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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 ad...

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Letters to the Editor

Small cars could pose big problems

Those cute, colorful little cars I see around town that look as if half their bodies are missing are becoming too affected by their gorgeous physiques and their environmental fame.

As their drivers zoom around Los Altos’ crowded streets, they ignore some of the rules of courteous and cautious driving. I hope they do not end up in an accident.

To the super-energetic drivers of these common little cars, we appreciate your concern for the environment and your willingness to conserve gas, but please refer to your driving manuals and keep our streets safe.

Just a gentle and small reminder: When approaching a crosswalk in downtown Los Altos, offer priority to pedestrians – children, parents and seniors who may be walking slowly while carrying a cup of their favorite java.

Lina Broydo

Los Altos Hills

Broadcast video for quick capture of perps

Reading about the recent bank robberies in our area makes us wonder why those banks’ security videos are not shown repeatedly on local TV stations. The Boston Marathon bombers were captured within a few days after their faces were displayed on TV.

Having regular, short newsflashes of local crimes would most likely lead to the quick capture of the perpetrators.

Susan and Les Besser

Los Altos

‘Powers that be’ don’t support LA nightlife

Regarding Alyssa Jacobson’s “Other Voices” column (“Downtown Los Altos could take a tip from Los Gatos,” May 22), the best I can say is, “Right on.”

I am a longtime Los Altos resident who, like my friends and neighbors, goes to nearby towns like Mountain View, Palo Alto, Los Gatos and San Jose for evening activities. These cities collect revenues from the money we spend at their shops, services, restaurants, movie theaters, etc.

Attempts to upgrade Los Altos and make it a more attractive destination are turned down by “the powers that be” – whoever they are.

I attended meetings where I suggested constructing a pedestrian shopping mall for parts of Main Street, sponsoring a city shuttle to take people from the city center to downtown and around local neighborhoods, keeping shops and restaurants open late, permitting a small movie theater and building a parking garage.

All suggestions are met with a negative “We like the town the way it is” or a challenging “Where will the money come from?”

I conclude that we will never have a thriving, vibrant city that is an evening destination. We will need to go elsewhere for activities after 6 p.m. Oddly enough, I do not recall ever voting on this issue.

On another topic, there are many residents of Los Altos and Los Altos Hills who are tired of reading about the whining, complaining and demanding from the Bullis Charter School crowd. Can we move on to something else, or could they locate their special school elsewhere and not expect the rest of us residents to pay for them?

Myra Orta

Los Altos

New Boy Scouts policy ‘tragic waste of talent’

I’ve read numerous articles about the Boy Scouts allowing gay youth to become members.

I’m delighted that at least that step has been taken. But I’m truly perplexed that gay adults are still excluded. Where do the gay Eagle Scouts go once they cannot become Boy Scout leaders?

Do they become Girl Scout or Camp Fire Girl leaders? Or do they disappear from the Scouting scene with their skills disregarded?

To me, this seems like a tragic waste of talent.

Barbara Emerich

Los Altos

Sewer rate hike requires voter approval

A 46 percent increase (in my case) for sewer service is outrageous.

Many of us in Los Altos are retired and living on fixed incomes. Those fixed incomes are not growing at all in these times of zero interest rates.

The city says it needs a 7 percent sewer increase. How can that possibly justify a 46 percent increase for those in my category and be considered fair? The city needs to revisit this proposal and come up with a more equitable solution.

This type of property fee assessment overreach is exactly what Proposition 13 was passed several decades ago to curtail. The consultants’ recommendation: “If less than a majority of the properties affected by the proposed sewer fee submit written protests to the fee, then the city may establish the fee” is not a legal method for approval of this increase.

Proposition 13 clearly requires that this type of fee must be passed by a two-thirds vote at a scheduled election.

If the city needs to push through these ridiculous increases, then let’s have the courage to get approvals the way the system requires – at the ballot box, not through the back door.

Bill Goodman

Los Altos

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