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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First Street mail drop-boxes to get new home


Photo By: Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Photo Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier The city may soon relocate the five U.S. Postal Service collection boxes on First Street to a pair of downtown parking plaza sites. The boxes receive 2,000 pieces of mail daily.

The five U.S. Postal Service drive-thru collection boxes along First Street will soon have new homes. Exactly where, however, remains to be seen.

The Los Altos City Council June 25 directed the Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Commission to review the $9,000 proposal to relocate four of the five mailboxes – currently across the road from the former post office site on First Street – to two downtown parking plazas.

The decision for review results from Los Altos Public Works Director Jim Gustafson’s explanation that the relocation of the mail collection area, accessed by motorists via a drive-thru lane on the First Street sidewalk, is needed as a safety measure. He said the area is likely to see increased pedestrian traffic following the First Street streetscape construction and additional projects, including Safeway, the 100 First St. condominium complex and the 400 Main St. mixed-use development.

“As First Street has progressed, a need has been identified to kind of ‘de-conflict’ the pedestrian-vehicle situation at the First Street array of mailboxes,” said Gustafson, who noted that the five boxes collectively receive approximately 2,000 pieces of mail daily.

A city staff report recommended that two of the boxes be relocated to the end of a drive aisle in Parking Plaza 2 near Second Street and two placed at the end of a drive aisle in Parking Plaza 3, behind Chase Bank near Third Street.

The second location, however, proved to be a point of contention. Councilwoman Megan Satterlee said the proposed Plaza 3 drop-off location offered limited vehicle access, noting that the aisle – and by extension, the mailboxes – could only be accessed by motorists via a plaza entrance at San Antonio Road near Main Street.

“I don’t think that (Plaza 3) location is going to provide the convenience that people expect,” she said. “I think there’s going to be a lot of complaints and disuse.”

Councilwoman Val Carpenter agreed, calling the Plaza 3 location “terrible,” while offering an alternative suggestion.

“You’ll be shocked to hear this – I’m actually willing to give up a parking place or two in order to achieve a location there,” she said. “I appreciate that staff has tried not to impact any of the current parking in that parking plaza, but I think that is an important aspect that we should have.”

Councilwoman Jeannie Bruins, meanwhile, questioned whether one of the proposed drop-box locations might be better situated in a parking plaza closer to State Street.

Gustafson told the Town Crier that the Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Commission would review the proposal later this summer. No date has been confirmed.

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