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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Realtors get a peek at local redevelopment


Photo By: Town Crier file photo
Photo Town Crier File Photo

Los Altos’ planning services manager previewed ongoing efforts such as the San Antonio Road streetscape project, above, at SILVAR’s district realtor tour meeting in May.
Town Crier Report

Los Altos Planning Services Manager David Kornfield offered Silicon Valley Association of Realtors members a preview of the city’s redevelopment plans at their local district realtor tour meeting in May.

Describing Los Altos as a “very special place” with a traditional downtown, Kornfield said the city has tried to maintain the village character while keeping up with the times. He conceded that in an effort to retain the community’s charm, the city had intentionally created cumbersome zoning regulations. Over time, officials came to realize that the city must evolve.

Los Altos has faced many challenges as a result of dated facilities, according to Kornfield. In the past few years, the city has focused on planning for the future with the help of committees comprising residents who represent all interests – from homeowners to business owners.

Kornfield said the city has come a long way in its mission to create a more vibrant downtown and increase its economic potential while keeping its traditional character intact. Over the past three years, he noted, the city has removed some zoning restrictions, eased regulations for office development and increased building height limits. In addition to zoning changes, the city has invested in infrastructure and underground utilities and improved its sewer lines, Kornfield said.

Money has been spent to revitalize downtown, he added, pointing to the city’s First Street and San Antonio Road streetscape projects, among other efforts.

“Now, everything is coming together,” he said.

Private investment soon followed public investment, Kornfield said, highlighting projects such as the Packard Foundation headquarters on Second Street and mixed-use and residential developments throughout downtown. He labeled other ongoing developments, including Enchanté, the boutique hotel at the corner of Main Street and San Antonio Road, “assets” for the city.

While Los Altos is in the midst of considerable redevelopment, it still faces some constraints – including a shortage of parking spaces, Kornfield concluded.

“This issue affects the business environment and needs to be addressed,” he said, citing the city’s ongoing development of a Downtown Parking Management Plan.

The Silicon Valley Association of Realtors provided information for this article. For more information, email Rose Meily at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

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