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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In recognition of unsung heroes: Editor’s Notebook

The continual deadlines of a newspaper, even one publishing once a week, have many of us rushing from one assignment or meeting to another. In such an environment, we don’t allow ourselves enough opportunity to take a step back and appreciate what excellent contributors we have at the Town Crier.

We often refer to ourselves as a community newspaper. What is that? To me, it means hyperlocal coverage. It also means a newspaper that belongs to the community. The Town Crier, 65 years strong, has been and will continue to be successful, not because of any one publisher or editor, but because of the high level of interest and involvement by those who read it.

Our readers are part owners, the way I see it. They feel entitled to use our pages for items that are important to them. From wedding announcements to stories about service clubs offering scholarships, we’re here to help them spread the message.

Then there are our regular contributors – those who write columns, take photos, draw comics or offer time to help with whatever the needs are. We’ve come to expect them to show up like clockwork with another contribution – much of the time free of charge – as if they were required to do so.

I’m taking the time here to say thank you to them all. The creativity of their work and the commitment involved leave me appreciative beyond words. To all of you, and you know who you are, you make the Town Crier better than it otherwise would be. Your work is not taken for granted.

The names of regular contributors over the nearly 20 years I’ve been here are too numerous to mention in this space. That said, I feel the need to name names.

Let’s start with our copy editors, the unsung heroes often considered the backbone of newspapers. Colleen Schick and Joan Garvin have been with us for several years, tirelessly dedicated to getting things right. Our paper has improved a thousandfold with their presence.

I also salute our op-ed columnists – the names you see atop page 9. For more than a decade now, Kerri Havnen Gordon and Grace Acosta have offered very intelligent insights on their lives and the world around them. Ditto for relative newcomers Jackie Madden Haugh and Allyson Johnson. And a thank you to former columnist Charlotte Jarmy, whose “Reflections” ran for approximately 15 years.

Young Girl and Boy Scouts taking tours of our paper often say the Comics & Puzzles Page is their favorite. That’s thanks in part to three local comic-strip creators – Matt Cuson, Matt Taylor and Bob Garrow – who consistently brighten our day with their work.

Our special sections are special in part because of people who are knowledgeable and passionate about subjects – gardening (Tanya Kucak), cars (Gary Anderson), books (Nancy Dickenson) – and impart their expertise regularly.

Some just show up in the office and ask what they can do to help. Thank you Zoe Morgan, Renny Glasner, Tamara Hahn, Charles So and a host of other interns from years gone by.

Two gentlemen need special mention: One is the late Richard Billings, who regularly showed up for seven years to type up messy, handwritten letters to the editor or three-paragraph briefs about upcoming events. He never received a byline, but that’s not why he was here – he just wanted to keep busy. We also enjoyed singing in the office together, much to the chagrin of our co-workers.

And what can be said about Clyde Noel that hasn’t already been said?

For the better part of nearly 20 years, he’s been here as a volunteer, flagging down passersby for our Sidewalk Interviews (at left) and writing and taking photos on a wide range of events. He, too, offers his financial expertise in a regular column for our business section.

A few other contributors from the past deserve a special shout-out: Carol Watts and the late Richard Campbell, who spent countless hours getting our early websites up and running, also free of charge; the late Lee Lynch, a former Los Altos mayor who showed up dutifully once a week for volunteer work; and the late Mary Cristy, whose beautifully written columns and sentiments graced this paper for 50 years. These are rare, giving people who are truly missed.

These contributors – and many, many others, to whom I apologize for not including – are what make this paper special. They donate their time to and demonstrate their passion for the community through their local newspaper.

Thank you, contributors, past and present. You keep our “little guy” smiling.

Bruce Barton is editor-in-chief of the Town Crier.

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