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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Arastradero Preserve exercise controls brush, tests wildland fire fighting skills


Photo By: Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Photo Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier Firefighting personnel supervise a controlled burn at the Arastradero Preserve near Los Altos Hills last week in preparation for the dry summer season.

 

During a prescribed burn at Arastradero Preserve May 30, the image of before and after was stark. A deer creeping through dry brush from the tree cover along Los Trancos Creek juxtaposed with a charred field spotted with lines of smoke dissipating into the brightness of the noon light just an hour later.

Whether created by nature or by man, fire is a natural mechanism for cleansing the landscape and preserving native species and animals. Last week’s prescribed burn at the preserve, 622 acres near Los Altos Hills, served the purpose of removing brush that could fuel a major wildland fire at the preserve and subsequently inflict damage on the homes and property around it.

Fire risk is high for residents who live in Los Altos Hills. A 1985 blaze at Liddicoat Lane and Arastradero Road destroyed nine homes and caused millions of dollars in damage.

During last week’s burn of an 11-acre plot, firefighters cut a clear path, creating a defensive zone in the landscape along a defined perimeter for fire containment.

A team of 30 to 40 trained personnel from Santa Clara County Fire Department and Cal Fire were briefed and tasked with roles. Wind and temperature were monitored for danger, the perimeter checked and rechecked, stray brush re-trimmed and crew from the Santa Clara County Fire Department and teams strategically stationed at possible problem zones.

A firing line moved quickly along the path of the prescribed burn, lighting the grass low to the ground with small torches. A back line followed the fire, along with a mobile unit equipped with hoses and water to extinguish wayward sparks or hot embers.

The fire concluded on schedule and as safely as planned. Commuters passing through Arastradero preserve during the evening commute – or even the returning deer – might not even know that the fire had occurred.

To view more photos from the prescribed burn, click here.

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