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 add ...

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Sights, songs for holidays

Downtown celebrations filled with lights, harmonies, people

Yes, Santa, there is a Los Altos. The largest crowd in the 19-year history of the Festival of Lights Parade came out to see you. More than 30,000 kids and grown-ups lined Main and State streets trying to catch a quick glimpse of Santa Claus in his 50-foot high sleigh.

On the beautiful crisp and clear evening, people started to claim their spots on the sidewalk by spreading their blankets before 4:30 p.m. For the next two and a half hours before the parade began at 7 p.m., people walked around sipping hot refreshments or standing on street corners chatting with neighbors.

Older children on inline skates cruised up and down the traffic-free streets, while younger children tossed light plastic rainbow ropes into the air. Dec. 1 was a fun night for everybody.

Denise and Richard Dauler and their two children, Kolby and Christine, have missed only two Festival of Lights Parades in the last 17 years. They live in Palo Alto, but come here so the kids can see Santa. Denise said the parade is "so much bigger this year than in prior years. It's a sight to see."

The parade comprises more than 80 units - bands, floats, marching groups. High School bands from Los Altos, St. Francis, Mountain View, Fremont and Homestead helped launch the holiday season by playing and singing Christmas songs while they marched. Also in the parade supplying Christmas songs, was a community band, "the Spirit of Sunnyvale."

"More than 100 volunteers help make this parade a success," said Conrad Heintzelman, Festival of Lights president. "One of the highlights are the many costumes volunteers wear with larger-than-life animal heads. You'll never guess who's in this big bear suit."

Joanna Medin, a south Los Altos resident, said that "When we moved here several years ago, the first thing we saw before we bought a house was the Festival of Lights Parade. When I noticed all the local organizations marching in the parade, I told my husband, 'this is for us, this is where I want to live.'"

The holiday season in the village started the previous Friday at 6 p.m. in the Community Plaza with the annual lighting of the Rotary Tree. Opening Night in the Village featured the introduction of the Town Choir. Directed by Harriet Howell, the mass chorus of more than 100 singers from local churches and the community sang Christmas songs for more than an hour, climaxed with the Hallelujah Chorus when the lights came on.

After the concert, the Town Choir kept the streets alive with the sound of music by breaking up into groups to sing Christmas songs at several intersections throughout town. A bell choir performed on the Town Crier balcony.

Joan Cattermole lives in San Carlos with her family and her friends told her how wonderful the Festival of Lights Parade is each year. So she and a group of friends meet here each year at the same spot and look forward to the evening because it's a social event for their entire group.

Crystal Kennedy and Taryn Moody are Los Altos High School cheerleaders who march in the parade. "It's neat for all the families to come out and watch the parade," Kennedy said. "But when you're marching, it's fun watching all the little kids looking at you and having fun."

The Festival of Lights Parade started in 1977 as the brainchild of Marion Jackston and Hope Higbee. They convinced the Los Altos Village Association to stage the parade after Thanksgiving to get the people in the holiday spirit. Starting with a few costumed characters out of fairy tale books, tiny lights and a jolly Santa Claus, the parade turned into one of the most popular downtown events of the year. Santa Claus remain in town for the annual "Breakfast with Santa" events Dec. 14 and 21 at the Los Altos Bar and Grill to entertain the kids.

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