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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Residents protest flood-detention basin at Blach

Photo Fritz Wildmoser/Special To The Town Crier A group of residents opposed to the installation of Santa Clara Valley Water District flood basins gather at Blach Junior High, one of two local sites slated for the project. One protestor called the project a "colossal waste of taxpayer money."

Neighbors of Blach Junior High School in Los Altos turned out in force last week, hoping to sink the Santa Clara Valley Water District’s proposal to install a flood-detention basin on the school’s athletic fields.

The water district-sponsored Permanente Creek Flood Project design workshop, held at Blach Nov. 16, drew opponents protesting the district’s plan. The design proposes building a 10-foot-deep underground basin across 7.5 acres to collect runoff in the event of a “100-year flood,” a large-magnitude flood with a 1 percent chance of occurring every year.

Water district officials consider the basin a preventive, protective measure, but workshop attendees disagreed.

“This seems like a drastic measure,” said 60-year Los Altos resident Leona Peery, 85. “I think it’s overkill. If they kept the creek clean, it wouldn’t be as severe.” “We don’t need it,” another man shouted, drawing applause from the audience.

In 2000, voters passed Measure B – the Clean, Safe Creeks and Natural Flood Protection Plan – designed to improve water conditions and safeguard homes, schools and businesses for 15 years. The measure provides $32 million, available through 2015, for creek restoration and flood protection.

The project area includes nearly 11 miles of Permanente Creek, beginning in the foothills above Cupertino and continuing through Los Altos and Mountain View, designed to protect approximately 1,664 properties from a major flood, improve riparian habitat and provide opportunities for trails and other recreational uses.

The proposed designs have generated criticism from residents concerned with the disruptions that could result from the construction of the basin, as well as the installation of an 8-foot-wide, 4,000-foot-long pipe required to channel excess waterflow to the Cuesta Annex in Mountain View.

Many workshop participants complained of a lack of communication regarding the proposal.

A project of such magnitude is bound to have a huge impact on the community, according to water district engineer Afshin Rouhani, who answered questions from the audience.

“This type of project requires a lot more outreach than the typical,” because of the logistical measures that would be required, Rouhani said.

In exchange for constructing the flood basin, the water district has offered to install a new soccer field at Blach, made of artificial turf but at a depth of 10 feet.

“This is going to be a sunken pit, a bowl covered with turf. It will be hot,” said Los Altos resident Cathy Martina. “Sinking the field 10 feet is significant – I hope people realize that.” Blach faculty and Los Altos School District officials approve of the water district’s plan, according to Trustee Mark Goines.

“The staff is very excited about the improvement of quality and flood protection they will get,” Goines said. “Blach School incurred $250,000 worth of damage during a minor flood in 1984, and we are very concerned about that.”

After gathering input, water district officials are scheduled to present a revised schematic plan to the school district early next year. To proceed with a final design phase, the water district must secure a majority of votes from the five school district trustees.

For more information on the Permanente Creek Flood Protection Plan, visit www.valleywater.org.

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