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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Letters to the Editor

Former BCS supporter frustrated with lawsuits

This letter is to Bullis Charter School. I used to be one of your supporters. As a parent whose child didn’t fit the Los Altos School District system, I was frustrated that there were no alternative/magnet schools and no Independent Study programs. I watched more than just my child slip through the system. So I felt the charter school brought value to our community by offering another option.

But my support has waned. The district is growing rapidly and can’t afford to give up a campus. It is not unreasonable to ask charter students to attend middle school on a different campus. Our district students do that. The district’s offerings have seemed fair, so it is frustrating to watch the charter school counter everything with a lawsuit. That is wasted money!

I’m glad you’re surveying the community. I think you’ll find that past supporters are no longer standing behind you. The costs of the charter school are outweighing the benefits. I’m not saying we don’t need a charter school, because we definitely need alternatives! But we don’t need any more lawsuits. I hope you’ll reconsider the constant courtroom battles. There’s too much damage being done – to our education system and to this community.

Anna Durante

Los Altos

BCS can help build trust

I am hoping to collaborate with Bullis Charter School parents to find and fund new school sites to accommodate the growth of both the Los Altos School District and charter school populations.

Unfortunately, I feel defensive. Bullis Charter School is aggressively marketing to grow as large as possible while they litigate nonstop, forcing the district to spend resources defending themselves instead of on initiatives to improve its schools.

My perception is that the charter school’s ultimate goal may be to close down a local school(s), which would not only affect my children’s education, but as importantly my neighborhood’s entire social fabric. Local schools are not just about the classroom, but seeing the same friends at school as at your neighborhood every-other-Friday block parties, group trips for spring break, etc.

As a district parent, I’d have more trust that charter school officials are really compromising if they stop suing and state explicitly that they would not close a neighborhood school. With this in hand, I am ready to work with Bullis Charter School parents to find and fund new school sites together.

Mike Capuano

Los Altos

Los Altos: Don’t ignore teen market

As a teen, it has come to my attention that downtown Los Altos is a charming, unique place that has many boutiques and little stores that you wouldn’t be able to find anywhere else in the Bay Area.

Many people from urban places like to come to our town to shop simply because it has more individualistic stores with products you won’t see every day. However, to teens and young adults, having an entire town of boutiques can sometimes be less interesting.

I don’t think I can ever remember a single person my age wanting to go downtown to shop for clothing; the only thing we teens come downtown to do is walk around and eat. I know that about 20 years ago, Los Altos decided it didn’t want any chain or big mall stores to have shops downtown. I agree it is fun to have some stores you have never heard of, but in a way this decision to cut off all chain stores has backfired.

Right now, I would say that the only group they are appealing to is mothers and older women, because the small stores around town have more mature clothing.

I think that if Los Altos really wants to stick to its idea of being a small town, it can let in a few popular stores and still keep it that way. I mean, would it really hurt to have one Hollister Co. store at the edge of town? It doesn’t seem like that would ruin the charming feeling of Los Altos.

If the town continues to stay the same as 20 years ago, everyone from ages 11 to 25 will just become increasingly uninterested and keep going to places in Palo Alto and to big malls like Valley Fair in San Jose.

If there were one or two popular teenage stores in town, it would not only attract more business, but would most likely be extremely well attended.

There is a huge market for teens in Los Altos and I know from personal experience that I don’t get to go to the stores that I like very often because my mom doesn’t want to drive me all the way to San Jose.

Even if the town agreed to let in, at most, three chain stores, I think it would make a huge difference.

Pretending that what customers want is the same as 20 years ago won’t work, but compromising while keeping town values at the top of the list could make Los Altos a more sought-after spot for any age group.

Katie Jo Shuman

Los Altos Hills

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