Fri04182014

News

City chips in $7,000 for SFMOMA installation

City chips in $7,000 for SFMOMA installation


Town Crier File Photo
The Los Altos City Council earmarked $7,000 for the purchase of Chris Johanson’s artwork.

The city of Los Altos will contribute $7,000 toward the purchase of a $28,000 art installation featured in the San Francisco Museum...

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Schools

LASD students celebrate service learning

LASD students celebrate service learning


Courtesy of Sandra McGonagle
We Day, held March 26 at Oracle Arena in Oakland, exhorts students in the Los Altos School District to effect positive change.

More than 150 Los Altos School District student leaders joined 16,000 Bay Area students to ce...

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Community

Film career launches with Cannes screening

Film career launches with Cannes screening


Courtesy of Zachary Ready
Los Altos native Zachary Ready, front left, and co-director Andrew Cathey, right, celebrate their Campus MovieFest awards.

After learning the art of filmmaking as a child in the front yard of his family’s Los Altos home...

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Sports

Sports on the Side

Pathways Run/Walk slated May 10 in Hills

The 13th annual Pathways Run/Walk is scheduled 9 a.m. May 10 at Westwind Community Barn, 27210 Altamont Road, Los Altos Hills. The course wends through Byrne Preserve and onto the Los Altos Hills Pathways sys...

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Comment

Now is the time to expand parking: Editorial

Just a few short years ago, vacancies dotted downtown Los Altos. Property owners had a hard time attracting businesses because there was a shortage of customers. That is no longer true. Now, the cry is: Where are my customers going to park?

The city...

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Special Sections

Epicurean's Mary Clark Bartlett: Serving sustainability

Epicurean's Mary Clark Bartlett: Serving sustainability


Courtesy of Michael McTighe
Mary Clark Bartlett is founder and CEO of Los Altos-based Epicurean Group.

Labels such as “healthy,” “organic” and “green” are rarely used to describe the meals served in most corporate cafes in Silicon Valley. But on...

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Business

Local realtor honored for volunteer efforts

Local realtor honored for volunteer efforts


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Coldwell Banker recently recognized realtor Kim Copher, right, for her philanthropic efforts. Copher and colleague Alan Russell, left, volunteer at Reach Potential Movement, where they collect books for its Bookshelf in ...

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Books

Local Author Spotlight

In an effort to support authors from Los Altos, Los Altos Hills and Mountain View, many self-published, Book Buzz periodically spotlights their books and offers information on where to purchase them. Local authors are encouraged to submit brief summa...

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People

Noteworthy

RotaCare honors local volunteer

RotaCare Bay Area honored Jim Cochran of the RotaCare Mountain View Free Medical Clinic with the Outstanding Clinic Volunteer Award April 10 for his commitment to RotaCare’s mission of providing free medical care to t...

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Travel

Sausalito: Explore the historical city with world-class views

Sausalito: Explore the historical city with world-class views


Eren Göknar/ Special to the Town Crier
Sausalito offers panoramic views of the San Francisco Bay. A number of companies schedule boat tours that sail past Angel Island and Alcatraz.

On a clear day, Sausalito offers spectacular views of the San Franc...

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Stepping Out

Western Ballet performs this weekend  at Smithwick Theatre in Los Altos Hills

Western Ballet performs this weekend at Smithwick Theatre in Los Altos Hills


Courtesy of Alexi Zubiria
Western Ballet’s “La Fille Mal Gardée” features Alison Share and Maykel Solas. The production runs Friday and Saturday at Foothill College

Western Ballet is slated to perform “La Fille Mal GardéeR...

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Spiritual Life

Magazine

A yoga class a day keeps the stress away

A yoga class a day keeps the stress away


Van Houtte/Town Crier Yoga of Los Altos hosts a variety of classes, including Strong Flow Vinyasa, above, taught by Doron Hanoch. Yin Yoga instructor Janya Wongsopa guides a student in the practice, below.

It’s nearly 9 a.m. on a Monday mornin...

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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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