Mountain ViewSchoolsUncategorized December 15, 2019

LASD Closes Escrow on New School Site

After years of collaboration with the City of Mountain View, the Los Altos School District (LASD) has closed escrow for 11.65 acres of land in Mountain View to accommodate a new school site and a community park. The process also included input from the Los Altos and Mountain View communities to resolve the current and future student enrollment issues. Click on the link below for more details:
Schools April 24, 2015

LASD Junior Olympics scheduled Saturday

Los Altos School District fourth- through sixth-graders will showcase their athletic abilities at the district’s 55th annual Junior Olympics, scheduled Saturday at Mountain View High School.

The interschool track and field meet spotlights the district’s PE program. The event typically draws a crowd of more than 3,500 students, families, friends and neighbors cheering on the young athletes.

The annual Olympic games feature fourth-, fifth- and sixth-graders from the district’s seven elementary schools competing in an array of events. More than 1,600 students from Almond, Covington, Gardner Bullis, Loyola, Oak Avenue, Santa Rita and Springer schools are slated to participate.

Events include the 400-meter relay, the 75-yard dash, the 60-yard hurdles, the standing long jump, chin-ups, jump rope, the softball throw and the basketball free throw. Athletes may enter up to three events, some of which require tryouts.

Early in the day, students gather on the track for an opening ceremony that features a parade of mascots, athletes and district officials. It’s a must-see portion of the day, according to Superintendent Jeff Baier.

“My favorite part of the event each year is watching the students enter the stadium, faces beaming with pride as they represent their schools,” he said. “It’s quite an amazing sight.”

Board of Trustees President Steve Taglio agreed.

“There is something about the opening ceremony that gets me every time,” he said. “It is the only opportunity we have to get all the schools together in one place, celebrating the same thing – the potential of what is to come. The kids and their families’ excitement about the day is so real, it would be hard not to get caught up in it.”

District PE instructors prepare students for the Junior Olympics in the weeks leading up to the meet. Students try all the different events and then select the ones in which they want to compete.

“(The students) do not have to be the fastest or strongest, and each PE teacher encourages a ‘Personal Best,’” said Pearl Garvin, PE instructor at Santa Rita. “The joy and sheer determination that I witness in each child’s face during the weeks of training is absolutely wonderful.”

The Junior Olympics are designed to emphasize good sportsmanship, stress the importance of healthy competition and encourage participants to do their best.

Taglio said he enjoys the goodwill and sportsmanship the games promote.

“During the long-distance run there, I’ve watched kids who have finished circle back to cheer on those who are still trying to finish – kids slow down on the track so that no one person is the last to finish,” he said. “It’s those moments that stay with you as well.”

No overall score is tallied per school, but scores are kept for each event by division and student. The top six finishers in each event/division receive awards. The Junior Olympics Committee has a list of student records dating back to as early as 1979. In 2014, student-athletes set 12 new records.

The committee that plans the Junior Olympics and helps run the events includes volunteer representatives from each school and a district PE specialist. The district provides personnel to help with deliveries, equipment and maintenance needs. The Los Altos Educational Foundation and school PTAs fund the event.

The first track event – the 1,320-yard run – is scheduled 8 a.m. on the track at Mountain View High, 3535 Truman Ave. The opening ceremony will follow at approximately 9 a.m.

For more information, visit

Menlo ParkMountain ViewPalo Alto April 21, 2015

Palo Alto Area Celebrates Earth Day

Several nonprofit organizations in and around Palo Alto are hosting events and activities this week in honor of Earth Day, which is on Wednesday, April 22.

Tuesday, April 21

Tuolumne Film & Culture Fest

6:30-9 p.m. at Menlo-Atherton High School, The Center for Performing Arts, 555 Middlefield Road, Atherton

The Tuolumne Film & Culture Fest will celebrate water, culture and community through art, music, dance and the premiere of Leah Rogers’ documentary on the Tuolumne River. Proceeds from the event will benefit the Tuolumne River Trust. For more information, call Rebecca Stievater at 415-882-7252, email or visit

Wednesday, April 22

Planet Earth New Play Festival

7:30 p.m. at Stanford’s Dinkelspiel Auditorium, 471 Laguna Drive

In honor of Earth Day, Planet Earth Arts will host an evening of original plays related to the environment. The Planet Earth New Play Festival features works by emerging playwrights whose aim is to inspire audiences to recognize environmental sustainability as the most critical issue of our era. Among the works featured at the festival include “Preapocalytica” by Erin Marie Panttaja, in which environmental crisis drives one character to madness, and “The Universe on Ice” by Maury Zeff, set in a frozen polar landscape populated by talking penguins and polar bears. The performance will be followed by a panel discussion featuring some of Stanford University’s leading scientists and researchers. For more information, go to or call 510-677-2648.

Free Community Earth Day Fair

10 a.m.-2 p.m. at 3rd Regional Support Command, 230 R. T. Jones Road, Mountain View

The U.S. Army Reserve 63rd Regional Support Command invites community members to attend its Earth Day Fair and celebrate the army reserve’s 107th anniversary. The free event will include live music, vendors, food trucks, family activities, education booths, a free raffle and e-waste drop off and more. For more information, call Mike Strauss at 925-858-3354 or email

Thursday, April 23

Greenlight Film Festival

7-8:30 p.m. at Cubberly Theater, 4000 Middlefield Road

Greenlight Film Festival is celebrating its 10-year anniversary with films produced by local artists with an emphasis on student-produced work. The films included in the festival address five topics, including zero waste, litter, food waste, California drought, climate change and energy. For more information, go to

Friday, April 24

Planet Earth New Play Festival

8 p.m. at Roble Theater, 374 Santa Teresa St.

Planet Earth Arts will host a second evening of original plays related to the environment. See listing above, on Wednesday. The Friday event will not feature a panel discussion. For more information, go to or call 510-677-2648.

Saturday, April 25

Residential solar PV workshop

9:30-11:30 a.m. at Mitchell Park Community Center, 3700 Middlefield Road

The City of Palo Alto is hosting a residential solar photovoltaic workshop for people interested in installing a system in their homes. For more information, go to or call 650-329-2241.

East Palo Alto Community Earth Day Celebration

9 a.m.-2 p.m. at Cesar Cesar Chavez School, 2450 Ralmar Ave.

Volunteers of all ages are welcome to the citywide Community Earth Day Celebration in East Palo Alto. The event, dubbed “Think Green and Keep Our City Clean,” will feature activities including a tree tour walk, city beautification projects, bike repairs, arts and crafts and creek monitoring activities, as well as outdoor gear giveaways and speakers, including Mayor Lisa Gauthier, state Assemblyman Rich Gordon and Dr. Rodolfo Dirzo of Stanford University. Please bring a hat and reusable water bottle. For more information, email To register, visit

Compost basic workshop

10 a.m.-noon at Cubberley Community Center, Room H-1, 4000 Middlefield Road

A free compost workshop will teach people to use compost in their gardens to improve soil quality and enhance the garden’s health and vitality. To register, call 408-918-4640.

Mountain ViewSchools April 21, 2015

Mountain View High Hosts Annual Jazz Festival

Music students from Los Altos High, Mountain View High, Blach Intermediate and Graham Middle schools are scheduled to perform at their annual Jazz Festival 11:30 a.m. Saturday, April 25, on the Mountain View High quad, 3535 Truman Ave.

Local residents are invited to bring their lawn chairs and blankets for the musical performances by each school’s Jazz Band. This year’s event also features performances by local band FourLee and student band 37th Parallel.

Food – including Baskin-Robbins ice cream – and drinks will be available for purchase.

The suggested donation is $10 for adults, $5 for students/seniors. Proceeds support the Mountain View High Music Department. No dogs are allowed.

Community April 16, 2015

Intero Foundation Continues to Grow the Business of Giving

The Intero Foundation issued their first round of grants for the year directed towards the California communities of Los Altos, San Carlos and San Mateo. In 2002, the leaders of Intero Real Estate Services, Inc., a Berkshire Hathaway affiliate and wholly owned subsidiary of HomeServices of America, Inc., founded the Intero Foundation to be a non-profit organization dedicated to supporting children in the communities surrounding Intero locations.

Over a decade later, the Foundation empowers a diversity of organizations that positively impact the education and personal development of children. Through Intero’s agents, employees and fundraising events, the Foundation has generated over $3 million with an endowment of more than $1 million and gave $225,000 in 2014 alone.

In order to sustain its commitment to giving back to the community, each quarter, the Intero Foundation presents grants to non-profits that have been approved by the Foundation Committee. This third quarter round of grants were brought to the foundation by Intero’s offices located in Los Altos, San Carlos, and San Mateo.  A total of $41,000 split amongst the following organizations:

  1. Inn Vision Shelter– Dedicated to helping homeless families and individuals regain permanent housing and self-sufficiency through a variety of supportive services including interim housing. A grant of $8,000 will go towards their STEM Summer Adventure Camp.
  2. In Their Own Words(anti-bullying project) – Affiliated with the AACHAC of Mills Peninsula Health Services, this youth-led marketing campaign and peer support service addresses teen bullying among at risk youth. A grant of $8,000 will go directly to supporting this program.
  3. PARCA Raji House– An out-of-home respite care program for children and teens with developmental disabilities. The home provides a safe environment where the kids engage in games, sports, field trips, and the development of learning skills in a schedule of activities specially designed to meet their needs. A grant of $7,500 will go towards funding the home’s annual operational costs.
  4. Grateful Garment– Reduces any further negative impact on victims of sexual violence and human sex trafficking. The Intero Los Altos Office presented $7,500 for the purchase of clothing, food, and toiletries to minor victims of sexual assault; prevention education and training; and administrative expenses (supplies, storage, telephone, mileage, etc.) within the Santa Clara County.
  5. Scholastic Interest Group– Helps at risk young men residing in low income communities of San Francisco reach their full potential by offering a variety of programs that promote the importance of staying in school, the value of high education, and the critical need of personal character development.  A grant of $10,000 will support educational “field trips” and weekly personal development workshops.

To find out more about the Intero Foundation, visit the website at

Mountain View March 31, 2015

2015 Spring and Summer Events in Los Altos

The end of the school year brings a lull to the hustle and bustle of daily life for parents and students alike as they have more time on their hands. What better way to spend it than outdoors. Los Altos, Los Altos Hills and Mountain View offer a wide variety of family-friendly events, some of which are long-standing traditions. Listed below are upcoming events scheduled in Los Altos:

Easter Egg Hunt

10 a.m. to noon March 28

Main and State streets The Los Altos Village Association-sponsored event for children ages 1-10 features crafts, face painting, a balloon artist and the Easter Bunny. Attendees should bring their own baskets.

Egg Hunt & Teen Egg Launch

9:30 a.m. April 4

Hillview Soccer Field 97 Hillview Ave.

The Los Altos Recreation Department’s Egg Hunt is open to children up to age 10. There are different start times depending on age group. Attendees should bring their own baskets.

The Teen Egg Launch is open to youth 11-17. The challenge is to build a container that protects an egg from breaking when launched onto the soccer field. Admission is free. Register by April 1.

For more information, visit

Los Altos Live! talent show

7:30 p.m. April 25

Eagle Theater, Los Altos High School, 201 Almond Ave.

Local residents unveil their musical, theatrical and dance skills at the annual community talent show, sponsored by the Los Altos Cultural Association.

For more information, visit

Los Altos Farmers’ Market

4-8 p.m. Thursdays May 7 through Sept. 24

State Street, between Second and Fourth streets

Local farmers offer fresh seasonal fruits, vegetables, plants and cut flowers. A host of vendors sell a variety of specialty foods, including cheeses and dairy products, meats, breads and baked goods. The weekly events feature family-friendly entertainment and food trucks.

For more information, visit

Kiwanis Pet Parade

10-11 a.m. May 16

Main and State streets

A community tradition since 1948, the Kiwanis Pet Parade attracts thousands of spectators. Children walk, pull wagons and ride bicycles in downtown Los Altos, showcasing their pets. Youth groups, marching bands and local dignitaries in vintage cars travel the route.

For more information, call 988-9900 or email

Fine Art in the Park

10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. May 16 and 17

Lincoln Park, University Avenue

Attendees can browse the fine art, ceramics, sculpture, jewelry and unique gifts from more than 180 artists in the juried open-air art show, sponsored by the Rotary Club of Los Altos. The annual event features live entertainment, food and beverages. Proceeds support the Rotary Club’s local and international service projects.

For more information, visit

Arts & Wine Festival

10 a.m. to 6 p.m. July 11 and 12


The Arts & Wine Festival, sponsored by the Los Altos Village Association, showcases the work of artisans from more than 12 states. The 36th annual event will feature a select group of vintage wines and a variety of cuisines from Thai to Mexican in addition to all-American choices like sausage and roasted corn. The festival includes booths to browse, wine to sample and free concerts.

For more information visit

Friday Movie Nights

8:30-10:30 p.m.

Intersection of Main and Third streets

The Los Altos Village Association is scheduled to host family-friendly outdoor movie nights Fridays Aug. 7-28. Seating is on a first-come, first-served basis. Participants should bring chairs, blankets, pillows, sleeping bags and picnics.

For more information, visit

Mountain View March 19, 2015

Mountain View’s Annual Zimbabwe Run

by Rachel Lee / Mountain View Voice

“Be fit. Create art. Help others.” That’s the motto for this year’s 16th Annual Run for Zimbabwe Orphans and Fair.

The colorful culture of Zimbabwe comes to Mountain View cross-country races, an art competition, and a collection of festive booths from noon to 4 p.m. on Sunday, March 22, at St. Joseph School.

The event includes 11 races to cater to age groups ranging from preschool to adult. An eclectic collection of booths will be peppered along the perimeter of the race course, offering educational and creative ways for youth to become immersed in African traditions. And the local art competition offers another way for younger generations to connect with Zimbabwe history and culture, according to race organizers.

By holding activities other than foot races, event organizers seek to be inclusive and offer alternatives for kids with disabilities or who are unable to participate in the race, said event spokeswoman Girley Tegama.

People who cannot afford the $5 fee to run but would still like to participate are invited to join in the activities as well.

The event seeks to promote awareness of the struggles of those in Zimbabwe, but to also celebrate their culture in a festive manner, organizers said.

“In these runs, we are targeting children who are in elementary school, middle school, and high school because that’s where we have to start,” said Tegama.

This year’s race is dedicated to the welfare of 100 orphans at Makumbi Children’s Home, a Zimbabwe orphanage that has existed since 1936; funds raised will go toward termite repair.

Those at Makumbi Children’s Home “identify their biggest need and tell us, and we focus on raising the funds so that they can accomplish taking care of that particular need,” said Ellen Clark, director of the event. “And that way it’s not our foundation telling them what they need, because how are we to know? They are capable, smart people who know more than us.”

The philanthropic event was inspired by the work of her son, Will Clark. In 1997, he graduated from Notre Dame with his teaching credentials and pursued an individual volunteer project in South Africa. While her son tutored and taught in a small village in Zimbabwe, Clark said she visited and saw Africa “at its saddest and at its happiest.”

She said she “fell in love” with Africa, but also witnessed devastation in the wake of the AIDS pandemic. After returning home, Clark and her family wanted to work toward easing some of the problems facing people in Africa. The family created the Sustainable Living Foundation and decided to host an annual fundraiser that contributes all of its proceeds to the orphanage.

“Every single cent we raise goes directly over to Makumbi Children’s Home and it’s just a real feel-good event that gives people the opportunity to be fit, create art and help others,” Ellen Clark said. The event is now in its 16th year.

Information and race registration forms are online at or by calling (650) 941-9206. St. Joseph School is located at 1120 Miramonte Ave., Mountain View.

Mountain ViewPalo Alto March 18, 2015

Family Fun in Los Altos and Mountain View

For families seeking a break from the daily routine, events abound this month and next in Los Altos, Mountain View and surrounding cities. From concerts to plays, following are some of the options.

‘Pecos Bill: A Tall Tale’

The Peninsula Youth Theatre production, directed by Ken Boswell, follows Pecos Bill and partner Slue-Foot Sue as they protect the town.

Performances are scheduled 9:30 and 11 a.m. March 20 and 11:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m. March 21 at the Mountain View Center for the Performing Arts, 500 Castro St.

For tickets and more information, call 903-6000 or visit

Palo Alto Philharmonic Orchestra,
 Concert III

Featuring internationally known piano soloist Sandra Wright Shen, the orchestra will perform Beethoven’s Concerto No. 4 for Piano and a variety of other pieces, including Lee Actor’s “Divertimento for Small Orchestra” and Sibelius’ Symphony No. 7.

The concert is scheduled 8 p.m. Feb. 27, with a pre-concert talk set for 7:30 p.m.

Tickets are $24 adult, $20 senior and $12 student.

For tickets and more information, call 903-6000 or visit

‘Carnival of the Animals by
 Camille Saint-Saëns’

The visually illustrated concert and ballet features a string ensemble and two grand pianos conducted by Derek Tam, accompanied by a dance performance by Bay Pointe Ballet. In addition to the concert, an animal-mask-making workshop and an instrument petting zoo – an opportunity to see, hear and touch instruments – are slated before and after the concert.

Concerts are scheduled 10 a.m. and noon March 1 at the Albert and Janet Schultz Cultural Arts Hall on the campus of the Oshman Family Jewish Community Center, 3921 Fabian Way, Palo Alto.

Advance tickets are $18 general admission, $15 members and children 3-12; all tickets are $20 at the door.

For tickets and more information, call 223-8664 or visit

‘Les Misérables’

Peninsula Youth Theatre’s musical adaptation of Victor Hugo’s novel follows Jean Valjean as he struggles to redeem his past sins, with the ruthless Inspector Javert in hot pursuit.

Shows are scheduled 2 p.m. March 7 and 14; 7:30 p.m. March 7, 13 and 14; 1 p.m. March 8 and 15; 6:30 p.m. March 8; and 9:30 a.m. March 12 and 13 at the Mountain View Center for the Performing Arts, 500 Castro St.

Tickets are $22 adult, $18 senior and children 12 and under.

For tickets and more information call 903-6000 or visit

Easter Egg Hunt

Children ages 1-10 are invited to participate in the Los Altos Village Association’s annual Easter Egg Hunt in downtown Los Altos.

Participants should bring their own baskets. Activities include an appearance by the Easter Bunny, crafts, a balloon artist, face painting and games.

The hunt is scheduled 10 a.m. to noon March 28 at Main and State streets.

For more information, visit

Firebird Dance Theatre Benefit Performance

Join the Firebird Dance Theatre troupe for a performance highlighting a multitude of dance styles – from traditional folk dances to ballet and ballroom. Choreographed by Lotta Lysaya Burton, the performance features students from ages 4 to 25.

The performance is scheduled 5 p.m. March 29 at the Albert and Janet Schultz Cultural Arts Hall on the campus of the Oshman Family Jewish Community Center, 3921 Fabian Way, Palo Alto.

Tickets are $20 general, $15 members and $25 at the door.

For tickets and more information, call 223-8664 or visit

Big Bunny 5K

People of all fitness levels are invited to participate in the 5K run. Children can join in the Kids Fun Run, where everyone is a winner. Awards and raffle prizes will be distributed at the end of the event.

The run is slated 9 a.m. April 4 at the Cupertino Civic Center, 10300 Torre Ave. Preregistration is required by April 3.

To register, visit

For more information, call (408) 777-1305. ✦

Mountain ViewPlanned Construction March 11, 2015

Mountain View’s Grand Central Station Is In The Works

by Daniel DeBolt / Mountain View Voice

The City Council began talking about a major new downtown transit center and Caltrain station on Tuesday, along with the big question of how to make the Castro Street train crossing safe.

Among the many things that could be included in a new downtown transit station were shops and cafes, new bike lockers, wider train platforms and an underground bus terminal.

Train ridership at the station is now more than three times higher than the 1,000 morning riders it was designed for in the 1990s, the city reports, and the platforms are often packed with people.

“I think this could be a world-class center,” said Mayor John McAlister. “Something along the lines of the Ferry Building in San Francisco; they have some great stores there.”

One member of the public suggested that a design contest for the new station be held among the world’s top architects.

Council members said they realized the importance of answering an old question before redesigning the station: How does the city redesign the adjacent train crossing at Castro Street to make it safer and improve traffic flow? The concern is that the back-up of vehicles waiting for trains to pass during rush hours will only get worse with the growing demand for train service, along with increased chances of a pedestrian fatality.

“A lot of people die at the train tracks. It’s hard to believe in this day and age we can’t prevent that kind of contact,” said council member Lenny Siegel.

Over the years council members have discussed possible solutions, from sinking Castro Street under grade-level tracks, to raising the tracks over the street, to the cost-prohibitive option of putting the tracks in a trench.

On Tuesday, some council members were leaning towards closing off Castro Street, and diverting traffic down Evelyn Avenue onto Shoreline Boulevard.

“People actually are warming up to the idea of closing Castro Street,” said council member Pat Showalter, mentioning how it is already done for special events.

“A grade separation is going to be destructive to what we’ve been building in downtown for the last few decades,” Siegel said. “The space required to go up or down will be enormous compared to the benefits we would get.”

He later added he was leaning toward closing Castro Street at the tracks, but was hesitant to take a position without studying it first.

“We should make a quicker decision and do a quick study,” Siegel said. “Tell the public, ‘We’d like to close Castro Street at the tracks.’ Get the public feedback, get the decision made and do the rest of our planning.”

City Manager Dan Rich said it was clear that council members wanted a study of the various grade-separation options done soon. The plan could be completed in 18 to 24 months, he said.

Siegel had a number of ideas for what appears to be a challenging station design on what is now a 7.5-acre footprint. He suggested building some of the station over Central Expressway and extending it west of Castro Street where light rail isn’t in the way. Someone else suggested depressing Central Expressway so portions of the light rail track could be pushed north and hang over the expressway, making room for a bigger station footprint.

“Put the parking structure and bus loop on top of Central Expressway,” Siegel suggested. “Land values are such that going vertical may not be as difficult as it used to be.”

A parking structure could help solve the problem of how to get people over the tracks, he said. “We need to solve the problem of north access to the train station. Our employment growth is to the north. Ignoring that would create all kinds of problems to the downtown area.”

Consultant Jim Litebody had told the council that putting bridge structures over the expressway would be difficult and was not in the presentation because it was deemed not worth the trouble.

Community March 10, 2015

Los Altos History Museum Hosts Family Day March 14

The Los Altos History Museum has scheduled Family Day/Young Minds @ the Museum noon to 4 p.m. March 14 at 51 S. San Antonio Road.

Family Day, designed for children in grades K-8, will feature the Tech Museum of Innovation’s Social Robot, a demonstration of the Los Altos Library’s 3D printer and hands-on learning activities that teach how motion works, the characteristics of living organisms and the principles of gravity. Docents, including former teachers, will be on hand to assist with activities.

Activities include:

• 1 and 2:30 p.m.: Multicoptor demonstrations. Paul Sterbentz and David Jackson will display mulitcopters and discuss their history, the technology behind them and future commercial uses.

Sterbentz is a builder of custom quadcopters with camera attachments. Jackson designs, builds and flies multirotor unmanned aerial vehicles.

Weather permitting, they will fly their drones on the Los Altos Museum patio.

• 3 p.m.: “Advice for Young Entrepreneurs.” The segment will feature two-time startup CEO Jamie Kurtzig. The 10-year-old is the granddaughter of serial high-tech entrepreneur Sandra Kurtzig.

Jamie’s grandmother will interview her on the topic “What It Means To Be a 10-Year-Old Enterpreneur Starting and Managing a Business.”

Admission is free and open to the public.

Family Day complements the museum’s current exhibition, “Silicon Valley: The Lure & the Legends,” on display through April 19.

For more information, visit