MV council puts business-related taxes before voters

Mountain View City Council members were all business last week as they moved to put two initiatives on the Nov. 6 ballot.

The first, a proposal to tax cannabis sales up to 9 percent, generated only a fraction of the discussion at the June 26 council meeting.

Carson out as SVCF head


The report is in on a harassment scandal at the Mountain View-based Silicon Valley Community Foundation, and it portrays an institution where day-to-day crudeness and abuse was exacerbated by a broken, retributive reporting system with little or no accountability.

Foundation CEO Emmett Carson’s resignation was announced June 27 in conjunction with the report’s release. He had been on paid leave since April, when a lengthy investigation reported by a reporter at the Chronicle of Philanthropy revealed widespread allegations of abuse and indifference or retaliation at the foundation. Carson joined the foundation more than a decade ago.

Leadership change at MV Chamber: Humphrey succeeds Siress as CEO


The Mountain View Chamber of Commerce is undergoing a change in leadership for the second time in three years.

Chamber officials announced last week that CEO Tony Siress is stepping down after two years and eight months on the job. Siress was hired in October 2015 to replace Oscar Garcia, who left earlier that year.

Transactions: the week of June 27

Los Altos

1450 Highland View Court, Vanbokkelen Trust to S. Duan for $3,300,000

1070 Mercedes Avenue No. 26, Peterson Trust to L. Rao for $1,073,000

Los Altos' library sales, a longtime literary gold mine, need a new home

Friends of the Library Book Sale
Megan V. Winslow/Town Crier
More than 100 local volunteers sort, price and set out donated books at quarterly book sales that benefit Los Altos’ libraries, above.

Attending a Friday-night preview of the Friends of the Library book sale in Los Altos feels like an antiquarian rugby scrum.

The business of books summons an eccentric cast of characters. Part dealer, part zealot, part hoarder, part dilettante, the keenest shoppers snake in a line around the building, sometimes hours before doors open at 6:30 p.m. When the first wave charges into two huge spaces at Hillview Community Center stuffed with donated books, pawing across box-stacked folding tables, some wield specially calibrated bar code scanners. Within only a few minutes, advance runners begin to trail out to twilight parking lots, arms full.

Local founders back in court

A federal grand jury charged Los Altos Hills resident Elizabeth Holmes with wire fraud last week in the continuing investigation of her company, the Palo Alto-based Theranos Inc.

Holmes, 34, founded Theranos in 2003 as a life sciences startup focused on closely guarded medical innovation related to blood testing and diagnostics. As she assembled a star-studded board and raised hundreds of millions of dollars from local venture capitalists and wealthy investors, Holmes grew the company to a valuation of $9 billion yet revealed little about the fundamental science driving her products.

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