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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Letters to the Editor

Consider conflicts when casting votes

While the Los Altos School District Board of Trustees has been tasked with deciding how other district schools should be run, the entire point of a charter is to allow Bullis Charter School administrators to make those decisions for themselves.

Now the district board has gone too far – officials are continuing to lock out teachers and students from the Blach Intermediate School campus, at this writing eight days before the start of school.

They refuse to hand over the keys until Bullis Charter School bows to their will and ideology by allowing only a few grades to have access to the campus and further preventing half of those grades access to outside areas while they are there for recess, lunch or PE.

As a parent volunteer for many years at Bullis Charter School, I have gotten used to making lemonade out of the lemons the Los Altos School District board has given us.

The two-campus situation was a big fat lemon. The solution of rotating grades for focused learning sessions was one of best glasses of lemonade we’ve made. But it seems to have infuriated the district board to the point of irrationality.

It shows the true, sad and ugly agenda of the district trustees that they would lock out children and teachers. Please remember what these officials have done the next time you are asked to elect a representative to the Los Altos School District board.

Christine DiBona

Los Altos

Trail route could threaten serenity

The Town Crier insinuated recently that we in south Los Altos who gathered at the Bay Area’s Stevens Creek Trail meeting were rude to loudly oppose the trail running down a quiet street in our neighborhood.

Our frustration comes because of a threat to our way of life. (I guess it’s not rude to completely alter other people’s lives.) This call for south Los Altos to embrace a large thorn in our lives made me wonder how the outsiders promoting it would like those loud voices outside their bedroom windows. Add the sound of bicycles, lots of voices, dogs barking and throw in a bit of litter. Want that 24/7? Probably not. And neither do we.

Whether we relocated here recently or have lived here 59 years, as I have, we all moved here for the quiet, low-key feel.

What scares me about this intrusion is the lack of caring that comes from the moneyed and powerful Stevens Creek Trail backers. Our feelings and lives are insignificant to “the cause.”

So it’s too damn bad if we’re loud about not wanting a well-traveled trail 20 feet from our beds. Don’t like the noise we make? Imagine having that noise 24/7 where you live.

I am hoping we can keep public places in public places.

Beverly Caballero

Los Altos

Vote Yes on A, then enjoy library

I admit it. I’ve come to take for granted the kind of library we have in Los Altos.

When I hear about Measure A and am reminded that a parcel tax that’s been in place for 20 years is up for renewal, it really is a wake-up call: I need to abandon my complacency long enough to return my mail-in ballot – with my Yes vote for Measure A – so that I can go back to relaxing about the library to which I’ve become so accustomed.

For 20 years, we’ve gotten used to the convenient hours, the enhanced collections and the expertise of a library system that derives its strength from countywide experience and responsibility for exceptional (and award-winning) library services.

Yes, I like the library we’ve got and I wince at the thought that we might have to adjust our expectations because Measure A did not pass. Won’t you join me? Please vote Yes on Measure A.

Bob Simon

Los Altos

Zimmerman column contains errors

I was frustrated by the factual errors and unsubstantiated comments in Grace Acosta’s column regarding the George Zimmerman/Trayvon Martin case (“Neither guilty nor innocent,” July 24).

Acosta proclaimed Zimmerman to be “far from innocent” despite a jury’s decision to the contrary. This after she admitted that she “didn’t follow the Zimmerman trial carefully.”

More disturbing is the blatant misinformation in her column. She wrote, “For example, the Stand Your Ground law is something worth rethinking, considering the consequences of not obligating people to walk away from violence when a legitimate opportunity to do so exists.”

That statement is absolutely false. In late June, I completed four handgun classes in Florida taught by law enforcement officers and state-licensed instructors. The curriculum included an extensive discussion of Florida’s Stand Your Ground law.

Firing on an attacker is a last resort when no apparent means, including fleeing from an assailant, exist to avoid potential death or great bodily harm. Stand Your Ground is not the “blast away” permission implied by Acosta.

There are many other facets and nuances to this complicated, polarizing case involving the unfortunate death of a young man, and some details may never be known.

What is known is that misinformation distorts civil discussion and makes common ground among sensible people harder to find.

John Gordon

Los Altos

Parking problem isn’t solved yet

Ted and Jerry Sorensen’s “Other Voices” column was so self-serving that it was sickening (“Three solutions for improving downtown parking,” Aug. 7).

They say that there’s no parking problem right now. The implication is to let their (unmentioned) project go forward without building adequate parking, and maybe others without building any parking.

With this thinking, there soon will be a problem, which they, as offered in other forums, suggest be solved by bulldozing the trees and small shrubs in our existing parking plazas so that they can be re-striped into narrower slots.

Because of the curves of these lanes in our plazas, this will make it even harder to park and perform ingress/egress from our cars. Even this would be a short-term solution, especially if the Los Altos City Council permits more construction in the plazas themselves.

Naturally, the Sorensens don’t suggest a parking garage, which would be very expensive for them and other downtown businesses as well as taxpayers. Ultimately, a parking garage will be necessary.

My suggestion is for the city council not to approve any more projects without adequate parking. Also, pick a site now for a future garage and protect it so that when the time comes, we are not left with a site without any access to any street whatsoever – i.e., don’t let the city council box us into a corner.

Paul Brooks

Los Altos

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