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 add ...

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Ready to turn over a new page : After 24 years in Palo Alto, bookstore


Elllie Van Houtte/Town Crier
The owners of Know Knew Books on California Avenue in Palo Alto are closing shop and relocating to State Street in Los Altos.

A longtime Palo Alto business recently found a new lease – in Los Altos and on life.

Know Knew Books and its variety of 40,000-50,000 used-book titles will soon call 366 State St. home after 24 years on California Avenue in Palo Alto. The store, co-owned by Bill Burruss and Cate Nelson, is slated to open its doors at the former site of Alabasta, The Flower Shop by early October.

Reached by the Town Crier, Nelson and Burruss said they chose to relocate to Los Altos after learning that a lease renewal on California Avenue included a significant increase in the store’s monthly rent.

The duo found their new location “after just walking around” in downtown Los Altos, Burruss said. During that brief visit, the business partners discovered a commercial district with more feet on the street than they originally anticipated.

“I wanted to go to a place where books were loved,” Burruss said. “When we got there, much to our surprise, we found Los Altos to be very active and receptive to us.”

That same day, Nelson called her soon-to-be new landlord and started cementing Know Knew Books’ relocation.

New chapter

Burruss conceded that the store’s lease in Los Altos wouldn’t have been possible as little as a year ago, if not for a new lease on his business’ life – courtesy of Nelson.

Just one month away from being forced to close for good because of financial hardships, Burruss – then the store’s sole owner – had a chance encounter with Nelson.

A frequent shopper and book enthusiast, Nelson learned of the store’s financial challenges and approached Burruss about a possible stake in ownership. She said she soon found a “kindred spirit” in Burruss and talked with him for four hours during their initial meeting. Shortly thereafter, Nelson came aboard, and the rest – as the saying goes – is history.

“I said, ‘I want this store to stay around,’” Nelson recalled. “There’s no other store like it. … The idea of it not being here was not acceptable to me.”

Burruss noted that Nelson’s partnership quickly breathed new life – and energy – into Know Knew Books.

“I was in my last month here when Cate just came in here with no experience – just a love for books,” he said. “She saved my butt. I’m 68 years old, and I don’t know what I would’ve done. I will always think of her as an angel.”

Nelson said she wants Los Altos residents to consider the store more than just a place to buy gently used books in a variety of genres. A fan of costume jewelry, Nelson said she plans to dedicate a corner of the store to showcase and sell some of the 1,500-2,000 pieces she’s collected over the years. In addition, the store plans to sell used DVDs and CDs. Teachers and students, she said, will receive store discounts.

“We hopefully have something for everybody here,” said Nelson, adding that the store will offer free Wi-Fi to customers. “When the store opens, I think people will be blown away by the stock of used books we have, too.”

Burruss said residents can expect to see scheduled events like open-mic poetry readings, as well as nonliterary events like the occasional pet adoption fair and live music performances. He added that the store is also known for “unofficial” events, such as encouraging young artists to sit and create art using the store’s readily available easel or inviting the aspiring musician to play acoustic guitar in front of an audience for the first time.

All are welcome, he said, provided they ask management first.

“It’s a community store, a place that’s available to people who want to teach kids to crochet or whatever they have to offer,” Burruss said.

“It’s about life – a place to do things in real time,” Nelson chimed in. “We want the community to know there’s a place in the city that’s available to them.”

For more information, visit knowknewbooks.com.

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