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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Coyote sightings prompt warning to residents


Photo By: Courtesy of California Department of FisH & Wildlife
Photo Courtesy Of California Department Of Fish &Amp Wildlife

Police caution residents after reports of coyote sightings near Los Altos High.

A local animal services official warns Los Altos residents to keep a watchful eye on their small pets this summer because coyotes are lurking.

Connie Urbanski, interim superintendent of the city of Palo Alto’s Animal Services Division, told the Town Crier that a handful of recent coyote sightings, plus the discovery of two deceased cats in late May, raised concern about the welfare of small household pets in the area. Urbanski’s agency provides animal services to Los Altos and Los Altos Hills.

She noted that while coyote sightings in Los Altos are not uncommon – given the city’s close proximity to hill country – the spring and summer often bring more of them to the area. That’s because it’s the time of year when juvenile coyotes learn to fend for themselves and discover new food sources.

“This has been a very prolific year for wildlife,” said Urbanski, pointing to underlying factors such as a shorter rainy season. “The young being taken care of by mama are now going out and learning to hunt and care for themselves.”

Urbanski’s words of caution came after Los Altos Police received multiple reports of coyotes spotted in residential neighborhoods, including one sighting on Alicia Way – near Los Altos High School – prompting a May 30 appeal to the public to keep domesticated cats indoors.

Urbanski said the coyotes in question are simply acting as nature intended by seeking an accessible food source. Small pets could be at risk, particularly from dusk until dawn when coyotes are typically most active.

“Even small dogs could become prey … anything small that’s vulnerable,” she said.

Urbanski added that it’s not uncommon to see a coyote in residential areas like Alicia Way, noting that nearby dry creekbeds act as “a freeway” for the animals.

“They can get to a lot of places using the creeks, especially now that they’re drier,” she said. “That’s a normal routine for them.”

Resident’s tale

Los Altos resident Diane Heckman knows all too well about the dangers coyotes can pose to household pets.

Heckman suspects a coyote ventured into her neighborhood through the Permanente Creek bed at Heritage Oaks Park on Mc- Kenzie Avenue May 29. Heckman said her 11-year-old Tabby cat, Hobbs, went outside at 4:30 a.m. and was found dead less than two hours later by a neighbor.

“I had no idea there were coyotes running around in Los Altos,” said Heckman, whose veterinarian confirmed that her cat was likely the victim of a coyote attack. “It’s not disturbing to me, but it’s just odd to me for it to happen in a suburban area. … I don’t think I would’ve let (Hobbs) out if I had know there were coyotes.”

Heckman added that her family’s other cat, Suzie, has mostly remained indoors since Hobbs was killed.

“She’s a prisoner right now,” Heckman quipped.

Urbanski listed several steps residents can take to discourage coyotes from seeking suburban sustenance. Her advice:

• Don’t leave pet food outside.

• Secure garbage cans with a bungee cord.

• Don’t leave small pets outside from dusk to dawn.

• Lock all cat and dog doors from dusk to dawn.

• Go outside with pets when they do their “business.”

“If people do these kinds of things, the coyotes will go back to the hills and hunt for other food sources, like squirrels,” Urbanski said.

She added that although coyotes are not a threat to people “at this time,” residents should not approach them. Injured coyotes or those with a litter of pups are typically more protective and aggressive when confronted, according to Urbanski. Residents who spot a coyote are advised to contact their local police department immediately to seek assistance from animal services.

“We haven’t seen (aggressive behavior toward humans), but I don’t want to take that possibility out of the picture,” Urbanski said. “There should be no situation where a member of the public should try to interact with them.”

To report a coyote sighting or incident, contact Los Altos Police at 947-2770.

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