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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Council approves PAMF building: Project receives thumbs-up despite size, impact


Photo By: Courtesy of PAMF
Photo Courtesy Of PAMF The Los Altos City Council approved plans for a Palo Alto Medical Foundation building on Altos Oaks Drive, despite objections from neighborhood residents.
By Diego Abeloos

The Los Altos City Council Dec. 11 unanimously approved the proposal to build a two-story Palo Alto Medical Foundation (PAMF) building on Altos Oaks Drive, despite some public reservations about its size.

The project at 715 Altos Oaks Drive calls for the construction of a 25-foot-tall, two-story structure totaling 8,785 square feet. The building would replace two existing single-story medical buildings. According to PAMF officials, the new building will serve as a plastic and cosmetic surgery center.

The project calls for setbacks ranging from 20 to 55 feet, 8-foot-tall standards with directional lighting in the building’s parking area and 37 parking spaces – eight more than required by city code.

A handful of nearby residents expressed concerns about the project, specifically that the proposed building was out of scale with the surrounding residential area. One resident told the council PAMF’s efforts to create a buffer for nearby neighborhood homes with its 20- to 55-foot setbacks was “like moving an elephant in a bathtub.”

“This building does not look anything like any of the other buildings in that area,” nearby resident Teresa Morris said. “It doesn’t look like any of the other buildings on Altos Oaks, it doesn’t look like any of the residential buildings that are behind it, and it doesn’t look like the houses on Golden (Way).”

Others had privacy concerns and pointed to the expected increase in traffic the building’s occupants and patients would have on city streets.

Linda Slattery, a Brentwood Place resident, told the council she feared the project would set a precedent for other property owners in the neighborhood to build bigger structures in the future.

“As buildings age in that area, there’s going to be the likelihood that (property owners) are going to want to have megabuildings like this built into that area,” she said.

Prior to casting her vote, Councilwoman Val Carpenter said that while she recognized the residents’ concerns, she found no reason to vote against the project, noting that it met the city’s Office-Administrative (OA-1) district zoning code requirements.

City staff noted during the council discussion that the building was subject to the same floor-area ratio – 35 percent – as residential structures in the OA-1 district.

“There’s no question this is a much larger building in terms of its mass than what existed there before,” Carpenter said. “This does set a new trend. It’s much larger and much taller than any of the other buildings currently in that area, although it is (designed) to code.”

Councilwoman Jan Pepper later added that she was “a little bothered by the scale (of the building), too.”

“If it meets our zoning requirements, how can we deny it, other than to say, ‘Well, it’s too big,’” Pepper said. “But that’s what we allow.”

Councilwoman Jeannie Bruins, however, said she was inclined to support the proposal, noting that reactions to the project reminded her of public concerns over the new Packard Foundation building at 343 Second St.

“There was a similar type of reaction to some of it, and I think we all agree that it’s a beautiful building that’s out there,” Bruins said of the Packard headquarters. “I have a similar inclination that this will be that as well.”

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