art.


Singer bust faces temporary storage

Alicia Castro/Town Crier
The Walter Singer bust in downtown’s Community Plaza is headed for temporary storage as the city seeks a suitable permanent location.

The bust of Walter Singer, the Los Altos Rotarian and businessman who died in 1992, will have a new home – eventually.

For now, the memorial piece is scheduled to be relocated from Community Plaza on the corner of Main and State streets into temporary storage at the Los Altos History Museum until the city identifies a permanent location.


Los Altos leaders gather to honor Bob Grimm

Jean Mordo/Special to the Town Crier
Hundreds of local residents paid tribute to former Mayor Bob Grimm at a celebration of life event Saturday in San Jose.

Hundreds of friends and family members gathered at San Jose’s Parkside Hall Saturday to celebrate the life and legacy of arguably Los Altos’ most-beloved community contributor, Bob Grimm.

The memorial event proved a celebration of the electrical engineer with a heart of gold, known as “just plain Bob.” Food and drink were abundant, various objects of Bob’s tinkering, such as his popular popcorn machine, dotted the large hall.


Police Blotter

Arrests and citations

April 27, 2:42 a.m., Almond Avenue and North Gordon Way: After officers stopped a motorist for speeding, a search of the vehicle revealed that the 19-year-old male driver was in possession of marijuana. He was released with a citation.

May 1, 10:40 a.m., 1900 block of Fallen Leaf Lane: A resident reported a suspect stealing packages from driveways. Officers located a vehicle matching the resident’s description and learned that the driver, a 38-year-old San Jose resident, had taken an item marked “Free” from a front yard. Upon further investigation, officers discovered that he had an outstanding warrant for theft. He was arrested and booked into the Santa Clara County Main Jail.


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