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 Council Briefs

The Los Altos City Council took the following actions at its May 14 meeting.

City supports Santa Clara in Super Bowl bid

The council unanimously agreed to send a letter in support of the city of Santa Clara’s successful bid to host the 2016 Super Bowl. National Football League owners voted May 21 to award Super Bowl L to the South Bay city, which will become home to the San Francisco 49ers in 2014. The team is currently constructing a $1.2 billion 68,500-seat stadium near Great America theme park.

Mayor Jarrett Fishpaw told the Town Crier that hosting the Super Bowl would not only have a positive economic impact on Santa Clara, but on surrounding communities like Los Altos as well. Fishpaw cited the potential increase in hotel reservations in the area, among other things.

“Should the 49ers not make it to the Super Bowl (that year) – even though we’re naturally rooting for them – every hotel in Santa Clara County would be booked,” he said. “That’s definitely one area where Los Altos would have a positive benefit.”

In its letter to NFL Senior Vice President of Events Frank Supovitz, the city council called the region “an ideal venue for an event that celebrates athletic strength, strategy and spirit.”

In addition, the letter noted that the 49ers’ new home would “provide an extraordinary game-day experience for fans,” citing the stadium’s “state-of-the-art features and distinctive architectural design.” The letter added that the region experiences 300 days of sunshine annually and an average temperature of 62 degrees in February – when the Super Bowl is typically played.

City approves pact with truck drivers union

The council voted unanimously to adopt a resolution approving a new three-year contract between the city and Sanitary Truck Drivers and Helpers Union Local 350.

According to a staff report, the parties reached agreement April 25 on the new deal, unanimously ratified by Local 350 members five days later. The city’s current contract with the union was set to expire at the end of June.

The new agreement calls for 2 percent increases in employees’ base salaries starting the first full pay period of July 2013 and again in July 2014. A 3 percent increase will take effect in the final year of the three-year pact.

The agreement also provides for increased retirement contributions – totaling 6 percent over the life of the contract – by employees hired before October 2011. As a result, according to Los Altos Assistant City Manager J Logan, employees hired before October 2011 would increase their overall pension contributions to 8 percent.

Employees hired after October 2011 are not affected. Those hired after October 2011 but before Jan. 1, 2013, now pay 7 percent toward employee member contributions and are covered under the lower pension benefit of 2-percent-at-60-retirement formula.

As outlined in the Public Employees Pension Reform Act, state employees hired on or after Jan. 1, 2013, are covered under a lower benefit tier and contribute 50-50 to pension plans.

Artistic bike rack policy in the works

The council unanimously voted to direct city staff to develop a citywide policy regarding artistic bicycle racks.

According to a staff report, the city currently allows only black, horseshoe-shaped racks.

n 2012, the Public Arts Commission discussed the possibility of adopting a policy after a Los Altos resident saw artistic bike racks in Long Beach “and thought they would enhance the city of Los Altos,” the report stated. In March, the commission voted in favor of recommending that the city develop the policy.

– Diego Abeloos

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