08302016Tue
Last updateWed, 31 Aug 2016 4pm

Library cards unlock expensive perks


Town Crier File Photo
Digital content increasingly augments physical books at Los Altos main and Woodland Branch libraries.

Los Altos Library patrons bagged a new perk last week when the Santa Clara County Library District added Rosetta Stone access for all of its users.

The digital language learning tool costs individual users $189 if they want to take a course in languages ranging from Spanish to Swahili and Arabic. But the libraries have used their collective institutional buying power to make it available to cardholders for free.


Ducks Unlimited set to restore MV salt ponds


Megan V. Winslow/Town Crier
Alga floats on the surface of the salt ponds at Shoreline Park in Mountain View. Beginning in 2017, Ducks Unlimited, a Memphis, Tenn.-based nonprofit organization, will spend $14 million to rehabilitate the ponds.

Today, the Mountain View salt ponds north of Shoreline Park provide waterfowl habitat, but their tides do not provide resistance to rising sea levels.

A few years from now, the new-and-improved ponds should lower flood risk and make for an even better home for birds.

MV residents can expect water flushing

An annual infrastructure ritual resumes in Mountain View next week, and the torrent of water gushing from fire hydrants invariably turns heads.

The Public Works Department opens hydrants and flushes the city’s water system by directing a geyser of water down gutters on a block-by-block basis across the city. The volume can look tremendous – in total, the cleanse comprises half a percent of the city’s annual water consumption. But without flushing, sediment builds up in the system, and pockets of slower-moving water grow stale, developing odors and flavors that can spur residents’ objections.

Recent coyote sightings bring vigilance, a trapper to town

Denise Williams practices whipping her dog’s leash overhead. Birgitta Indaco wields a foghorn. Peter Taber arms himself with pepper spray.

“It’s crazy,” said Taber, a Los Altos Hills resident. “It’s gotten really bad up here, and I don’t know what to do about it.”

Why is Permanente Creek flowing with water?


Asher Kohn/town crier
Permanente Creek flows at the southeast corner of Miramonte Avenue and Cuesta Drive.

Residents could be excused if they were shocked to see more than a trickle of water in Permanente Creek.

California is reeling from a record drought, and the creek, which cuts through Los Altos and Mountain View as it wends from Black Mountain to the San Francisco Bay, is “ephemeral,” in the words of the 2008 Permanente Creek Flood Protection Project. The creek is often dry in August.


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