Mon07282014

News

Downtown green park pops up again in August

Downtown green park pops up again in August


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
The Third Street Green debuts Aug. 3 on the 300 block of State Street in downtown Los Altos.

Another temporary park is poised to pop up in downtown Los Altos this summer.

According to Brooke Ray Smith, community devel...

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Schools

MVLA rolls out laptop integration this fall

MVLA rolls out laptop integration this fall


Town Crier File Photo
Starting in the fall, daily use of laptops in the classroom will be standard operating procedure for students at Los Altos and Mountain View high schools as the Mountain View Los Altos Union High School District launches a pil...

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Community

Generations blend behind the scenes at 'Wizard of Oz'

Generations blend behind the scenes at 'Wizard of Oz'


Altos Youth Theatre and Los Altos Stage Company rehearse a scene from “The Wizard of Oz.” ELIZA RIDGEWAY/ TOWN CRIER

A massive troupe of young people and grownups gathered in Los Altos this summer to stage the latest iteration of a childhood sta...

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Sports

Football in July

Football in July


Town Crier file photo
Mountain View High’s Anthony Avery is among the nine local players slated to play in tonight’s Silicon Valley Youth Classic.

Tonight’s 40th annual Silicon Valley Youth Classic – also known as the Charlie...

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Comment

Pools should be included: Editorial

Los Altos residents should be receiving calls this week from city representatives conducting a survey to determine priorities for a revamped Hillview Community Center.

Notice that we did not say “civic center” – chastened by a lack of public support...

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Special Sections

Looking for life without lows, local diabetic tests artificial pancreas

Looking for life without lows, local diabetic tests artificial pancreas


Photo by Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Dr. Trang Ly, left, reviews blood sugar readings on a smartphone with Los Altos resident Tia Geri, right, and fellow participant Noa Simon during a closed-loop artificial pancreas study for Type 1 diabetics.
...

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Business

Palo Alto law firm coming to 400 Main

Palo Alto law firm coming to 400 Main


Ellie Van Houtte/ Town Crier
Longtime Palo Alto law firm Thoits, Love, Hershberger & McClean plans to open an office at 400 Main St. in Los Altos after construction is complete in November.

A longtime Palo Alto law firm plans to expand int...

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Books

"Frozen in Time" chronicles harrowing WWII rescue attempts


Many readers can’t resist a true-life adventure story, especially those that shine a spotlight on people who exhibit supreme courage in the face of adversity and end up surviving – or not – against the odds.

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People

RICHARD PATRICK BRENNAN

RICHARD PATRICK BRENNAN

Resident of Palo Alto

Richard Patrick Brennan, journalist, editor, author, adventurer, died at his Palo Alto home on July 4, 2014 at age 92. He led a full life, professionally and personally. He was born and raised in San Francisco, joined the Arm...

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Travel

Travel Tidbit: Ritz-Carlton, Lake Tahoe offers spa getaway

Travel Tidbit: Ritz-Carlton, Lake Tahoe offers spa getaway


Courtesy of Ritz-Carlton
The Ritz-Carlton in Lake Tahoe offers fall getaway packages that include spa treatments and yoga classes.

Fall in North Lake Tahoe boasts crisp mornings and opportunities to spend quality time in the mountains. Specially ...

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Stepping Out

PYT stages 'Shrek'

PYT stages 'Shrek'


Lyn Healy/Spotlight Moments Photography
Dana Cullinane plays Fiona in Peninsula Youth Theatre’s “Shrek The Musical.”

Peninsula Youth Theatre presents “Shrek The Musical” Saturday through Aug. 3 at the Mountain View Center for the Performing Arts...

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Spiritual Life

Foothills Congregational: 100 years and counting

Foothills Congregational: 100 years and counting


Courtesy of Carolyn Barnes
The newly built Los Altos church in 1914 featured a bell tower and an arched front window. Both continue as elements of the building as it stands today.

Foothills Congregational Church – the oldest church building in L...

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Magazine

Festival features fun for everyone

Festival features fun for everyone


TOWN CRIER FILE PHOTO
The Los Altos Arts & Wine Festival boasts more than 375 craft and arts booths.

This weekend’s 35th annual Los Altos Arts & Wine Festival promises to be jam-packed with fun activities for just about everyone. The eve...

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Parking pains: Main Street merchants take issue with enforcement during streetscape project


Photo By: Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Photo Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier Downtown merchants complain that San Antonio Road construction hurts business.

Two Main Street merchants say the San Antonio Road streetscape project has been bad for business.

Spot Pizza manager Jeff Gilmartin and Italian Delicatessen owner Tamara Sloan told the Town Crier that the ongoing construction project – located directly behind their respective businesses – is driving customers away because fewer parking spots are available near their shops.

Specifically, Gilmartin and Sloan noted that some customers have endured long searches in Plaza 3 and on nearby streets. Prior to the start of construction Jan. 7, city officials announced that approximately 50 spaces in the plaza would be unavailable during the 90-day project.

“We have a lot of people coming in for pickup orders who ask all the time, ‘What’s going on and when will it end?’” said Gilmartin, who added that the lack of parking has also impacted his pizza delivery drivers.

Making matters more difficult, he said, is that the city continues to enforce the plaza’s three-hour time limit, unlike some parking areas during the First Street streetscape construction in 2011-2012.

On that front, Gilmartin said one of his customers recently received a citation for double parking on Main Street “out of desperation.” He added that the customer circled the plaza and Main Street for several minutes in search of a space with no luck.

“I don’t think he’ll be back for pizza here,” said Gilmartin, who added that occasional construction-related closures of the plaza entrance closest to San Antonio Road and Main Street are hindering drivers.

“I think they should give a break to all of the customers,” he said.

Sloan added that the absence of spaces taken up by the streetscape project is causing a parking ripple effect in the plaza. Spots typically used by her employees prior to the project, she said, are now taken up by customers, and vice versa.

“My main concern is that I just don’t want my customers getting ticketed. It’s irritating, because they can’t find parking,” said Sloan, who stressed that on-site construction workers have been “awesome” in their interactions with merchants.

Los Altos Economic Development Manager Kathy Kleinbaum said she’s sympathetic to the merchants’ concerns but believes that relaxing parking enforcement might not be the solution.

She noted that regulations relaxed during First Street streetscape construction resulted in most spaces being occupied by anyone but customers.

“Employees ended up utilizing the closer and on-street spaces instead. … Time limits benefit customers because they ensure that the spots will turn over and become available,” said Kleinbaum, adding that she previously advised merchants to encourage their employees to park in less-impacted plazas.

Kleinbaum noted that the project, which she estimated would take another two months to complete, is simply forcing some – like nearby employees – to temporarily change their parking habits.

“I believe we have plenty of parking in the lots,” she said. “And I really strongly believe that if we suspend time limits, it’ll make it even more difficult for customers to park.”

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