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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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MV proceeds with own day worker ordinance

The city of Mountain View is in the process of enacting a no-solicitation ordinance aimed at the hundreds of day workers who have congregated for more than 10 years along or near El Camino Real and San Antonio Road.

A similar ordinance, already passed by the Los Altos council last July almost immediately forced the workers from the Los Altos side of El Camino to the Mountain View side. The Los Altos day worker ordinance, and one considered by Mountain View, forbids prospective employers to stop by the roadside and solicit work.

The laws are the result of years of complaints among Los Altos and Mountain View businesses and residents about large groups of day workers who stand on the roadside of El Camino Real, hoping to find work from people who drive by.

The Los Altos ordinance went into effect in September. Although the city could not prevent the workers from congregating on the sidewalks, a violation of their First Amendment right to assemble, it could restrict their ability to find work by making it more difficult for employers to stop and hire them. Thus far, Los Altos officials said the ordinance has been effective in keeping workers off Los Altos sidewalks.

"The ordinance was supposed to stop the vehicles and pedestrians from soliciting work in the right of way and it did exactly that," said Layne Long, Los Altos assistant to the city manager.

The Mountain View City Council's Neighborhoods Committee proposed a day worker ordinance similar to that of Los Altos at the Dec. 7 council meeting. The ordinance would designate El Camino Real as a no-stopping, no-parking zone from Showers Drive to San Antonio Road, would provide $6,000 for increased day worker-employer education, and would require more discussion on the possible use of city property for a day worker center.

Equally as important as the legal aspects of the ordinance are the city's plans to work with a local day worker center.

The St. Joseph The Worker Center located at El Camino and Jordan Avenue in Los Altos, tries to "help people become familiar with assimilating into our society. Through our center, (the workers) can learn the language, learn about health and learn basically how to be self-sufficient, which includes finding employment." said director Mary Martinez. "The city of Mountain View is excellent in bringing in workers and employers to our center."

A program under the St. Vincent de Paul society, the center provides both day-to-day and permanent job opportunities, health education, English as a second language classes, and emergency services. To increase the effectiveness of the center, Martinez hopes to raise community awareness. "The cities should try to educate the community more so that we can better utilize the center. If more employers and residents make use of the center, people will understand why it is there," she said.

As of now, according to Mountain View assistant city manager Alex Terrazas, the day worker issue has been referred to the Mountain View City Council Neighborhoods Committee. The Committee, which is currently made up of Councilmembers Sally Lieber, chairwoman, Michael Kasperzak, and Mary Lou Zoglin, will meet later this month to schedule a date for a second reading of the ordinance.

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