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 ad...

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Firefighter's green thumb produces stations lush garden


Laura Tang/Special to the Town Crier
Mike Robbins of the Mountain View Fire Department grows vegetables and fruit trees in the garden at Station No. 1 on Shoreline Boulevard.

When Mike Robbins was stationed at Mountain View Fire Department Station No. 1 at 251 S. Shoreline Blvd., he spotted an overgrown patch of weeds behind the firehouse and saw an opportunity to transform it into a flourishing garden.

His project has since attracted the attention of the surrounding community. The public is invited to take a walking garden tour 11:15 a.m. Saturday, starting from the Mountain View Public Library to Station No. 1.

Robbins cultivated his love of gardening from an early age.

“I helped my family garden in our yard not just as a hobby, but as part of the household,” he said. “Being part of that experience really helped me to grow, and when I had some time at the station, I started doing more of it.”

His green thumb carried over to his job at the station, where he constructed three 18-foot-by-4-foot beds.

New gardens have been sprouting in the other four Mountain View stations, where he and his co-workers cook meals with the fresh, seasonal produce.

“Initially, people were apprehensive, but when they saw the garden’s tangible effects, they became interested,” Robbins said.

Robbins attributes his success to techniques he learned from Love Apple Farms’ classes in Santa Cruz.

“Soften the soil deeper than you expect the roots to grow,” he said. “When roots aren’t prohibited, they can expand and pull in more nutrients, and you end up with productive growth.”

Another successful technique is growing flowers to attract bees that can increase plant pollination.

“I’ve created a self-sufficient ecosystem out of my garden and it has made a world of difference,” Robbins said.

Today, his garden thrives and people from around the community contribute. Robbins said he and his co-workers form a close-knit group, and the garden has become an important part of their home.

Saturday’s tour begins in the lobby of the library, 585 Franklin St. The walk to Station No. 1 will take approximately 10 minutes. To register, call 903-6337 or visit goo.gl/Li9Lo.

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