Wed03042015

News

Council considers freezing First St. development

Council considers freezing First St. development


Megan V. Winslow/Town Crier
A pedestrian walks along First Street in downtown Los Altos last week. Future construction on the street could soon be barred by an emergency moratorium on development.

Further construction along First Street could be t...

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Schools

Former NFL player huddles with Blach students about life choices

Former NFL player huddles with Blach students about life choices


Ellie Van HOutte/Town Crier
Former NFL tight end Eason Ramson visited with Blach Intermediate School students, Feb. 13 to share the perils of drug use. Now a motivational speaker, Ramson works with at-risk teens in San Francisco.

Although former ...

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Community

Music for Minors partners with Harvard to expand efforts

Music for Minors partners with Harvard to expand efforts


Palmer

When the thriving Music for Minors began to outgrow its capacity, the local nonprofit organization made new friends.

Beginning in late February, Music for Minors – a Town Crier Holiday Fund recipient – partnered with Harvard Business Sch...

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Comment

Dangerous streets: A Piece of My Mind

I’m driving along El Monte Avenue between Foothill Expressway and Springer Road at approximately 6 p.m. on a midwinter evening. In keeping with the “village feeling” of our town, there are no sidewalks and no streetlights.

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Special Sections

Lions, lambs and Cab Franc for March

Lions, lambs and Cab Franc for March


Christine Moore/Special to the Town Crier
Oven fries, a slice of feta cheese and the bite of harissa mayonnaise make for a late-winter, early-spring dinner perfectly paired with Cabernet Franc.

I can’t help but wonder whether March will come in ...

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Business

Los Altos scientist named Inventor of the Year

Los Altos scientist named Inventor of the Year


Above Photo by Alicia Castro/Town Crier; Below Rendering Courtesy of SST inc.
Robert Showen, above, the Silicon Valley Intellectual Property Lawyers Association’s Inventor of the Year, began researching his ShotSpotter technology in his Los A...

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Books

French novel

French novel "Hunting and Gathering" offers character-driven suspense


Anna Gavalda is a well-known author in her native France, where she has published six books, most of which have met with considerable praise and commercial success. Her fourth novel, “Hunting and Gathering” (Riverhead Books, 2007), is filled ...

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People

HELEN KNOFLOCH

HELEN KNOFLOCH

Aug. 14, 1920 – Feb.12, 2015

Resident of Cupertino

Helen Knofloch, 94, loving wife and devoted mother passed away on Feb. 12th. She was born in Vienna, Austria and moved to Los Altos in 1949, where she met Andy, the love of her life. They resided...

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Travel

Seoul of the city: Korean capital offers mix of old and new

Seoul of the city: Korean capital offers mix of old and new


Ramya Krishna/Special to the Town Crier
Seoul’s Cheonggyecheon public recreation space, above, features an elevated pedestrian bridge.

Seoul, South Korea, is a study in contrasts. Having grown quickly, the city is a mix of old and new.

Using...

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Stepping Out

TheatreWorks jumps into ‘Lake’

TheatreWorks jumps into ‘Lake’


Kevin Berne/Special to the Town Crier
Jason Bowen, from left, Adam Poss and Nilanjana Bose star in “The Lake Effect,” opening this weekend at the Lucie Stern Theatre in Palo Alto and running through March 29.

The TheatreWorks production ...

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Spiritual Life

Is your thought life sabotaging your spiritual journey?

My computer started having problems – there seemed to be some sort of malware running in the background. At first it was just annoying, then it began to slow down my computer, interfering with its basic operations. What is it doing? Why can...

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Magazine

Local events serve up family fun

Local events serve up family fun


Courtesy of Peninsula Youth Theatre
Peninsula Youth Theatre’s production of “Pecos Bill: A Tall Tale” is slated to open March 20 in Mountain View.

For families seeking a break from the daily routine, events abound this month and next in Los Alto...

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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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