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...

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Schools

Santa Rita students put on Kranky Kids Radio Show

Santa Rita students put on Kranky Kids Radio Show


Traci Newell/ Town Crier
Neighborhood volunteer Lishka DeVoss, center, introduces members of Santa Rita School’s Kranky Kids Radio Club to their interviewee last week. The students star in the Kranky Kids Radio Show, which airs Fridays on KZSU.
...

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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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Sports

Eagles make school history

Eagles make school history

Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
The Los Altos High School Eagles defeated Santa Clara High School Tuesday to advance to the Central Coast Section basketball finals Saturday.

The Eagles are headed where no Los Altos High boys basketball team has gone...

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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

Alicia Castro/Town Crier
Robert Showen, above, the Silicon Valley Intellectual Property Lawyers Association’s Inventor of the Year, began researching his ShotSpotter technology in his Los Altos home. Sensors are placed around a city, below, and fou...

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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

JACK JOSEPH CRANE

JACK JOSEPH CRANE

Long time Los Altos resident, Jack Joseph Crane, loving husband and devoted father of two children, passed away peacefully at the Terraces in Los Altos, Saturday, February 21, 2015. He was 95 years of age. Jack was born on June 22, 1919. He is prec...

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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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Letters to the Editor

Put Rosita vehicle trips in perspective

Roy Presley

At a public hearing on Nov. 30, the city council will consider approving the Final Environmental Impact Report for the swimming pool complex proposed for

Rosita Park. This report is of very serious concern to almost everyone living in the Rosita neighborhood and should be of concern to all residents of Los Altos. The report concludes that increasing the vehicle trips per day on Rosita Avenue to as high as 2,500 per day does not represent a significant impact upon the neighborhood.

If the city council does indeed approve an allowable 2,500 vehicle trips per day on Rosita Avenue, a residential street, then a precedent will have been established for any other residential street in Los Altos. Definition of the acceptable traffic level for residential streets is supposedly in the General Plan, but in fact it is buried in a background report and it is doubtful the council even knew of its contents when they approved the General Plan.

Public hearings to specifically establish allowable traffic levels on Los Altos streets have not been held. We should all ask ourselves, Is this what we want for Los Altos?

Let's put 2,500 vehicle trips per day in perspective. Over a 12-hour period, that averages out to a car passing a residence on a residential street every 17 seconds. With normal traffic flow, there would be long periods of time when residents could not pull out of their driveways. In the case of the swimming pool at the end of Rosita Avenue, there is a real possibility that lines of 100 or more cars will be trying to enter and exit the site at the same time. A line of 100 cars is about half a mile long. The congestion at intersections in a residential neighborhood will be significant, and perhaps a threat to public safety. Is this what we all want for our residential neighborhoods in Los Altos? If not, then we must all make our voices heard before the city council considers approving the Environmental Impact Report for the swimming pool complex at Rosita Park.

Thanks to Los Altos emergency personnel

Pat Christofferson

At 8 a.m. on Nov. 6, I called 911 because of a malfunctioning wall heater. I told the dispatcher that I didn't know whether it was an emergency or not, but the dispatcher asked, "Are you physically able to get out of the house?" I was, and she told me to get out of the house immediately and wait for help.

First on the scene was Officer Beveridge of the Los Altos Police Department. Shortly afterward, the firetruck arrived with three firemen. After they checked the heater, checked for gas leaks and pronounced everything OK, I started to apologize for having called 911. They told me, "Don't apologize. You did the right thing by calling us."

I have lived in Los Altos for 48 years, and I still love living here. We should all be grateful - I know I am - for the professional, efficient personnel who serve our community. Thanks, guys!

Problems with final Rosita EIR

Eric Lutkin

I am writing regarding the Final Environmental Impact Report (FEIR) for the proposed aquatic center at Rosita Park that City Council will review on Nov. 30. I believe that Los Altos does need access to community swimming and hope that a compromise on location, size and operating conditions of a swimming pool can be reached. The current two-pool proposal is not right for either the immediate neighborhood or the city.

I see the following specific problems with the FEIR. First, it asserts that the proposed Rosita Park site is the best site for the proposed center.

I would maintain not only is Rosita Park not the best site but that none of the sites discussed on pages 294 and 295 (the two foldout pages of the report) are appropriate for such a complex. These two pages provide telling evidence of the unsuitability of any of these locations for such a complex in terms of the five criteria listed for selection (reasonable access, least impact on neighborhood, provide adequate parking, least net impact on park/area and meets present and future aquatic needs). None of the locations scores more than two "good" ratings, with the rest of the ratings being either fair or poor. The Rosita Park location scores particularly poorly, with only one "good," two "fair" and two "poor". The Hillview Community Center, among others, has better scores with two "good," two "fair" and one "poor."

I would also suggest that the apricot orchard at the civic center would be a more viable location for this complex. While it may sadden some to lose a small link to the agricultural past of the community the city council could convert this area to an alternative use with a simple vote.

Second, this decision would set a precedent that at least 2,260 car trips per day are acceptable on all residential streets in Los Altos.

The assertion of this report is that physical capacity will be a major determinant of the amount of traffic a street can bear. This report will establish a floor of 2,260 car trips per day for all residential streets in Los Altos. As other issues come before council the issue of traffic may become much less relevant unless total traffic exceeds 2,260 car trips per day, much to the consternation of people living on quiet residential streets.

Given these major problems I strongly urge the city not to proceed with this bad project for both the Rosita Park neighborhood and Los Altos.

Clarke's closes - a sad day

Clay and Gloria Buckley

It's a sad day in Los Altos. Clarke's Charcoal Broiler restaurant at Rancho Shopping Center has closed its doors due to bankruptcy. Another Los Altos dining place has gone out of business because of a lack of customers.

For years, we have dined there because of great food, charm and atmosphere for children of young parents and specials for seniors.

Clarke's was a meeting place for Sunday brunch after attending services across the expressway. I remember the summer luncheons under the umbrellas on the patio with lots of ice tea.

Clarke's participated in all the Rancho events, such as the pancake breakfast. We loved it and will miss it.

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