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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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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