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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Why I will happily vote for Measure A: Other Voices

It is no secret that I am an enthusiastic supporter of the Los Altos Library. In my mind, there is no service provided by our taxes that gives more value than the public library.

Nearly everyone is a recipient of library services, either personally or through members of the family. Children, seniors, mothers, grandparents, teens, nannies, retirees and the unemployed all take advantage of its availability.

On a hot day, the library is the cool place to go. To people with a few hours to spare, it is the alternative to a coffee shop. To babysitters, it is the best entertainment. It is one of the publicly provided services that people want to use (unlike police, fire, public health – which we want to have but hope not to use). I could go on, but let’s get to Measure A, an initiative that would renew the soon-to-expire 20-year-old Santa Clara County tax, scheduled for a special mail-in ballot that must be returned by 8 p.m. Aug. 27.

I am happy to support Measure A because I believe this year’s modest request – $33.66 per single-family home, approximately the price of one hardcover book – is a sign of the improving health of our library system. I am optimistic that when this Measure A renewal expires, we will not need to subsidize our library again.

The passage of Proposition 13 in 1978 decimated California library funding. All agencies funded by property taxes found their incomes slashed two-thirds – cities, schools, libraries, fire districts, counties, etc. The state passed legislation to ease the impact that lasted until 1990, when the state found itself short on funds.

In 1995, the Santa Clara County Library District followed the lead of Los Altos and Los Altos Hills and asked voters to approve a $33-per-parcel annual tax. That first $33 tax provided more than 40 percent of the library district’s budget. Eighteen years later, the library again is asking for just $33.66, but it will be less than 20 percent of the budget.

That’s a small price to pay to ensure that Los Altos maintains its two top-notch libraries with the books and materials local residents need. Even better, I believe that with the passage of Measure A, the Los Altos Library will ride out the next 20 years in good financial health, and we will leave our children a quality system that will no longer need to be subsidized. I will happily vote for that.

Elayne Dauber is a longtime member of Friends of the Library of Los Altos and Community.

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