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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LA Forward explores San Brunos city plan


Photo By: Courtesy of City of San Bruno
Photo Courtesy Of City Of San Bruno Participants at a Los Altos Forward-sponsored meeting discussed San Bruno’s Transit Corridor, shown above on the city’s website, as a possibility for Los Altos.

The city of San Bruno’s new big-picture civic planning process could inspire Los Altos to follow suit – or at least that’s what some members of Los Altos Forward believe.

During an event last week organized by Los Altos Forward – the grassroots, nonprofit organization that promotes ways to increase downtown vibrancy – a group of local residents, including two former city mayors and three city councilmembers from Los Altos and Los Altos Hills, joined Los Altos Forward member Kim Cranston for a presentation on how San Bruno engaged stakeholders to create a roadmap for future development and growth in the city.

“Hopefully Los Altos will do something like (San Bruno’s plan) to engage the community in the visioning and planning process,” said Cranston, a downtown property owner and activist. “We can learn best practices from other communities to gather some DNA from those examples to figure out what is best for Los Altos.”

Aaron Aknin, former planner for the city of San Bruno, shared insight into how the city initiated its comprehensive general plan. In addition to securing an Environmental Impact Report and $500,000 from the city council for plans, the project leaders organized a steering committee and coordinated numerous workshops and design charettes to include residents in the process.

“As people saw that we were responding to their concerns, their buy-in increased,” Aknin noted.

Although building a critical mass of support for the city’s development plans was key, Aknin emphasized the importance of synchronization with economic reality. He said his team didn’t want to generate something that was never going to be built – a fear that stifles many stakeholders from investing in planning projects. As components of the overall plan, the San Bruno team developed design guidelines and zoning and transportation maps.

Cranston said the goal of the Los Altos Forward meeting was to prompt dialogue on how a community-driven plan could benefit Los Altos.

“If you don’t have an overall plan, you don’t know where you’re going,” he said. “Otherwise, we’re taking the Sarah Winchester approach to development … one block at a time, one room at a time.”

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