Tue07292014

News

LASD, BCS boards finalize 5-year agreement

LASD, BCS boards finalize 5-year agreement

Bullis Charter School board members unanimously approved a five-year agreement with the Los Altos School District just before midnight Monday. The agreement, also unanimously approved by LASD trustees earlier in the evening, outlines facilities uses ...

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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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Adios Estrellita’s?: Longtime Mexican restaurant shuts its doors – at least for now


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

After more than five decades in Los Altos, Estrellita’s Mexican Restaurant shuttered operations last week, the result of rising rent. Owner Russell Clark said the closure could be temporary if a new ownership group can renegotiate the lease.

The end may be in sight for a restaurant that has called Los Altos home for more than 50 years.

Estrellita’s Mexican Restaurant owner Russell Clark told the Town Crier that he closed the doors of his 55-year-old business – perhaps for good – last week after struggling financially for more than a year. Clark said the property that housed his restaurant shifted to new ownership last year, resulting in his monthly rent nearly tripling to $9,000.

Soon after, he began to fall behind on rent payments, leading to a since-settled lawsuit. On March 6, however, he received an eviction notice, forcing him to close the Mexican restaurant on San Antonio Road, which has been owned by his family since the late 1970s.

“If I really start thinking about it, it would just be too much,” Clark said, noting the history of the restaurant, open since 1958.

Clark’s Aunt Corlay purchased the business from its founders, the Bustamante family, in 1978. His mother, Beatrice, served as the restaurant’s manager for 14 years before Clark purchased the business from his aunt in 2003.

Still, Clark said, all hope is not lost. He recently reached an agreement to sell the business to an ownership group that includes a family member. The sale, however, hinges on the group’s coming to terms on a new lease, which would allow the restaurant to reopen in the near future.

“I’ve been trying to work this out for a year now,” he said of his financial issues, adding that he’s been trying to sell the business “in earnest” for the past three months.

Clark, 42, said he also considered relocating the restaurant but found that option to be less than desirable.

“It’s very sad to think it might not go on if this sale doesn’t go through,” said Clark, a Mountain View resident who grew up in the area, attended Egan Junior High School and graduated from Los Altos High in 1989. “(An agreement) could actually take place as soon as today or tomorrow. … I’m hoping they can finalize a (lease) agreement in the next couple of days so the restaurant won’t have to stay closed much longer.”

Regardless of its future, Clark said he’d cherish countless fond memories of the restaurant, such as helping his mother when he was only 10 and the numerous family birthday parties and Christmas dinners celebrated there throughout the years.

He has received messages of support from longtime customers, including one Los Altos family that offered to pay approximately half of his court settlement – no strings attached.

“I have a lot of customers who remember the original owners,” said Clark, who plans to update patrons on the ownership status of the restaurant through its Facebook page. “The support has been great. It’s been great to be a part of this community.”

For more information, visit www.facebook.com/pages/Estrellita-Restaurant/133398709061.

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