Preliminary results: CUSD parcel tax on track to fail

Preliminary results: CUSD parcel tax on track to fail

Zoe Morgan/Town Crier File Photo
The Cupertino ...
Local grocers weathering COVID despite risks

Local grocers weathering COVID despite risks

Zoe Morgan/Town Crier
Gloria Vargas cleans a se...
Local Little League begins new season after a year away from the game

Local Little League begins new season after a year away from the game

Courtesy of Steve Apfelberg
Los Altos and Los ...
Schools get influx of COVID-19 funding

Schools get influx of COVID-19 funding

Zoe Morgan/Town Crier File Photo
Jason Carballa...
Parks and rec under consideration  as city finishes community center

Parks and rec under consideration as city finishes community center

Zoe Morgan/Town Crier
A crew smooths the concre...
Library teen events open the mic and aim to lower stress

Library teen events open the mic and aim to lower stress

Courtesy of SCCL
Local libraries offer teens a ...

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Business

Los Altos CEO joins No Kid Hungry’s leadership council

Los Altos CEO joins No Kid Hungry’s leadership council

Kate Armanini-Town Crier Editorial Intern

Courtesy of Rajat Mishra
Los Altos CEO Rajat Mishra, center, serves on the leadership council of the nonprofit No Kid Hungry.

Rajat Mishra, co-f...

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People

Mariano Antonino Tripiano

Mariano Antonino Tripiano

Los Altos Town Crier Report

Mariano Antonino Tripiano, affectionately known as Mario to friends and family, passed away on Wednesday, April 21, 2021.  Mario was born on Dece...

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News

Transitional housing project targets area’s homeless

49 MINS AGO
Transitional housing project targets area’s homeless
LifeMoves Mountain View offers 100 units of transitional housing for homeless residents.

Mountain View is now offering housing – along with help – to the area’s homeless.

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MV to celebrate opening of housing complex for homeless Thursday

2 DAYS AGO

The city of Mountain View and LifeMoves are scheduled to host a grand opening via Zoom for the LifeMoves Mountain View housing project for the homeless 10 a.m. Thursday.

Part of the state’s Project Homekey initiative, the interim housing community is possible through a public-private partnership am...

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Schools

MVLA summer school recruitment proves to be challenging

2 DAYS AGO
MVLA summer school recruitment proves to be challenging
Zoe Morgan/Town Crier File Photo
In-person summer school will be held at Mountain View High School, above.

The need for summer school is greater than ever after a year when the pandemic has upended education, but getting students to sign up is proving challenging.

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Blach ‘Lands’ a new principal

2 DAYS AGO
Blach ‘Lands’ a new principal
Zoe Morgan/Town Crier
Current Santa Rita School principal Greg Land, above, is slated to move to Blach Intermediate School.

After six years at Blach Intermediate School, principal Bhavna Narula is leaving at the end of the school year to take a position as an administrator in the Hillsborough ...

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Community

Museum program explores impact of Mills Act on historical properties

1 DAY AGO
Museum program explores impact of Mills Act on historical properties
Courtesy of Los Altos History Museum
The Marini estate at 220 University Ave. is one of the local historical properties protected through the Mills Act, the topic of a Los Altos History Museum panel.

The Los Altos History Museum is scheduled to host a panel discussion, “Historic Preservation T...

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Organizers hope to build on success of First Friday

1 DAY AGO
Organizers hope to build on success of First Friday
Courtesy of Carol Garsten
The Spartan Dance Club from Mountain View High School is set to perform a jazz dance and then teach a hip-hop dance lesson to First Friday visitors 6-6:45 p.m. Friday at Veterans Community Plaza in downtown Los Altos.

The next downtown Los Altos First Friday event, 6-...

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Sports

Prep Sports Summary: MVHS pitcher Barrett throws no-hitter

3 DAYS AGO
Prep Sports Summary: MVHS pitcher Barrett throws no-hitter
Cris Barrett/Special to the Town Crier
Brothers Gabe, left, and Liam Barrett of Mountain View High celebrate Gabe’s 17-strikeout no-hitter last week for the Spartans’ baseball team. Liam served as the catcher for older brother Gabe.

In his 15 years coaching high school baseball, Mountain View ...

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Local Little League begins new season after a year away from the game

3 DAYS AGO
Local Little League begins new season after a year away from the game
Courtesy of Steve Apfelberg
Los Altos and Los Altos Hills Little League T-ball players practice for their next game.

After a tumultuous year for youth baseball here and just about everywhere due to the pandemic, Los Altos and Los Hills Little League’s 2021 season is now underway. The first ga...

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Comment

Other Voices: Energy Innovation Act will cut pollution, save money

1 DAY AGO

A few months into the new administration, the federal government is off to a roaring start on climate change. President Joe Biden signed executive orders related to climate change in his early days in office, and the White House recently introduced a proposal that elevates climate solutions alongsid...

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Letters to the Editor: Foothill Exp., Lee Eng-Moos issue

1 DAY AGO

What’s the benefit of Foothill widening?

Has anyone else pondered what benefit we have experienced in the road changes (on Foothill Expressway between San Antonio Road and El Monte Avenue) compared to the taxpayer cost and many months of construction and traffic inconvenience?

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Special Sections

Lowering the rpms on a VW Vanagon Syncro the hard way

3 DAYS AGO

As cars become more complex, so do their problems. I remember the days when just replacing spark plugs could solve a problem.

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Auto Review: The Land Rover Defender is back – and it’s better than ever

3 DAYS AGO
Auto Review: The Land Rover Defender is back – and it’s better than ever
Mike Hagerty/Special to the Town Crier
The Land Rover Defender has a 3.0-liter inline six-cylinder engine that produces 395 horsepower and 406 pounds per foot of torque.

From 1949 to 2016, the Defender was the Land Rover that conquered the world by being able to go just about anywhere. Safaris...

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Business

Los Altos CEO joins No Kid Hungry’s leadership council

3 DAYS AGO
Los Altos CEO joins No Kid Hungry’s leadership council
Courtesy of Rajat Mishra
Los Altos CEO Rajat Mishra, center, serves on the leadership council of the nonprofit No Kid Hungry.

Rajat Mishra, co-founder and CEO of Los Altos-based Prezentium, recently joined the leadership council of No Kid Hungry, a nonprofit combating child hunger in the Unite...

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Creating an estate plan for your digital assets

3 DAYS AGO

California considers the digital accounts you maintain and access through your computer, smartphone or tablet to be no different from the tangible personal property you own, such as cars and jewelry.

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People

Mariano Antonino Tripiano

3 DAYS AGO
Mariano Antonino Tripiano

Mariano Antonino Tripiano, affectionately known as Mario to friends and family, passed away on Wednesday, April 21, 2021.  Mario was born on December 31, 1975, and grew up in Los Altos, California.  He attended Los Altos High School, going on to attend Chico State, Foothill Junior College,...

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Andrew Michael Pauli

3 DAYS AGO
Andrew Michael Pauli

Andrew Michael Pauli passed away suddenly on April 8, 2021 in Apple Valley, California.

Andy was born in Palo Alto on May 18, 1953 and attended St William School and Los Altos High School. He graduated from Chico State in biology and had a long and successful career as a state biologist and wildlif...

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Spiritual Life

Local parishes celebrate indoor services after conflicting court rulings

1 MONTHS AGO

Local churches are again breathing a sigh of relief after the U.S. Supreme Court reaffirmed its position Feb. 26 allowing indoor worship.

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Experiment in syncing lets worshippers sing together from isolation

4 MONTHS AGO
Experiment in syncing lets worshippers sing together from isolation
Courtesy of Bay Area Blessing
David Ing, bottom left, joins other worship leaders from Mountain View and across the region in “The Bay Area Blessing” this month. He’s a worship leader at Mountain View’s Compass Church.

In the annals of holiday Zoom events, the 60-church “The Bay Area Blessing”...

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Magazine

Bee prepared: Two local Girl Scouts focus on native species for Silver Award project

1 MONTHS AGO
Bee prepared: Two local Girl Scouts focus on native species for Silver Award project
Megan V. Winslow/Town Crier
Girl Scouts Dhrithi Vishwa, left, and Izzy Sehnert display wooden homes created for mason bees native to the Bay Area. The girls are working toward earning their Silver Award with the project.

Usually, the term “save the bees” refers to honeybees – the bright-yellow...

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Stamp of approval: Beloved Hills mailman hangs up his shorts after three decades of service

1 MONTHS AGO
Stamp of approval: Beloved Hills mailman hangs up his shorts after three decades of service
Megan V. Winslow/Town Crier
Cruz Aragon at Foothills Nature Preserve in Palo Alto, where he’d sometimes stop for a break.

Herodotus is often credited for the U.S. Postal Service’s unofficial motto: “Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these couriers from the swift completio...

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Letters to the Editor: Conflict of interest, racism, development

Mayor Pepper has conflict of interest

Los Altos is considering reach codes to ban natural gas in all new homes. The codes were written by Silicon Valley Clean Energy and Peninsula Clean Energy.

Mayor Jan Pepper is the CEO of Peninsula Clean Energy. Her position presents a clear conflict of interest, which is why I filed complaints with the Fair Political Practices Commission.

At the Nov. 19, 2019, city council meeting, Pepper rejected the Environmental Commission’s recommendations – to allow gas for cooking – as not sufficiently aggressive, instead urging adoption of the codes written by her employer.

Pepper says her salary isn’t affected by her vote, yet her 2018 $285,000 compensation included opportunities for salary increases, bonuses and contract extensions based on achieving milestones set by her board. Adoption of reach codes is one of Peninsula Clean Energy’s top priorities.

Common law says, “a public officer is impliedly bound to exercise the powers conferred on him with disinterested skill, zeal and diligence and primarily for the benefit of the public.”

I contend it is wrong for a mayor to impose her employer’s codes on the residents she is supposed to serve. Pepper should recuse herself from participating in all matters relating to adoption of reach codes in Los Altos.

Freddie Wheeler

Los Altos

Residents don’t support reach codes

A survey of Los Altos residents shows strong opposition to approving reach codes. In the city survey, people were asked “Are you in support of mandating all-electric for all new construction?”

Of 272 registered respondents (residents), 73.5% were very unsupportive, and 80% very and somewhat unsupportive. A total of 305 unregistered respondents (residents or nonresidents) were 65.9% very unsupportive, and 74% very and somewhat unsupportive. 

When Jan Pepper ran for Los Altos City Council in 2016, she stated, “To make decisions that represent the whole of Los Altos, it is imperative that people express their views and are heard. One of my objectives is to increase community engagement.”

In a column in the Jan. 8 Town Crier, Pepper, now mayor, stated an objective was “Improved community engagement. When I first ran for office, it was clear that improved communication between the city and residents was needed.”

Are Pepper and the city council listening? This is a very strong community rejection of the initiative. One has to wonder how an initiative with so little support from residents got this far, and how much of residents’ money has been wasted on it.

Roger Heyder

Los Altos

Why are reach codes causing a stir?

Slander, conspiracy theories and misinformation right here in Los Altos. Sounds familiar: Rev up the base!

What are reach codes and why are they causing such a stir on Nextdoor? Reach codes are building codes based on California energy efficiency standards.

The Los Altos City Council is considering all-electric reach codes for new construction only, meaning few current residents will be affected. Adopting them would allow Los Altos to join neighboring communities to help protect the health and future of our kids and our planet.

The effort is being pummeled on Nextdoor and in public by members of an organized group that want to pick a fight. (Note, the members, not the official group, are doing this.)

If we do not give city council members cover to do the right thing and adopt reach codes, Los Altos will demonstrate that it thumbs its nose at science and refuses to join California’s effort to be an environmental leader.

Speaking to parents especially: Engage! Read the facts about reach codes on the city of Los Altos reach code website, and let the council know you have their backs to support them. Do it for your kids!

Cheryl Weiden

Los Altos

Calling out racism on LA City Council

Thank you for the article on the emergency face-covering order (“Los Altos council dismisses emergency face-covering order,” May 27). However, I don’t believe we have the full picture of the call.

The call included the following response by Councilwoman Jeannie Bruins: “Anybody who thinks that is adding clarity, I think you are out of your cotton-picking mind.”

Even without the context that Neysa Fligor is the first black city council member, that term would be inappropriate.

In a world where racism is causing unimaginable harm and trauma to communities, it isn’t enough to just address this when it’s convenient. We need to call it out when it happens.

Vice Mayor Fligor:  Thank you for your work and for proposing an action that would help to keep the community safe.

Councilwoman Bruins: Thank you for quickly convening on this issue alongside the council. I want to share that the term “cotton-picking” is racist, inappropriate and archaic. I believe it would be appropriate to apologize for using this term, to reconsider using such terms in the future and to share your commitment to being anti-racist.

In addition, thank you to Los Altos native Noah Tesfaye, who tweeted about this last week.

Michelle DeLateur

Los Altos

 

People have power to fight development

I read the letter to the editor by Ken and Harriet Girdley asking the Sorensens to reconsider their gargantuan development in Los Altos (“Sorensens, just because you can … ,” May 13).

I think the citizens of Los Altos should take it one step further if we want to control our destiny.

Although state law allows the Sorensens to force this abomination on us, we, the citizens, are not powerless. We can change the economic dynamics for any developer that wants to flaunt the wishes of the people. By signing a declaration that we will actively boycott any business that chooses to rent in this new development and by pledging to picket any real estate offerings, we can lessen the incentive builders have to overbuild and destroy the look and feel of the Los Altos we have known for decades.

It is time for the people to take a stand and use the power we have as consumers to shape our community.

John Holton

Los Altos

 

Do your part: Wear mask, stay 6 feet apart

We are very concerned about the ongoing risks of COVID. As senior citizens who are both retired health-care professionals, we have seen our country, and the entire world, suddenly become a threatening, uncertain place.

We realize that, for now, only face covering and social distancing can minimize contagiousness, providing protection for others in case one is a COVID carrier.

Yet we see many citizens of our town walking or visiting on the city streets without masks, and often closer than 6 feet, even as they pass one another or mingle on the sidewalks. One recent morning, we counted 13 people waiting for coffee outside Peet’s, with only three of them wearing masks. Last week, more than 25 people, most with uncovered faces, waited for their takeout orders on the sidewalk outside Pompeii restaurant.

Regardless of regulations, wearing a mask and maintaining a safe distance doesn’t infringe on anyone’s liberty or rights. They simply say, “I care about your safety. Your health is important to me.” Let’s all do it until this crisis is over.

Fran and Michael Rappaport

Los Altos

 

Phase 2 of lockdown comes to Mtn. View

Santa Clara County recently announced that we were entering Phase 2 of the stay-at-home order. The new update by public health and legal experts is the next phase of responding to this unprecedented crisis.

The revised county order took effect May 22, which means wearing masks at any business, whether it is indoors or outdoors, is required in Santa Clara County. It is also required on public transit. The revised order allows for retailer curbside pickup, car parades and outdoor museums, historical sites and publicly accessible gardens to open. The order still keeps key restrictions in place, requiring people to stay in their homes except when engaging in essential trips or activities.

The city of Mountain View falls under the revised Santa Clara County order and is actively putting forward an education campaign on the benefits of wearing a face mask, and how to wear one properly. The city, led by the Mountain View Police Department, recently held a face-mask distribution event for our at-risk and vulnerable residents. Over 5,000 face masks have been distributed to date, with more to be shared soon. You can donate face masks (purchased or handmade) 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily at the MVPD lobby at 1000 Villa St. I know many in the community have already contributed to these efforts. Thank you!

I appreciate the entire community’s efforts to socially distance and shelter in place. Wearing masks when out in public, particularly when you shop or run other essential errands, is critical to slow the spread of COVID-19. Let’s all work together to keep up the good work that we have done so far.

Ellen Kamei

Vice mayor, Mountain View

License plate readers serve as deterrent

The top priority for most Los Altos Hills residents is safety. Previous resident surveys have responded with “Safety” as the No. 1 concern. Please honor that feedback and work in service of the people that elected you.

We read on Nextdoor and in the local press, with dismay, of the increase in household and car robberies/burglaries.

This past two weeks, the area experienced a murder, a significant household burglary in the middle of the night and vandalism.

It is laughable and frustrating to receive requests from the police to check our residential security cameras after a criminal event. Useless.

We also learn from other cities that have installed license plate readers and seen an increase in arrests.

The cameras’ value in preventing crime and identifying criminal actors is well documented. Carlsbad installed license plate readers and turned up 267 stolen vehicles, resulting in 63 arrests. Sausalito police apprehended carjackers using license plate readers.

These license plate readers are a known deterrent and also serve as a good investigative tool for police follow-up.

Realistically, the sheriff cannot be in the Hills. And posting one lone officer to monitor traffic violations at the main access points has also not served as a deterrent. Certainly, I have not seen an officer during the evening hours.

As more surrounding towns implement these license plate readers (Portola Valley, Saratoga, Monte Sereno), we become a more appealing target.

Please take the one action you can take to increase our safety.

M. Russel

Los Altos Hills

 

Beware of COVID testing claims

This is a cry of alarm about the Stanford University study of COVID antibody test results (“Egan families contacted about COVID testing,” May 6).

The recruiter claimed that the serum antibody test reveals whether “your immune system has fought off the virus and created antibodies to protect you from future exposure.”

Where has it been clinically proven that a positive result means you are protected? For how many weeks or months? Where has it been proven that a positive result means you can’t infect other people?

Let’s suppose the test being studied has a false positive rate of 5%. That by itself could create the illusion that 5% of the population had recovered from infection. It would, by itself, undercut the argument that a positive antibody result is a license to mingle and travel.

There’s a ton of money to be made from antibody testing, even if only on people who pay for it themselves.

Beware of promoters saying that it can get people off the hook for social-distance or legal requirements, or judge for yourself. Sounds like an invitation to cheat.

Richard Feldman

Los Altos

Lehigh quarry still poses threat

On May 12, after little discussion, Santa Clara County Supervisors voted unanimously to accept as resolved two violations by Permanente Quarry operator Lehigh Southwest Cement for allowing mine waste to invade neighboring Permanente Creek.

Supervisors never mentioned a 56-page report in their agenda packet that was rendered for the county by California certified engineering geologist-hydrologist Kit Custis, who in December and January examined the huge mining-waste pile accumulating above Silicon Valley in the Santa Cruz Mountains.

What the geologist’s report makes clear is that Lehigh may have corrected the superficial conditions that precipitated the mine-waste incursion into the creek, but remaining is the much larger threat from the mine’s ongoing Yeager Yard Landslide. What the mine’s lawyer describes as “sediment discharge” into the creek is actually the tip of a many-ton pile of waste rock and soil that the company has accumulated and now is attempting to keep from moving downhill. Rainwater likely infiltrated the enormous waste pile through “tension cracks” that Lehigh allowed to open, Custis writes. Worryingly, it appears that the water table within the waste pile has been rising.

The huge German mining company that owns the quarry, HeidelbergCement, wants to expand. Why would we even consider it? Why are our supervisors?

Sharon Simonson

Los Altos

 

Sycophants thrive under populism

I used to be attracted to the populist philosophy – let’s hear from, and for, the people! After all, isn’t that what democracy is? One person, one vote! My vote is equal to the vote of any expert.

OK so far. But you have to make sure that everybody votes – or at least, everybody who is so inclined.

Now, let’s add a single simple requirement – you must be loyal to the populist leader in order to hold a position of power and responsibility.

Knowledge, expertise, talent become secondary. Criticism of the leader becomes a political death warrant.

Sycophants thrive. Innovation, science and truth wither. Are we there yet?

Ed Kyser

Los Altos

 

Pandemic Poem

Give some credit to Governor

Newsom

Our COVID numbers aren’t

gruesome

But because of these bugs

We’ve had no handshakes

or hugs

So please tell us, Guv, when

can we do some?

 

Jerry Clements

Los Altos

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