Tue09302014

News

Meet the Santa Clara Valley Water District Board of Directors candidates

Meet the Santa Clara Valley Water District Board of Directors candidates

Two candidates have filed to run for the District 7 seat on the Santa Clara Valley Water District Board of Directors in the Nov. 4 election. The water district, established in 1929, oversees and protects water resources in Santa Clara County....

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Schools

New LAHS assistant principal focuses on school activities

New LAHS assistant principal focuses on school activities


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Suzanne Woolfolk, assistant principal at Los Altos High, teaches a leadership course for Associated Student Body leaders.

Suzanne Woolfolk – new assistant principal at Los Altos High School – said she is happy...

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Community

Petting zoo, car show highlight Chamber's annual Fall Festival

Petting zoo, car show highlight Chamber's annual Fall Festival


Courtesy of Los Altos Chamber of Commerce
The petting zoo is a highlight of the Los Altos Fall Festival. This year’s event is slated Oct. 4 and 5.

The Los Altos Chamber of Commerce has scheduled its 23rd annual Fall Festival 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Oc...

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Sports

Burlingame bowls over Los Altos

Burlingame bowls over Los Altos


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Los Altos High halfback Sean Lanoza looks for running room against Burlingame in Saturday’s home opener.

The opening drive of Saturday’s game against Burlingame couldn’t have gone much better for the Los Altos High fo...

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Comment

Does Los Altos have a parking problem, or is it a symptom? : Other Voices

Yes, and yes. It appears that the downtown Los Altos parking problem is a symptom of the city’s “Sarah Winchester” approach to planning that instead of resulting in staircases to nowhere resulted in a hotel without parking required by code.(1)

From ...

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Special Sections

Los Altos landmark Four families later, Shoup House goes on the market

Los Altos landmark Four families later, Shoup House goes on the market


Courtesy of Matthew Anello
The Shoup House dining room, above, features original elements. The 100-year-old house on University Avenue earned a spot on the National Register of Historic Places, a nod to its legacy as the home of city founder Paul S...

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Business

Longtime banker readies for retirement

Longtime banker readies for retirement


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Joanne Kavalaris is retiring at the end of October after spending the past 25 years of her banking career in downtown Los Altos.

A longtime Los Altos banker is calling it a career in a few weeks.

Joanne Kavalaris, Bank o...

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Books

A woman's perspective on the Greatest Generation

A woman's perspective on the Greatest Generation


During World War II, Virgilia Short Witzel, a young mother and U.S. Navy officer’s wife, grappled on the home front in Menlo Park with wartime rationing, shortages and loneliness. During the ensuing Cold War, she experienced adventure and misadventur...

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People

VINCENT (TIM) MURPHY JR.

VINCENT (TIM) MURPHY JR.

July 27, 1953 – August 12, 2014

Native Los Altan died Medford, OR. Graduated Bellarmine Prep. Married Josephine Domino, 1950. Licensed Auto Mechanic, Private Pilot, skilled Computer Scientist. Tim “could fix anything”. Afflicted with cancer 2001. ...

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Travel

Taking a Turkey trek: Winging it during the World Cup

Taking a Turkey trek: Winging it during the World Cup


Rich Robertson/Special to the Town Crier
The sun sets over the Aegean Sea in Bodrum, Turkey, left.

Tours that whisk you from Istanbul to Bodrum in 11 days are as plentiful as souvenir hawkers in Turkey, but traveling from the Blue Mosque to Topkapi ...

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Stepping Out

Pear builds wonderful 'House'

Pear builds wonderful 'House'


J. Smith/Special to the Town Crier
Betsy Kruse Craig portrays Trish in the Pear Avenue Theatre production of “House,” which closes Oct. 5.

Mountain View’s Pear Avenue Theatre is staging an unusual theater-going experience – producing two plays...

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Spiritual Life

Magazine

Local events add color to autumn calendar

Local events add color to autumn calendar


Van Houtte/town crier Visitors make their way through the Children’s Alley.

As Los Altos’ signature Chinese Pistache trees exchange their summer green for vibrant hues of yellow, orange and red in the fall, an abundance of local events also ad...

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Construction ends for two projects, ramps up in south Los Altos


Photo By: Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Photo Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier

Work on the San Antonio Road streetscape project wrapped up last week after construction crews planted vines for a living wall.

Following is an update on three major Los Altos construction projects.

First Street streetscape

Work on Phase 1B of the city’s First Street streetscape project is set to wrap up – albeit temporarily – to accommodate the annual Arts & Wine Festival.

The project includes widening the First Street sidewalks and corners, installing new storm drains and rain gardens and adding new streetlights and landscaping. The project was broken into phases to allow work along First Street, between State and Shasta streets, to wrap up ahead of this weekend’s festival.

Erica Ray, Los Altos public information coordinator, said work remains on schedule.

Crews have completed sidewalk construction on the northwest side of the street (near Bumble and Area 151) and installed irrigation for landscaping along the block, Ray said. They have completed the curb and gutter demolition in front of Pilates studio Evolve at 106 First St. – on the opposite side of the street. Concrete-pouring was scheduled to begin Monday (after the Town Crier’s press deadline) to form a new gutter and curb in time for the festival.

Ray said all but one drive aisle in Parking Plaza 7 would be open and accessible from First Street when the festival opens. Pedestrians should be unimpeded during the weekend’s activities.

Post-festival, the city is expected to commence streetscape work, which will require closing the State and First streets intersection for six weeks, starting Monday.

The city will open the State Street Green July 18 – a temporary public gathering area with green turf, seating and scheduled events – to occupy the closed-off roadway between First and Second streets.

“It’ll probably be open for people to walk through and enjoy by the afternoon of July 18,” Ray said.

The landscaping and streetlight installations are scheduled after the work at the intersection of State and First streets winds up in late August or early September.

San Antonio Road streetscape

The San Antonio Road streetscape project is essentially finished, according to Ray.

The project, which began in January and experienced delays related to the discovery of lead-tainted soil, called for the widening of sidewalks and curbs along San Antonio to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act, new median landscaping and the installation of rain gardens to capture stormwater runoff.

Crews wrapped up the project last week by planting vines along a 4-foot-high living wall along San Antonio. The wall screens views of cars in Parking Plaza 3.

Ray said that for a few days, residents would see construction workers in the area putting the “finishing touches” on the project, including minor crosswalk striping work near curb cuts.

“There may be some traffic cones up once they actually stripe the area, but there shouldn’t be any major lane closures,” she said.

Homestead Road safety improvements

While construction nears an end along San Antonio, work is just beginning at the other end of Los Altos along Homestead Road.

The project, scheduled for completion in November, includes the installation of a traffic signal and crosswalk at the entrance to the Foothill Crossing shopping center. New median islands and landscaping and a Class 1 pedestrian and bicycle pathway will be added on the north side of the road between Foothill Expressway and Belleville Way.

The Homestead Road Safety Improvements project began in May, slightly later than its slated kickoff toward the end of April. Ray attributed the delay to contractor scheduling, but added that residents in the area can expect “to see the project move very quickly.”

The project’s contractor – Pavex Construction – has focused on storm drains and grading for the pathway. The project is still on schedule, Ray added.

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