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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Revered poet, novelist honored for life's work

Los Altos resident Janet Lewis has written novels and poetry. But she is not a poetess.

"It's horrible to call anyone a poetess. You're a poet, a writer or a novelist," she said.

"I was a poet." She paused. "Hell, I was a novelist."

Janet Lewis is 96.

We sat together, recently, and talked in the living room of her Los Altos Spanish-style stucco cottage where she has lived and loved and worked since 1934.

Saturday she is being honored at a signing of one of her poems, "A Celebration Morning Devotion," 1 to 3 p.m. at the Atherton Gallery in Menlo Park.

San Francisco artist Elaine Badgley/Arnoux created an etching of Lewis. The etchings (75 in a limited edition) and the poem have been published by Auroboro Press and will be donated to the Rare Books Collection of the Library of Congress, Stanford Library, and the San Francisco New Public Library.

Lewis is "well known for her clarity and her crispness," said Sally Nash Pera, a friend of Lewis. She is probably best known for her novel, "The Wife of Martin Guerre," published in 1941, and written in her house on West Portola Avenue.

"I did most of it in this room," Lewis said, as she looked around.

An Oriental rug covers some of the 1-inch oak strips in the hardwood floor. Floor-to-ceiling bookshelves fill the walls.

She and her husband, Yvor Winters, a poet and critic, married in 1926 and came to this area for Winters to complete his doctorate at Stanford. When he joined the English Department there, they bought their home is Los Altos.

"Palo Alto couldn't take us in because we usually had more than two dogs. We had very fine Airedales, show dogs. And we liked to keep goats, chickens, rabbits and cats."

Lewis wrote more novels than poetry, and her first work was published while she was still in college. Later, her novel, "The Invasion," was published in 1931. "I had a baby right in the middle of (writing) it. Once a novel is up and running, it's easier to stay with it. It's harder to start one."

She said she wrote two to three hours every day on a typewriter. Her Martin Guerre manuscript was turned down as being "unlikely, improbable and hard to believe." Since then it has been published in England by Penguin and translated into French.

"The original story about Martin Guerre was real," Lewis said. "I fictionalized it, and told it from the point of view of a woman."

The movie, "The Return of Martin Guere," is based upon the same story she used in her book. "I couldn't copyright the story, just my book."

In the 1960s Lewis taught writing at Stanford in the creative writing department. Her husband died in 1968. She continued teaching and writing.

Lewis has also written "The Ghost of Monsieur Scarron," "The Trial of Soren Qvist," two children's books and opera librettos.

"The exciting moments come when you're writing. They disappear so fast, melting into your work. The moment when you see a way through a tangle ahead of you, that's a very good moment."

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