Thu03052015

News

Council considers freezing First St. development

Council considers freezing First St. development


Megan V. Winslow/Town Crier
A pedestrian walks along First Street in downtown Los Altos last week. Future construction on the street could soon be barred by an emergency moratorium on development.

Further construction along First Street could...

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Schools

Santa Rita students put on Kranky Kids Radio Show

Santa Rita students put on Kranky Kids Radio Show


Traci Newell/ Town Crier
Neighborhood volunteer Lishka DeVoss, center, introduces members of Santa Rita School’s Kranky Kids Radio Club to their interviewee last week. The students star in the Kranky Kids Radio Show, which airs Fridays on KZSU.
...

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Community

Music for Minors partners with Harvard to expand efforts

Music for Minors partners with Harvard to expand efforts


Palmer

When the thriving Music for Minors began to outgrow its capacity, the local nonprofit organization made new friends.

Beginning in late February, Music for Minors – a Town Crier Holiday Fund recipient – partnered with Harvard Business Sch...

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Sports

Eagles make school history

Eagles make school history

Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
The Los Altos High School Eagles defeated Santa Clara High School Tuesday to advance to the Central Coast Section basketball finals Saturday.

The Eagles are headed where no Los Altos High boys basketball team has gone...

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Comment

Dangerous streets: A Piece of My Mind

I’m driving along El Monte Avenue between Foothill Expressway and Springer Road at approximately 6 p.m. on a midwinter evening. In keeping with the “village feeling” of our town, there are no sidewalks and no streetlights.

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Special Sections

Lions, lambs and Cab Franc for March

Lions, lambs and Cab Franc for March


Christine Moore/Special to the Town Crier
Oven fries, a slice of feta cheese and the bite of harissa mayonnaise make for a late-winter, early-spring dinner perfectly paired with Cabernet Franc.

I can’t help but wonder whether March will come in ...

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Business

Los Altos scientist named Inventor of the Year

Los Altos scientist named Inventor of the Year

Alicia Castro/Town Crier
Robert Showen, above, the Silicon Valley Intellectual Property Lawyers Association’s Inventor of the Year, began researching his ShotSpotter technology in his Los Altos home. Sensors are placed around a city, below, and fou...

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Books

French novel

French novel "Hunting and Gathering" offers character-driven suspense


Anna Gavalda is a well-known author in her native France, where she has published six books, most of which have met with considerable praise and commercial success. Her fourth novel, “Hunting and Gathering” (Riverhead Books, 2007), is filled ...

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People

JACK JOSEPH CRANE

JACK JOSEPH CRANE

Long time Los Altos resident, Jack Joseph Crane, loving husband and devoted father of two children, passed away peacefully at the Terraces in Los Altos, Saturday, February 21, 2015. He was 95 years of age. Jack was born on June 22, 1919. He is prec...

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Travel

Seoul of the city: Korean capital offers mix of old and new

Seoul of the city: Korean capital offers mix of old and new


Ramya Krishna/Special to the Town Crier
Seoul’s Cheonggyecheon public recreation space, above, features an elevated pedestrian bridge.

Seoul, South Korea, is a study in contrasts. Having grown quickly, the city is a mix of old and new.

Using...

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Stepping Out

TheatreWorks jumps into ‘Lake’

TheatreWorks jumps into ‘Lake’


Kevin Berne/Special to the Town Crier
Jason Bowen, from left, Adam Poss and Nilanjana Bose star in “The Lake Effect,” opening this weekend at the Lucie Stern Theatre in Palo Alto and running through March 29.

The TheatreWorks production ...

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Spiritual Life

Is your thought life sabotaging your spiritual journey?

My computer started having problems – there seemed to be some sort of malware running in the background. At first it was just annoying, then it began to slow down my computer, interfering with its basic operations. What is it doing? Why can...

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Magazine

Local events serve up family fun

Local events serve up family fun


Courtesy of Peninsula Youth Theatre
Peninsula Youth Theatre’s production of “Pecos Bill: A Tall Tale” is slated to open March 20 in Mountain View.

For families seeking a break from the daily routine, events abound this month and next in Los Alto...

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Ideas, but no decisions on First Street mailboxes


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
The Los Altos City Council is debating whether to relocate the city’s drive-thru mailboxes.

A new home remains elusive for the five U.S. Postal Service drive-thru collection boxes currently housed on First Street.

The city’s Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Commission (BPAC) last week opted against offering a recommendation on where to relocate four of the five mail-drop boxes after some members said they lacked adequate information to move forward.

“Fundamentally, I think we need more information,” said BPAC Chairwoman Suzanne Ambiel. “I don’t think we can make a recommendation tonight.”

The action, or lack thereof, comes after the Los Altos City Council directed BPAC in late June to recommend alternative downtown spots for the boxes, which receive nearly 2,000 pieces of outgoing mail daily at the drive-thru location on First Street. A city staff report recommended relocating the boxes to a pair of downtown locations: two boxes at the end of a driveway in Parking Plaza 2 near Second Street and two at the end of a driveway in Parking Plaza 3 behind Chase Bank.

At the time, Los Altos Public Works Director Jim Gustafson said the mail receptacles required relocation as a safety measure to avoid potential incidents among vehicles, pedestrians and cyclists on First Street.

While BPAC members came up short on a recommendation, they offered suggestions on possible locations for the mailboxes during the July 24 discussion.

Commissioner Jim Fenton noted that he “was not a fan” of the current recommendations for plazas 2 and 3.

Commissioner Karl Danz agreed that none of the suggested plaza locations “seem workable.”

Fenton said he was “intrigued” by the idea of placing the boxes near the Los Altos Chamber of Commerce building on University Avenue.

“It just seems like there’s room there that we don’t have in the downtown triangle,” he said.

Some members mentioned a cutout parking area on Edith Avenue, near its shared intersection with San Antonio Road, as a potential location.

Ambiel cautioned that locating drive-thru mailboxes there could increase the potential for conflicts between cars and cyclists – particularly students riding to school. Members discussed other locations, including the drive-thru bank lanes at Bank of the West on Main Street and alternate locations within Plaza 3, such as one near the exit to San Antonio Road.

Finally, the need to relocate the mailboxes at all was questioned. Planning and Transportation Commissioner Jon Baer, speaking on his own behalf, told BPAC commissioners that the First Street drop-off location has worked for decades and offers better visibility to motorists and nonmotorized traffic than other sites.

“Where they are right now is a pretty damn good place,” Baer said.

Danz concurred, telling his colleagues that the boxes’ current location may indeed be the most viable spot in the downtown triangle.

“I’m pretty disposed to leaving them where they are now,” he said.

Reached by the Town Crier, Los Altos Transportation and Project Manager Cedric Novenario said the impetus for relocating the boxes is to situate them closer to the downtown U.S. Postal Service at 221 Main St. He added that city staff will review some of the locations suggested by BPAC and report additional information to the commission in August.

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