Here comes the sun: State OKs solar mandate

Megan V. Winslow/Town Crier
Solar panels affixed to a Los Altos Hills roof catch rays Friday. New updates to the state building code will mandate the use of solar panels in nearly all new home construction.

In a move energy industry leaders referred to as “historic,” “groundbreaking” and a “significant milestone,” California last week became the first state to require solar panels in nearly all new home construction.

The five-member California Energy Commission voted unanimously May 9 to approve the mandate, among updates to the state building code slated to take effect Jan. 1, 2020.

Foothill instructor faces harassment allegations

Nine reports alleging sexual harassment have been filed against part-time Foothill College instructor and Santa Clara City Councilman Dominic Caserta.

Reunited at last: Theft victim regains memento thanks to local photographer

Encore purse theft
Megan V. Winslow/Town Crier
Pearl Thomas views photographs of her daughter, Kendra Lynn. A Redwood City man made the prints for Thomas after a thief stole her purse and, with it, the prized image she kept inside.

An elderly store clerk who lost one of her most prized possessions to a purse thief in March regained it last week thanks to the kindness of a complete stranger.

Pearl Thomas, 90, said tears came to her eyes May 1 when she opened an envelope mailed from Redwood City resident Michael Price and found copies of the only photo taken of her daughter, an infant who died in 1957.

Quake expert rattles LAH audience with presentation on 'the big one'

Anne Kiremidjian
Megan V. Winslow/Town Crier
Stanford professor Anne Kiremidjian describes the destructive nature of seismic activity during a May 1 earthquake forum at Los Altos Hills town hall.

Like nearly everyone who lived through it, Anne Kiremidjian remembers exactly where she was during the 1989 Loma Prieta earthquake: idling on Foothill Expressway as she prepared to turn left onto El Monte Avenue.

She felt a jolt and presumed another car had struck hers. But the next vehicle was far away. She watched the traffic light shake violently. But no breeze blew. Then the six lanes of traffic around Kiremidjian began to dance.

MVHS teacher avoids jail time for inappropriate texts

There will be no felony charge and no jail time for the former Mountain View High School teacher who sent inappropriate text messages to a female student last fall.

Evan Smith
Evan Smith

Evan Smith, 49, was convicted May 3 on a misdemeanor charge of annoying or molesting a child under the age of 18. He was sentenced to three years of probation. The terms of his conviction also include registering as a sex offender, staying away from his victim, resigning from the high school and surrendering his teaching credential.

SV foundation puts CEO on leave, probes 'culture issue'

Leaders of the Mountain View-based Silicon Valley Community Foundation are scrambling to do damage control in the wake of a sexual harassment and employee abuse scandal that led to the resignation of its No. 2 administrator and saw its CEO placed on leave.

Emmett D. Carson

The foundation’s board of directors April 26 put CEO Emmett D. Carson on paid administrative leave amid allegations that he turned a blind eye to the reported abuses of Mari Ellen Loijens, chief business, development and brand officer, who resigned April 19 after three employees reported a toxic work environment rife with sexually inappropriate remarks under her leadership. The board hired a team of attorneys to expand its investigation.

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