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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City project proposes to coordinate directional signs


Photo By: Photo Courtesy City of Los Altos
Photo Photo Courtesy City Of Los Altos The city council is set to review a Wayfinding sign design concept that streamlines the look of directional signs throughout the city.

The Los Altos City Council is scheduled to review its project to streamline and unify the city’s directional and street signs.

According to Los Altos Economic Development Manager Kathy Kleinbaum, the council Jan. 8 will evaluate the city’s Wayfinding Sign design concept, reviewed by the Planning and Transportation Commission (PTC) in early December.

The project aimed to design a visually unifying look for the various directional signs throughout the city, especially those that lead visitors to key city destinations.

A city staff report on the project noted that the existing directional signs, developed over several decades, lacked “cohesion and are not comprehensive in nature.”

“The goal is to try to create a unified sign system to direct people to major destinations, including commercial districts and civic destinations,” Kleinbaum said.

The city’s Wayfinding Sign Task Force, appointed by the city council in May, and Explore Creative, a Sonoma-based graphic-design firm hired by the city, developed the proposed design. Task force members included representatives from the council, the Los Altos Village Association, the PTC, the Los Altos Chamber of Commerce and property owners from the city’s commercial districts.

According to the staff report, the signage program’s proposed design drew inspiration from the “rustic, yet modern nature of Los Altos.” Signs would include the use of reclaimed wood, black iron framing and stone bases with an off-white type and forest-green accent color scheme.

“We were looking for rustic materials with a clean, readable format,” Kleinbaum said. “You have to be able to read these signs traveling at 35 or 40 miles per hour.”

The unified look creates “general branding for the city so that people know they’re in Los Altos,” she said. “It helps direct visitors to key destinations along the most simple, direct routes.”

The project also has a practical purpose, Kleinbaum said. The task force identified the need to provide directional signs and entry markers for public parking in the downtown area and Loyola Corners.

“It’s something we’re lacking right now,” she said. “Other towns have signs directing patrons to off-street parking.”

Presently, Kleinbaum said, the placement of some directional signs prevents motorists from navigating to city destinations efficiently. The project calls for upgrading and replacing directional markers along the city’s major thoroughfares, including El Camino Real, San Antonio Road and Foothill Expressway.

The report specifically noted the need to replace the pair of identity markers for the civic center area, as well as the downtown identity sign in the flowered median at Main Street and Foothill Expressway.

If the council approves the design, a cost estimate must be determined before any timeline for implementation of the proposed signage can be scheduled.

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