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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Settlement, tighter belt ahead for El Camino Hospital

Approving a higher budget of $480 million and construction to begin "as soon as possible," leaders of El Camino Hospital pushed the long-delayed replacement hospital project one step closer to completion last week. They are already poised for the next step: settling the lawsuit brought by Saratoga lawyer Aaron Katz.

"We're taking on a debt load we've not had," board Vice Chairman Dave Reeder said last week. "We can do it, but it won't be easy. … If we can't get a settlement in the Katz suit, ... it's back to the drawing board."

Katz challenged the $148 million bond measure overwhelmingly approved by voters in 2003 to partially finance a new hospital that would meet upgraded state seismic code. The bidding process and the construction start date have been delayed for months while the lawsuit has made its way slowly through the courts. The hospital cannot issue the general obligation bonds until the case is decided or settled. Katz, who owns property in Mountain View, wants election laws changed so that taxpayer-supported bond measures are voted on only by those who own land in the pertinent voting district, regardless of where those landowners live.

Hospital leaders hinted last week that a settlement may be reached soon - but not soon enough to avoid the need for several years of economizing in other areas to compensate for the expensive delay in replacing the outdated main hospital building.

Hospital and district boards met in closed sessions about the lawsuit last week but took no action. However, interim CEO and longtime CFO Marla Gularte stated in open session that the hospital is negotiating a settlement with Katz. Katz had no comment at press time.

Jon Friedenberg, vice president for strategy and external relations, later described the prospect of settling a case the hospital considers to have no merit as "odious." Why would hospital administrators pursue the settlement they deplore? Construction costs are shooting skyward while the case plods along.

"There's what you'd like to do and then there's what you need to do," Friedenberg said.

In last Wednesday's meeting, Reeder said, "We're going to have to tighten the belt. We're going to have to do it more efficiently, (but) we don't want to reduce staff."

Friedenberg said that whatever form the belt-tightening takes, "It's a longer-term challenge - it won't happen this year. It will occur over the next several years to enable us to afford the debt service the project will require."

He said, "One strategy we'll take a look at is to make sure we're getting the maximum efficiency from our technology, so we have more patients getting their procedures done in a certain amount of time. That's one of the hundreds of things we'll be looking at."

The West Valley-Mission Community College District settled its share of the suit for $60,000 in early December. The remaining combined lawsuit against the hospital, the Mountain View-

Whisman Elementary School District and the Campbell Union High School District is in the Sixth District Court of Appeals.

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