10182017Wed
Last updateTue, 17 Oct 2017 5pm
Developer cancels First Street Green project

Developer cancels First Street Green project


Renderings of Los Altos Community Investment’s F...
LAH archer competes in world championships with Team USA

LAH archer competes in world championships with Team USA


Courtesy of Erik Schwartz
Los Altos Hills reside...
Eagles edged by Mustangs

Eagles edged by Mustangs


Megan V. Winslow/Town Crier
Los Altos High’...
Peninsula Youth Theatre gets 'Creepy'

Peninsula Youth Theatre gets 'Creepy'


Lyn Flaim Healy/Spotlight Moments Photography
Mo...
LAPD gains new officers, promotes others

LAPD gains new officers, promotes others


Megan V. Winslow/Town Crier

The Los Altos Po...

Los Altos converting streetlights to LEDs

Streetlights in Los Altos are undergoing an upgrad...

Foothills Congregational hosts justice forum

Foothills Congregational Church has scheduled “A F...

News

Wildfires' impact felt locally

Wildfires' impact felt locally

Megan V. Winslow / Town Crier
Los Altos residents Aimee Castaneda, left, and Trish Moore load donated household items from Moore’s front yard into a SUV Thursday. Within two days of posting a Nextdoor.com request for goods to help victims of the ...

Readmore

Loading...

Schools

Study session examines MV-LASD partnership as school-site search continues

Representatives from the Los Altos School District and the Mountain View City Council last week participated in a study session that explored using a zoning strategy to facilitate acquiring land in the San Antonio shopping center area for a 10th scho...

Readmore

Loading...

Community

Community Briefs

Schola Cantorum celebrates Halloween

Schola Cantorum Silicon Valley is scheduled to perform two Halloween-themed “Ghosts, Goblins and Ghouls” concerts.

The first is slated 7:30 p.m. Oct. 28 at First Congregational Church of Palo Alto, 1985 Louis Ro...

Readmore

Loading...

Sports

LA's cross-country team comes through in Clovis

LA's cross-country team comes through in Clovis


Photo by Malcolm Slaney/
Special to the Town Crier Los Altos High’s Owen Mac-Kenzie, above, set a school record at the Clovis Invitational. Fellow Eagle Naomi Donovan ran the second-fastest time in school history there.

The Los Altos High cross-...

Readmore

Loading...

Comment

Letters to the Editor

LACI calls halt to First Street Green

It is with great sadness that I am announcing we are not moving forward with the First Street Green development project.

I love Los Altos. It is a fabulous town. As a native of this area, I appreciate how Los A...

Readmore

Loading...

Special Sections

Passion Fit: Reduce risk of breast cancer via exercise, nutrition

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, so it’s important to understand the risks associated with the disease and what can be done to reduce them.

According to breastcancer.org, approximately 12 percent of women – that’s one in eight – in the U.S....

Readmore

Loading...

Business

Former Los Altos hedge fund manager collects major settlement from employer


To this day, Sangeeth Peruri doesn’t know why he was fired.

“You’re going to work every day, then you stop going to work,” said the Los Altos resident last month. “How do you explain to your kids why you don’t h...

Readmore

Loading...

People

Noteworthy: Midpen's Abbors announces retirement

Noteworthy: Midpen's Abbors announces retirement


Abbors

 

Steve Abbors, general manager of the Los Altos-based Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District, plans to retire after nearly a decade at the public agency’s helm. He will stay on through the end of the year.

“Steve came aboard du...

Readmore

Loading...

News

Developer cancels First Street Green project

Developer cancels First Street Green project

Renderings of Los Altos Community Investment’s First Street Green project show a three-story office building next to a public village square above underground parking.

The local development company planning an office redevelopment and public park in downtown Los Altos has cancelled its plans fo...

Readmore

Business

LARC prepares Matrix launch

LARC prepares Matrix launch

Elizabeth Barcelos/Town Crier
Los Altos Research Center plans to open its doors next month to introduce the Matrix, a new data-sharing program that seeks to take on and eventually replace the internet.

While Peet’s Coffee & Tea on State Street bustles with customers, things are much quieter...

Readmore

Sports

Eagles edged by Mustangs

Eagles edged by Mustangs

Megan V. Winslow/Town Crier
Los Altos High’s Ben Parker races to the end zone in Friday’s game at Homestead. The junior scored a pair of touchdowns.

The Los Altos High football team’s execution may still be lacking at times, but it’s hard to find fault with the Eagles’...

Readmore

Community

Foothills Congregational hosts justice forum

            Foothills Congregational Church has scheduled “A Forum on Justice Issues: The Courts” 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sunday at the church, 461 Orange Ave., Los Altos.

            The first in a series of forums o...

Readmore

Comment

Letters to the Editor

Use native plants to replace stinkwort

As a professional, I have been converting weedy hillsides in Los Altos Hills back to native grasslands and wildflower fields. During that time, a new noxious weed, stinkwort, started growing along Interstate 280, then its seeds spread off the freeway onto town...

Readmore

Spiritual Life

New LAUMC pastor inspires with belief in the power of good

New LAUMC pastor inspires with belief in the power of good

McShane

Kathi McShane greets with an assuring smile. The new senior pastor of Los Altos United Methodist Church exudes positive energy and inspiration.

A belief in good strikes at her core – it’s a belief that provides strength as she leads the large church and its congregation into the future...

Readmore

People

WILLIAM NORTH WELCH

May 13, 1955-September 24, 2017

Longtime Los Altos resident William (Bill) Welch passed away and joined his beloved mother in heaven. He was a loyal friend with a great sense of humor.

Readmore

Schools

Study session examines MV-LASD partnership as school-site search continues

Representatives from the Los Altos School District and the Mountain View City Council last week participated in a study session that explored using a zoning strategy to facilitate acquiring land in the San Antonio shopping center area for a 10th school site.

A transfer of development rights (TDR) i...

Readmore

Special Sections

RWC's Freewheel Brewing pours British-style cask ales and more

RWC's Freewheel Brewing pours British-style cask ales and more

Courtesy of Devin Roberts
Freewheel Brewing Co.’s head brewer Alisha Blue trained in Germany and worked in the United Kingdom before brewing in the Bay Area.

Founded in 2012 as the only brewery making traditional cask-conditioned British-style ales on the Peninsula or in the South Bay, Freewhee...

Readmore

Stepping Out

TheatreWorks production of 'Prince' enters 2nd week

TheatreWorks production of 'Prince' enters 2nd week

Kevin Berne/Special to the Town Crier
Members of the ensemble create the sacred burning bush in TheatreWorks Silicon Valley’s world premiere of “The Prince of Egypt,” a new musical by Stephen Schwartz (music/lyrics) and Philip LaZebnik (book). The production runs through Nov. 5.

TheatreWorks Si...

Readmore

Obituaries

WILLIAM NORTH WELCH

May 13, 1955-September 24, 2017

Longtime Los Altos resident William (Bill) Welch passed away and joined his beloved mother in heaven. He was a loyal friend with a great sense of humor.

Readmore

Magazine

'All are welcome' moms group celebrates families helping families

'All are welcome' moms group celebrates families helping families

Megan V. Winslow/Town Crier
Stephanie Braun, from left, Adam Braun and Marty Braun of Mountain View and Michelle Evans, Chloe Knapp and Kevin Knapp of Sunnyvale swing at a recent Las Madres gathering at Marymeade Park in Los Altos.

A parent is born at the same time as her first child, and remad...

Readmore

Church schools’ enrollment increase rejected


Photo By: Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Photo Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier

The Los Altos City Council narrowly rejected a request from Union Presbyterian Church to amend its use permit to expand enrollment at the two schools on its site.

The Los Altos City Council last week narrowly voted against an enrollment increase request of 20 students by two private schools located at Union Presbyterian Church.

The council voted 3-2 against a combined enrollment bump from 100 to 120 students by Heritage Academy, a K-6 elementary school, and University Child Development Center (UCDC), a preschool. Heritage Academy sought an increase of 14 students, and UCDC wanted a six-student bump. Mayor Jarrett Fishpaw and Councilwoman Jeannie Bruins cast the two votes in favor of the request.

The request – which would have required an amendment to the church’s existing use permit – came after the council turned down a similar 2011 proposal by the schools, which resulted in an enrollment cap of 100 students.

Heritage Academy Principal Marilyn Davidson told the council the combined school expansion was necessary “for a successful business model.” She called the schools “a resource for families needing alternative education.”

“For viability and to pay our teachers a living wage in Silicon Valley, we are requesting that those 20 students be added,” said Davidson, adding that Heritage Academy’s enrollment of Los Altos students has increased from 20 to 29 percent since 2011.

Davidson said the schools, located at 858 University Ave., took steps to minimize traffic impacts since their last request. She pointed to staggered onsite drop-off and pickup times for students and noted that 38 percent of the schools’ families carpool to the site daily, as do one-third of faculty members.

“An increase of 20 students will not be 20 (more) cars because of carpooling and all of the families that are involved,” said Davidson, who added that several neighborhood children and adults use the church’s playground and other facilities.

“I don’t think that the neighborhood is going to be impacted by 20 additional kids,” said Union Presbyterian Church elder Ted Brown. “The church won’t be impacted by it – but 20 kids will. It’ll make a big difference to 20 kids and their families.”

Mixed public reaction

A handful of neighbors told the council they were wary of the schools’ request, citing the potential for increased traffic and noise.

“I like to see kids get educated in Los Altos, but I don’t want increased traffic, I don’t want increased noise and I don’t want increased pollution,” said Herbert Fong, a 40-year neighborhood resident.

Madonna Way resident Sangum Desai said the church was behaving “like a commercial enterprise” and that more students would negatively impact traffic. He noted that approval would be a “historically unprecedented burden on the neighborhood with really no benefit to our local community at all.”

Los Altos resident Richard Jackson, who has sons enrolled in both schools, countered that with more families calling Los Altos home, an increase was necessary to meet demand.

“For me, it’s a simple question of: How is the council going to respond to the growing needs of the community? There is a need for more education,” Jackson said.

Split council

Ultimately, the council’s vote appeared to echo the split opinions offered by neighborhood residents and school parents.

Bruins said the school had made “positive changes” since its 2011 request, with Fishpaw adding that the findings “strongly supported” the 20-student increase.

“I think the school has worked very hard with the parents to try and be good neighbors,” said Bruins, a Los Altos Planning Commissioner at the time of the church’s 2011 request. “I think they heard the feedback last time loud and clear. … I am inclined to support this. I do believe things have changed since this was before me as a planning commissioner.”

Councilwoman Val Carpenter, however, said that while she values diversity in education, she was equally “troubled by having the neighborhood negatively impacted by the traffic and noise created by nonresidents.”

At the time of the initial request in 2011, Carpenter unsuccessfully sought a cap at 90 students before voting for the 100-student limit. She noted that a traffic report for the church’s 2011 request was flawed, because existing conditions “understated the impact that the neighborhood already incurred.”

Carpenter added that the 6-acre church site might meet the “pressing need for a location for Bullis Charter School,” suggesting a potential land swap between the church and the Los Altos School District.

“For myself personally, I would much rather impact the neighbors for a local public school – and of course, 95 percent of current BCS students live within the Los Altos School District – rather than a private school whose students don’t really live in Los Altos,” she said.

Councilwoman Megan Satterlee, meanwhile, cited the schools’ staggered start times and efforts to mitigate its traffic impacts as a boon, calling the lack of opposition from neighbors not immediately near the school “a material change from two years ago.” Still, she noted that her decision came down to balancing competing interests and that her 2011 no vote hadn’t changed.

“I think the school has worked really hard to be a good neighbor, and I appreciate that, and I think that has had success in what we’re seeing today,” she said. “But it still on balance doesn’t change my mind.”

Reader Comments

The Town Crier presents:
The 129th Rescue Wing Aids in Hurricane Harvey Rescue

Read the full story about the rescue here.
 

Submit a Letter to the Editor

The Town Crier welcomes letters to the editor on current events pertinent to Los Altos, Los Altos Hills and Mountain View. Write to us at 138 Main St., Los Altos 94022, Attn: Editor, or email editor Bruce Barton at bruceb@latc.com. Because editorial space is limited, please confine letters to no more than 200 words. Include a phone number for verification purposes. Anonymous letters will not be printed.

You can also have your say right here at losaltosonline.com – scroll to the bottom of any story to add a comment. 

Schools »

Schools
Read More

Sports »

sports
Read More

People »

people
Read More

Special Sections »

Special Sections
Read More

Photos of Los Altos

photoshelter
Browse and buy photos