09282016Wed
Last updateWed, 28 Sep 2016 4pm

News

Police arrest man suspected of robbing bank

The suspect wanted in connection with a local bank robbery in July has been identified and arrested by the San Jose Police Department.

Officers arrested San Jose resident Spencer Havens Sept. 15, according to a department press release published Thu...

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Schools

Local Scout’s Eagle project evolves into pilot program at Sunday Friends

Local Scout’s Eagle project evolves into pilot program at Sunday Friends


Courtesy of Terence Lee
Los Altos High School students, from left, Terence Lee, Jane Zhao, Emma Kwan and David Ding are part of EqOpTech, a student-run nonprofit organization that works with Sunday Friends.

What began as an idea for a Boy Scout Eagl...

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Community

Rotary Club of Los Altos speaker shares stories of wrongfully incarcerated

Rotary Club of Los Altos speaker shares stories of wrongfully incarcerated


Aguas-Rao
 

Although incarceration can result in great injustice, lawyers at the Northern California Innocence Project have succeeded in uncovering proof of innocence and restoring freedom to many inmates.

Aaron Aguas-Rao, case manager fo...

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Comment

Letters to the Editor

How to select a councilmember

How to select a councilmember in the Nov. 8 election:

The Los Altos City Council has five members. Three seats are vacant. We need to elect or re-elect three of the six candidates running.

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Special Sections

Home Brief

Filoli has scheduled a new volunteer recruitment event 9:30-11:30 a.m. Oct. 15 at Filoli’s Visitor & Education Center, 86 Cañada Road, Woodside.

Attendees can learn about the many volunteer opportunities at Filoli, including house and gar...

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Business

Owners seek landmark status for LA farmhouse

Owners seek landmark status for LA farmhouse


courtesy of Daniil Reouk
A home on Grant Road in Los Altos built circa 1913 is considered by an architect to be a prime example of the Craftsman style. Originally constructed as a farmhouse, the property stayed within the family until a 2015 sale. ...

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People

KATHLEEN R. GARDNER

KATHLEEN R. GARDNER

February 7, 1924 – September 11, 2016
Resident of Los Altos

Kay passed peacefully away of old age at 92 with her family and caregiver at her son’s house in Los Altos on September 11, 2016. Kay was born in Casper, Wyoming on February 7, 1924 to Earl...

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News

Collision with bus injures young cyclist

A young cyclist is recovering from serious injuries following his collision with a Mountain View Community Shuttle bus.

The accident happened at approximately 3:15 p.m. Friday (Sept. 23) as the cyclist, a juvenile whose identity has not been released, was riding his bike in a traffic lane near the ...

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Business

Start-up with big dreams launches localized, secure messaging app

Start-up with big dreams launches localized, secure messaging app

megan V. winslow/town crier
Marty Kacin, right, CEO of Los Altos Research Center, promotes his newly released app last week.

Approximately 150 guests, including the mayor and other Los Altos officials, convened at Los Altos Golf & Country Club to witness the launch of a new business three y...

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Sports

Pride Bowl trophy returns to Los Altos

Pride Bowl trophy returns to Los Altos

As the Los Altos High football team remained on the field to celebrate Friday night’s 12-9 win and pose for photos with the Pride Bowl trophy, stunned rival Mountain View trudged to the locker room to face disappointed head coach Shelley Smith and his staff.

By the time the somber Spartans emerged,...

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Community

Balanced Mountain View revamps website

Balanced  Mountain View revamps website

The Campaign for a Balanced Mountain View recently revised and updated its website and has launched a Facebook page.

Courtesy of Balanced Mountain View

The group’s mission is to encourage Mountain View residents to engage in the civic process.

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Comment

Letters to the Editor

Voting is a personal responsibility

In his Sept. 14 letter to the editor (“Take a stand on presidential election”), Michael Rappaport criticizes the Town Crier’s decision to not endorse/recommend a presidential candidate.

I applaud the Town Crier for saying, “You’re o...

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Spiritual Life

Spiritual Briefs

Baja orphanage founders share experiences Sunday

Bill and Kaye Lawrence, founders of the Rancho Santa Marta orphanage and school for developmentally challenged children in Baja California, are scheduled to speak 9:30 a.m. Sunday at Union Presbyterian Church of Los Altos, 858 University Ave. A light...

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People

FLORA WALLACE

Flora Wallace, beloved wife of Seymour and cherished mother of Linda, passed away on September 7, 2016. She succumbed to complications of cancer. Flora was born in Argentina on March 17, 1927. She lived in Los Altos for approximately 55 years. She was an avid gardener, stunt kite flier, and supporte...

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Schools

Foothill astronomy star Fraknoi wins national teaching award

Town Crier Report

Foothill College astronomy professor Andrew Fraknoi recently received the Pinnacle Professor Award for long-standing, distinguished service to the professionalization of astronomy education.

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Special Sections

LAHS student launches international website on mental health

LAHS student launches international website on mental health

Photos courtesy of nadia ghaffari
Months after founding the website TeenzTalk, Ghaffari, second from left, spoke with international teens at the Yale program about methods to overcome stress.

When Nadia Ghaffari went to Yale University this summer for a global program for high school students, she...

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Stepping Out

LA Stage Company snuffs out 'Assassins' Sunday

LA Stage Company snuffs out 'Assassins' Sunday

Richard Mayer/Special to the Town Crier
The cast of the musical “Assassins” includes, from left, Chase Campbell, Ken Boswell and Andy Cooperfauss.

Los Altos Stage Company is scheduled to present “Assassins” through Sunday at Bus Barn Theater.

Launching the company’s 21st season, the controvers...

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Obituaries

FLORA WALLACE

Flora Wallace, beloved wife of Seymour and cherished mother of Linda, passed away on September 7, 2016. She succumbed to complications of cancer. Flora was born in Argentina on March 17, 1927. She lived in Los Altos for approximately 55 years. She was an avid gardener, stunt kite flier, and supporte...

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Magazine

California lilacs come in all sizes

California lilacs come in all sizes

Tanya Kucak/Special to the Town Crier
The profuse blue flowers of ceanothus shrubs in late winter to late spring lure many pollinators. On a sunny day, you can find the nearest California lilac by listening for the sound of happy bees.

Pete Veilleux experiments with all kinds of native plants at...

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Preserving the past: Local home turns 100


Photo By: Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Photo Ellie Van Houtte/Town CrierLos Altos homeowners Armond and Marjorie King celebrate their homes centennial in July.

 

The 1.5-story Craftsman bungalow at 530 Cherry Ave. in Los Altos has been home to three generations of the same family and has witnessed two marriages, two deaths and two births.

It has remained much the same through the years – a timeless treasure – as more and bigger houses have sprung up around it and the orchards have vanished.

Owners Marjorie and Armond King wanted to maintain its original identity, believing it to be their “honor and duty.” And now they want to celebrate a milestone – the home’s 100th birthday.

So the Kings, with help from the Los Altos History Museum, are throwing their house a birthday party July 20. The celebration, open to the public, will feature period music by Paul Price’s Society Orchestra (Price is Marjorie’s son-in-law). And, of course, other family members will be there, too, including Armond’s cousin Dick Liewer, former assistant superintendent of curriculum for the Los Altos School District.

Split decision

The house is easy to find because of the large sign, “H. Bleibler Ornamental Ironwork,” out front. It’s from the Palo Alto blacksmith shop Armond’s grandfather, Herman Bleibler, opened circa 1905.

Since Bleibler built the Cherry Avenue house, it was only appropriate the sign be placed in front of it when the shop, on the corner of Forest and High streets, was sold in 2001. Bleibler’s wrought-iron artwork can still be seen in Palo Alto. (A photograph of author Kathleen Norris’ house showcasing Bleibler’s work hangs in the dining room.)

In 1910, the Swiss-born Bleibler and his German-born wife, Marie, purchased 5 acres of land, split evenly on both sides of Cherry Avenue. Marie held the deed to one side, while Herman held the deed to the other. Marie insisted that the family home be built on her side of the street so that if anything happened to Herman’s business, it would impact only the property on his side and their home would always be safe.

Their daughter Lucille Liewer lived in a house built in 1924 on his side of the street until her death in 2005.

The Bleibler house is sheathed in horizontal wood siding and has a small gabled dormer with a six-pane window sitting at the roofline. Ornamental ironwork railings enclose the recessed porch.

The house originally had two bedrooms, one bath and a sleeping porch. The bathroom has been remodeled and the porch is now a sitting room. Armond, a docent who keeps the model train running at the History Museum, transformed the upper story, or “attic,” into a guest suite.

The Bleiblers had the house wired for electricity, although it wasn’t delivered to them until a few years later when power lines were brought down Cherry Avenue from downtown. In the meantime, they used a diesel engine to run the water pump, cooked on a wood stove and read by the light of kerosene lanterns.

The living-room fireplace is constructed of bricks from Stanford Memorial Church, which fell during the 1906 San Francisco earthquake. Herman made the fireplace screen, andirons and fireplace tools, which are still in use. Not being used is his wrought-iron smoking stand, on display in the living room.

Herman also made the living-room light fixtures. His son Robert made the banister leading upstairs and the dining-room curtain rods.

The Bleiblers farmed their land and raised chickens, rabbits and hogs. Their children – Lucille, Robert, Alma and Josephine (Armond’s mother) – worked the farm, collecting eggs, feeding the animals and harvesting the crops.

“My grandfather always had big barbecues in the summer,” Armond said. “He set up long tables and then went out and killed a few chickens and rabbits and picked his own tomatoes. We’d sit around on warm summer nights and enjoy it.”

The Kings still sit outside on warm evenings, but on a raised deck built by Armond next to the old brick barbecue. The wrought-iron guardrail was salvaged from the ironworks.

Herman died in 1950, shortly after the Bleiblers’ 50th wedding anniversary, and Armond’s parents moved into the Cherry Avenue home with their three sons. Armond took ownership of the home in 1968.

Preserving the past

The living room is just the same as it was a century ago. A central bay window with double-hung windows on each side lets in light, and built-in bookcases on either side of the fireplace contain mementoes. A coved ceiling – typical of Craftsman-style homes of the 1900s – lends grace and dignity, as do the wood columns separating the living and dining rooms.

The dining room has tongue-and-groove wainscoting and a plate rail that wraps the room. A built-in breakfront has a mirrored pass-through to the kitchen.

The kitchen’s original cabinets, shelving and fold-down ironing board give a glimpse of what life was like at the time. A new addition is an electric stove that sits alongside a cast-iron stove.

Garage-sale finds such as a marble-topped commode and a vintage kitchen table add authenticity to the decor – thanks to Marjorie, who shares her husband’s passion for preserving the past.

And speaking of the past, Herman’s corrugated iron workshop at the back of the property is museumlike. Noteworthy, too, is Armond’s nearby “train room,” where he runs four different model trains. In addition, he operates a G Gauge train in the garden.

The Bleibler house was on the History Museum’s 2003 home tour. And it was the last stop on the Historic Bike Tour of Los Altos led by Gary Hedden of GreenTown Los Altos in September. The 75 bicyclists had lunch in the garden – a blast from the past. d

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Submit a Letter to the Editor

The Town Crier welcomes letters to the editor on current events pertinent to Los Altos, Los Altos Hills and Mountain View. Write to us at 138 Main St., Los Altos 94022, Attn: Editor, or email editor Bruce Barton at bruceb@latc.com. Because editorial space is limited, please confine letters to no more than 200 words. Include a phone number for verification purposes. Anonymous letters will not be printed.

You can also have your say right here at losaltosonline.com – scroll to the bottom of any story to add a comment. 

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