Wed03042015

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 be t...

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Schools

Former NFL player huddles with Blach students about life choices

Former NFL player huddles with Blach students about life choices


Ellie Van HOutte/Town Crier
Former NFL tight end Eason Ramson visited with Blach Intermediate School students, Feb. 13 to share the perils of drug use. Now a motivational speaker, Ramson works with at-risk teens in San Francisco.

Although former ...

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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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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


Above Photo by Alicia Castro/Town Crier; Below Rendering Courtesy of SST inc.
Robert Showen, above, the Silicon Valley Intellectual Property Lawyers Association’s Inventor of the Year, began researching his ShotSpotter technology in his Los A...

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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

HELEN KNOFLOCH

HELEN KNOFLOCH

Aug. 14, 1920 – Feb.12, 2015

Resident of Cupertino

Helen Knofloch, 94, loving wife and devoted mother passed away on Feb. 12th. She was born in Vienna, Austria and moved to Los Altos in 1949, where she met Andy, the love of her life. They resided...

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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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Letters to the Editor

Show appreciation for Roy and Penny Lave

In the past few years, I joined a long list of people who have had the pleasure of working with Roy and Penny Lave – first on the Investment Committee of the Los Altos Community Foundation and then in the LEAD program, organized by the foundation.

The Town Crier’s Aug. 21 interview with the Laves (“Roy and Penny Lave reminisce about 50 years in Los Altos”) told me more about both Penny and Roy’s history. Having known them only recently, I especially enjoyed the picture of Roy on the city council in the 1970s – love the facial hair, Roy!

I encourage readers to show their appreciation for the Laves by visiting the foundation’s website at losaltoscf.org, by donating in their honor and/or by signing up to attend the foundation’s gala Sept. 9.

Amy Pearl Parodi

Los Altos

Commute times longer on San Antonio Road

In the Aug. 21 Town Crier, an article states: “High-density apartments are under consideration for the 420 San Antonio Road and 2580 California St. properties” (“San Antonio area headed for trouble?”).

How do we stop this?

I live off Los Altos Avenue and it is gridlock around school hours from parents who don’t want their kids to cross El Camino Real as it is. I can imagine how horrible the traffic will become when couples move into these new apartments, have kids and send them to Santa Rita and Egan Junior High schools.

Mountain View should not be allowed to add a single new housing unit until the city has a school on the other side of El Camino for the kids, so traffic can return somewhat to what it was before all the new building began.

San Antonio Road is gridlocked during commute times. When I moved here 19 years ago, it took six minutes to drive to Highway 101 in the morning from my house. If I left before 7 a.m., I could drive to work (Hewlett-Packard in San Jose on Trimble Road at First Street) in 12 minutes. These days, it is a 12-minute trip from my house to 101 during noncommute times (between 2 and 3 p.m.).

I feel that politicians are selling off our quality of life to developers in exchange for campaign funds. The subsequent zoning variances allow the developers to get rich packing people in like sardines.

Kirk Lindstrom

Los Altos

Reader lauds wisdom of TC columnist

While I’ve never had the pleasure of meeting her in person, I feel that I know a lot about Jackie Madden Haugh through her fabulous columns in the Town Crier.

To be completely honest, when I open the paper each week, her column – “Haugh About That?” – is the first thing I look to read. Her writing style is natural, somewhat whimsical and always enjoyable. She tastefully blends the human element with a touching and meaningful close.

No, God makes no mistakes (to quote her father in her last column), and He certainly made no mistake leading her to inspire our community with her wise words.

Jean Hephinger

Los Altos

Speed-limit rule a reasonable guideline

I noticed in an Aug. 21 Town Crier article (“Slow down: LA City Council rejects proposed speed-limit increases”) that Los Altos City Councilwoman Val Carpenter characterized the state’s 85 percent rule as “the real villain,” a policy that “lets the fastest drivers set the speed limits.”

I think a closer look at the 85 percent rule might be in order to avoid misconceptions.

The 85 percent rule has been used by California and communities all over the world for nearly 50 years as a useful tool to determine safe speeds. Far from letting the fastest drivers set the speed limit, the 85 percent rule effectively lets the large majority set the limit, which strikes me as a very reasonable guideline. Research has shown that accidents tend to go up when speed limits are set below the 85 percent rule.

Gary Brauch

Los Altos Hills

Paint disposal proves complicated

Have you ever tried to dispose of two half-gallons of used, oil-based paint legally? Here are the results of my attempt.

First, I asked an employee of our garbage company, who told me to set it next to our garbage tote on the day the regular trash is collected. On trash pickup day, the driver did not take the cans. He told me that they pick up water-based paint, not oil-based paint.

I would need to drive from Los Altos to the Household Hazardous Waste Drop-Off Station in Sunnyvale. There are two stations near that location. I have used one of them before, so I decided to leave the two paint cans there.

The lady in charge was smiling as I lifted out the two cans of paint. She said, “Stop right there, we don’t accept oil-based paint. You need to go about two blocks farther down the road, where there is a big sign: “Household Hazardous Waste Drop-Off Station.”

So I got back in my car to travel the two blocks on Carl Road. When I arrived, I was informed that they only accept hazardous materials on the third Saturday of each month. I couldn’t believe it.

What a day! Sometimes it is difficult trying to be a good citizen.

Donald M. Rauch

Los Altos

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