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 add ...

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Letters to the Editor

LAH needs board for architectural review

I appreciated the Town Crier’s article on the Los Altos Hills planning process (“LAH planning permits anything but fast track,” July 25).

I am one of the neighbors who objected to the structure on Sunset Drive and would like to offer a neighbor’s viewpoint that is different from what was communicated in the article. The article said the applicant’s design fulfilled town ordinances; these are the numerical and mathematical formulas needed to gain approval.

However, the clarification that should really be in the article is the following. The city council on the night of the hearing indicated that this project would probably not have been approved if there had been an architectural review board. This house does not fit the spirit and intent of any of the Los Altos Hills planning guidelines regarding size, placement of structures and following the natural grade of the lot. But the council approved it anyway because the members felt bad for the applicant.

This is really a terrible situation. The neighbors were correct in their objection to the project as it pertains to the spirit and intent of guidelines, yet the council approved it anyway. Why did the council not feel bad for the neighbors who have lived there for many years? They felt bad for the applicant who spent 18 months there, but not for the longtime residents of the neighborhood.

So, in effect, the applicant gets away with building something that does not merit being built in the neighborhood. And the neighborhood will be permanently left with a structure that didn’t make sense to build.

I certainly appreciate Councilman Jean Mordo’s recommendation to consider establishing an architectural review board. I am very hopeful that something like this is implemented. It’s too late for our neighborhood, but maybe it will help make for a better process for all involved in future developments.

Mark Solle

Los Altos Hills

How would 50-year plan for Los Altos look?

A comprehensive 50-year plan for Los Altos would avoid the risk of solving one problem and adversely affecting others. If you start with the primary focus that dual-income families with school-age children and the 50+ individuals are two primary constituencies, then what follows is one alternative.

Schools: Top-performing schools is a core value for Los Altos and what attracts young families. The city needs to work aggressively with the school district to turn Hillview into a school.

50+: A 50+ Center/Campus should be built that incorporates social, intellectual and educational opportunities for a more vibrant aging sector.

Library: Build a new library downtown (e.g., Third Street between Main and State streets). There is a lot of energy right now to make Los Altos a town people want to go to shop, eat and hang out. More than 500,000 people enter the library each year.

Parking: The city should issue municipal bonds to build two parking structures between Main and State. A downtown library solves the library parking issue, and as developers expand properties, payments for additional required parking could eventually eliminate this low-cost debt.

David Smith

Los Altos

Packard Foundation sorry for wrong info

In a July 11 Letter to the Editor (“Public turned away from Packard open house”), Lou Wolner expressed his concern about not being given access to The David and Lucile Packard Foundation’s new building when he arrived the afternoon of June 29.

Wolner was apparently given incorrect information from someone at the foundation, and we regret that error.

However, all other promotion efforts for the community tours contained correct information.

The correct information: We offered tours to the community 9-10:30 a.m. June 29, and we hosted more than 100 people who preregistered for those tours. On the afternoon of June 29, the foundation hosted a private ribbon-cutting ceremony primarily for foundation leadership and our employees. Wolner unfortunately appeared for the ribbon-cutting ceremony instead of registering for the tours.

We are delighted by the interest in our new building shown by individuals like Wolner, and we are making our best efforts to accommodate the demand and interest from the community in touring the inside.

In the meantime, we appreciate people’s patience and understanding as we continue to focus on this and on supporting our many grantees both near and far.

Minna Jung

Communications director

The David and Lucile Packard Foundation

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