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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Back to the future: Renovating the civic center: Other Voices

It is a good thing that the Los Altos City Council wants to review the Civic Center Master Plan. When the people of our town are questioned, among their top priorities are schools, library and recreation. The master plan cannot address the schools, so let’s stick with what we must and can update. There is absolutely no doubt that our civic center needs to be brought up to date. Some suggestions come to mind.

The old Hillview School site must be replaced. It is antiquated and unsafe. The library needs to expand – it is running out of space for all the services it now provides and for future services. Both facilities serve every segment of our community.

For Phase 1, I would suggest we combine these two services at the Hillview site. Many of the patrons of one also use the other. And we can make it safer and easier for them with the inclusion of underground parking. The traffic flow would definitely improve.

Once the library has moved, city hall would have access to the library building and could renovate/expand it to suit its needs. It would certainly make it easier for those using the facility to enter from San Antonio Road, park, conduct their business and exit without having to fight library traffic. This would be Phase 2.

With city hall vacant, the Los Altos Police Department could use that site – again with renovations necessary for their needs. They can keep their eyes on the community, and, for those conducting business with the police, there they are. This would be Phase 3.

Now for traffic flow: People enter from San Antonio (from the new city hall side – one way only), conduct their business at city hall and exit going around the loop onto San Antonio again or continue past the Los Altos History Museum and exit onto Hillview Avenue (as is done now). Those using the Hillview site do not have to fight two-way traffic and cars parking and pulling out in a narrow space and can exit as above.

For Phase 4, perhaps the Bus Barn Theater could expand into the bumpout by the soccer field. As the performances are scheduled mostly at night when city hall is closed, parking would be available without taking away from the Hillview site. Bus Barn could use the Los Altos Youth Center or the old police station site.

Finally, in planning these changes, let us not try to imitate Palo Alto, Mountain View, Santana Row or Europe. We are a charming and much-needed restful community. Let us not change the reasons we moved to Los Altos.

Ida Cohen is a longtime Los Altos resident.

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