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News

Street crack-sealing project begins Monday, May 4

The City of Los Altos is beginning a city-wide street crack-sealing project on Monday (May 4).

City officials said the traffic impact for this project will be minimal. No streets will be closed and vehicles can resume normal traffic flow shortly aft...

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Schools

Homestead students use projects  to solve environmental problems

Homestead students use projects to solve environmental problems


Alisha Parikh/Special to the Town Crier
Homestead High School junior Maya Dhar, a Los Altos resident, left, and classmate Carolyn MacDonald support the school’s AP Environmental Science classes at the Arbor Day Festival April 23.

As summer app...

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Community

CHAC appoints new leader

CHAC appoints new leader

Naomi Nakano-Matsumoto, LCSW, has been named the new executive director of the Community Health Awareness Council (CHAC). A seasoned nonprofit leader, Nakano-Matsumoto is scheduled to assume duties July 1. She takes over for outgoing executive direct...

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Sports

St. Francis swimmers shine

St. Francis swimmers shine


Megan V. Winslow/Town Crier
St. Francis High’s Benjamin Ho competes against Sacred Heart Cathedral Thursday. The junior swam on all three victorious relays at the home meet, which the Lancers won easily.

Flexing its power in the pool, host St....

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Comment

Halsey House deserves preservation: Other Voices

Halsey House deserves preservation: Other Voices


Many contributing supporters to the Friends of Historic Redwood Grove believe that the Halsey House, designated a historic landmark by the Los Altos City Council in 1981, deserves to be saved and renovated for adapted use by the community.

Set in ...

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Special Sections

Sneaky shots: A photographer’s guide to capturing the proposal

Sneaky shots: A photographer’s guide to capturing the proposal


Elliott Burr/Special to the Town Crier
A stealthy photographer scouts locations ahead of time to find not just a place to perch, but also the ideal position for the subjects.

It’s showtime.

You’re about to ask the person in front of...

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Business

Pharmaca celebrates grand opening over weekend

Pharmaca celebrates grand opening over weekend


Megan V. Winslow/Town Crier
Pharmaca is coming to 400 Main St. with a grand-opening celebration scheduled Saturday and Sunday.

If natural health and beauty products are your cup of tea, expect to find them – and hot tea – this weekend at the gran...

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Books

People

JANE BUTTERFIELD PRINGLE LYND

JANE BUTTERFIELD PRINGLE LYND

October 30, 1924 - April 8, 2015

Jane Butterfield Pringle Lynd, daughter to Liebert and Elise Butterfield of San Francisco, passed away quietly at her home in Palo Alto surrounded by her family, following a short illness. Jane was a proud third ge...

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Travel

Cuba libre: Local residents join mad rush of travelers

Cuba libre: Local residents join mad rush of travelers


Natalie Elefant/Special to the Town Crier
Los Altos resident Natalie Elefant noted the vibrant street performances as a traveler in Cuba.

The U.S. restored diplomatic relations with Cuba late last year, enabling Americans to import $100 worth of cig...

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Stepping Out

'Birds' landing in Mtn. View

'Birds' landing in Mtn. View


Ray Renati/Special to the Town Crier
The Pear Avenue Theatre production of Paul Braverman’s “Birds of a Feather” stars Troy Johnson as mafia boss Sean Kineen, left, and Diane Tasca as private eye Frankie Payne.

Pear Avenue Theatre’s world premi...

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Spiritual Life

Magazine

Practice prudent pruning: Maintaining manzanita, ceanothus and toyon

Practice prudent pruning: Maintaining manzanita, ceanothus and toyon


tanya kucak/Special to the Town Crier
Shrub manzanitas are known for their sinuous mahogany trunks and branches. If the foliage hides the bark, prune selectively to open the center so that the bark is visible year-round. This Montara manzanita is ...

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Inside Mountain View

Up to the challenge: Local leaders unite to help at-risk youth

Up to the challenge: Local leaders unite to help at-risk youth


Courtesy of Challenge Team
Jeanette Freiberg, bottom of pile, has fun with family members. The Challenge Team named Freiberg, a student at Mountain View High School, its 2015 Youth Champion.

There’s an ongoing joke among members of the Challenge...

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The quest to preserve Immigrant House


Photo By: Photos by Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Photo Photos By Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier

Mary Kay Marinovich is on a mission to preserve Mountain View’s circa-1880s Immigrant House.

Mary Kay Marinovich proves the reliability of that old adage that one person can make a big difference.

The Los Altos resident has successfully spearheaded the effort to preserve a small, inconspicuous structure in downtown Mountain View that once housed immigrant families in the city’s early days.

Marinovich is inspired by personal history. Her family members from Croatia once lived in what is called “Immigrant House” at 166 Bryant St.

She remembers a friend of hers renting the house for $96 a month in the 1970s.

“We did Shakespeare and wrote plays here,” Marinovich said, standing in the living room. “The house has got a great vibe.”

Marinovich began her quest to preserve Immigrant House when she learned in July that developer Roger Burnell’s application to construct a 21,750-square-foot office building on the site met with Mountain View City Council approval.

Faced with losing the source of her memories, Marinovich pulled out all the stops. She led a petition drive, conducted face-to-face meetings with councilmembers and even wrote and performed a song about the house for a YouTube video (www.youtube.com/watch?v=AySFowHKnxA).

The city council approved preserving the building in October. Members OK’d a plan Jan. 29 that would fund $32,000 to move the 400-square-foot structure, built in the 1880s, to the city’s Municipal Operations Center on Whisman Road for no more than three years. The time would give city officials an opportunity to decide where to relocate the building permanently.

Burnell said his firm, Arnell Enterprises Inc., is taking charge of the move, scheduled for Sunday.

“We are contributing toward the engineering, (hazardous materials) remediation, management, administration and partial moving costs, and then also posting up the remainder of the funds for the balance until the city catches up and reimburses us,” he said. “Doing this saves much time, and almost two-thirds of what it would cost (the city), when one compares the bids.”

Burnell plans to begin construction on his project next month and finish the basic building by the end of October.

The search for a new site

A host of new locations for Immigrant House have been discussed, including placement at city-owned lots along Shoreline Boulevard, parkland around police headquarters, Pioneer Park and Eagle Park. Supporters said the house could be used for a variety of purposes, including as a small museum or meeting room.

“Preserving this little house will afford the opportunity for students and other interested parties to experience firsthand the culture and lifestyle of immigrant groups and its laborers who helped to settle and cultivate the Santa Clara Valley,” Marinovich wrote. “We save the homes of the wealthy – let’s save the home of the people who created them.”

Immigrant House shares its site with other small, decaying structures, including the 1,100-square-foot Pearson House, also from the 1880s era (see page 45). Pending unforeseen developments, the Pearson House and remaining structures will be demolished this month.

The next challenge for Marinovich is fundraising to restore the house. She said she has two years to raise the $100,000 needed for renovation work. She is partnering with members of the Old Mountain View Neighborhood Association, which is applying for a 501(c)(3) designation to allow fundraising events.

In the meantime, Marinovich is mixing and mingling. She joined the Mountain View Kiwanis Club, which donated $1,000 to the cause. She’s considering fundraising events and contacting key people in town for advice and guidance.

The structure has no asbestos or lead-paint problems that plague many old structures, Marinovich said, praising the sturdy redwood used for its construction.

“I keep thinking, 30 years from now, children can see this structure,” she said. “Let’s show what it looked like to the first people who came here.”

For more information on Immigrant House, email Marinovich at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

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