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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The fix is in Los Altos remodel keeps modern family in mind


Ellie Van houtte/ Town Crier
Nadine and Aaron Matityahu transformed an Eastwood Drive house from dated ranch to modern family style.

Nadine and Aaron Matityahu purchased a “fixer” – her term – on Eastwood Drive in Los Altos last year with the intention of downsizing.

The prospect of remodeling the dated ranch-style house didn’t faze them because they have either built or remodeled every home they’ve lived in since their marriage in 1956 – including their “too big” home just off Mora Drive.

“After buying the house on Eastwood and listing our house for sale, we were begged by our 7-year-old granddaughter Erika not to sell,” Nadine said. “She is such a sweet and very articulate child. It really got to us, and we decided not to move.”

Instead, the Matityahus hired architects Amnon Levy and Avi Agasi of Ashford Associates in Palo Alto and went to work on plans to remodel and sell the Eastwood house.

“We saw the potential of the property with its creek setting, great neighborhood and excellent school district,” said Nadine, a broker associate with Coldwell Banker in Los Altos whose passion is remodeling.

She and Aaron, a retired realtor, approached the project as though they were going to live in the house themselves.

“I was 100 percent involved,” she said. “The idea was to create a custom home that would fit into the neighborhood and yet be unique.”

“We used a blend of Arts and Crafts and Contemporary to rejuvenate the ranch style,” Agasi said. “The new facade is distinguished by arborlike structures which emphasize the house is in a garden. And plants can grow and adorn it.”

First impression

The landscaping and fencing are what make the first impression. The house is on a corner lot with a curved fence wrapping it on the right side. Low, curved stone walls in the front and back mimic the fence and portion the front and back lots.

The fence, gazebo and outdoor wood decorations are stained cedar.

They planted a green wall around the front lot perimeter before starting the remodel to enable the plants to grow while rebuilding the house. Some, such as lavender and Queen Palm, are drought resistant.

In the back, a split-rail fence replaced the 6-foot fence so that the Permanente Creek bed became part of the yard.

Consequently, the back of the house is a wall of glass.

“It’s almost like a nursery,” Agasi said.

The stone-lined dry creeks or wells in front and back were installed to collect rain and landscaping runoff – practical and aesthetic touches.

Grassy knolls and a circular driveway in front complete the outdoor picture.

Spacious intimacy

Indoors, from the new vaulted entryway, the home opens up to reveal spacious living areas that maintain a feeling of intimacy because of ceiling treatments. The 3,600-square-foot house has four bedrooms and 3.5 baths.

The architects worked with the existing footprint, added a vaulted-ceiling family room and redefined and expanded the interior. All walls were taken down to the studs. New wiring, plumbing, windows, roof and stucco contributed to the house meriting a green certification from the city.

Dramatic skylights in the open kitchen illuminate the large, multilevel granite island that houses a wine cooler. Other features include Caesarstone countertops, a mother-of-pearl backsplash and custom walnut cabinetry.

The open dining room adjacent to the kitchen sports an oval coffered ceiling and built-in walnut cabinets for display and storage.

The formal living room boasts a vaulted ceiling and opens to the backyard. Its statement-making gas fireplace highlights a distinctive straight line of fire in a bed of crystals.

In lieu of walk-in closets in the master suite, there is a wall of European-style built-in wardrobe closets and drawers. The master bath has a skylight, freestanding oval tub, dual vanity, glass-enclosed shower and towel warmers.

Nadine said she designed the house with the busy modern family in mind. Among the byproducts are a mudroom and a shoe closet.

“In my experience in seeing so many homes, usually shoes are stored in the bedroom closets, which is not very healthful, or they are left by the door. I decided to build a shoe closet in the entryway for storing all the family shoes, and a mudroom off the garage for backpacks and coats for after school,” she said. “I wanted to build a house that would feel good to come home to – one with lots of light and windows to bring the outdoors in. No messy clothes in walk-ins. No shoes or bags to pick up after the kids. A home with the best of everything.”

For a virtual tour of the house, visit www.BuchananAnd Bowen.com.


Eastwood Drive Home - Images by Ellie Van Houtte/Los Altos Town Crier

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