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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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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