MVLA ramps up efforts to promote $295 million bond measure

The Mountain View Los Altos Union School District expects an increase of 500 students over the next five years, and a new classroom is needed for every 25 additional students, according to Superintendent Jeff Harding, who spoke at a Kiwanis Club of Los Altos meeting April 24.

Harding attributed the bump in enrollment to the prestige of attending MVLA’s high schools and to 46 new high-density housing projects, each featuring up to hundreds of units, currently under construction in the district.

Sentencing looms for former MVHS teacher

The former Mountain View High School math teacher arrested last November for allegedly sending inappropriate text messages to a student pleaded no contest March 28 to a felony charge of sending harmful matter to a minor.

Evan Smith
Evan Smith

Evan Smith’s sentencing is scheduled May 3. If convicted, the Mountain View resident would be required to register as a sex offender and could spend a year in county jail or more than a year in state prison, according to the California Penal Code.

Los Altos' public arts master plan all but dead; ad hoc group forwards new tactical approach

Downtown Green
Megan V. Winslow/Town Crier
The Los Altos Public Arts Commission’s ad hoc committee developed a tactical plan that includes a big-ticket item – a mural painted by an artist on the Downtown Green, above. The artist would paint during busy times, and the mural would be revealed at summer’s end.

The $50,000 the Los Altos City Council allocated for the Public Art Master Plan last year officially swirled down the drain at this month’s Public Arts Commission meeting.

The commission’s ad hoc committee, formed last month to modify the plan, presented a first draft of a completely overhauled tactical plan to fellow commissioners.

Working pup: Los Altos Police Department welcomes new K-9 to the force

New LAPD K9 Bo
Megan V. Winslow/Town Crier
Los Altos Police Department K-9 Officer Kelli Janda locks eyes with new police canine Bo, an 18-month-old German shepherd.

Dogs aren’t just a man’s best friend, they’re also a policewoman’s best friend.

Earlier this year, Los Altos Police Department K-9 Officer Kelli Janda made a new best friend in Bo, an 18-month-old German shepherd. He’s the latest four-legged addition to the force, picking up where his predecessor, Lord, left off nearly two years ago after his retirement.

Creeping, crawling critters: Parks smothered by caterpillar overpopulation

Western Tussock Moth Caterpillar
Megan V. Winslow/Town Crier
Adult western tussock moths are native to the Pacific states, but they can wreak havoc in the spring as caterpillars, above.

Creeping across benches. Crawling over playground equipment. Dangling from silk threads like tiny ninjas. The western tussock moth caterpillar class of 2018 is out in force and its members have infiltrated some local neighborhoods at unprecedented levels.

In Mountain View, infestation causing extreme tree defoliation and skin rashes has warranted insecticide applications at several parks, according to Jakob Trconic, the city’s park section manager.

Persky recall debate reveals divided picture of 'accountability'

How to define and enforce judicial accountability went from intellectual exercise to impassioned debate last week when the South Peninsula Area Republican Coalition hosted a night devoted to the June ballot item recalling Judge Aaron Persky.

The event gathered Republicans and guests of all leanings at Fremont Hills Country Club in Los Altos Hills April 18. Stanford Law School Professor Michele Landis Dauber, a leader in the movement to recall Persky, canceled at the last minute, citing an “inescapable conflict.” Stanford Law colleague G. Marcus Cole took her place. Retired Judge LaDoris Cordell spoke in opposition to the recall.

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