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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Police report spike in burglaries

Los Altos Police are warning residents to take added precautions in securing their homes and vehicles to help prevent burglaries.

Police Capt. Andy Galea told the Town Crier that the city has experienced an average of nearly 10 residential or commercial burglaries per month during the 2012-2013 fiscal year – more than double the monthly average from the previous 12-month span. In August, he noted, police recorded a combined total of eight residential and commercial burglaries. Conversely, the city totaled 45 incidents in 2011-2012, or slightly fewer than four burglaries per month, which Galea termed “a fairly low rate.”

He noted that Los Altos isn’t the lone Bay Area city experiencing a bump in burglaries.

“This is not something that is unique to Los Altos. Everywhere in the Bay Area there’s been an increase,” said Galea, who added that local incidents “tend to come in waves.”

Crimes of opportunity

Without citing specific statistics, Galea said “a significant” number of the break-ins occurred because thieves entered the homes through an unlocked door or window.

In other cases, he noted, residents left their garage doors raised, which prove “too tempting” to thieves, who walk in and swipe items typically found in a garage – bicycles are a “primary target.”

During one August incident, a resident who left her garage door open while home came face to face with a man attempting to steal a bike from her garage storage closet. The startled burglar dropped the bike when confronted and fled the scene.

“They can be in and out of there literally in about 10 seconds,” Galea said.

Galea said the department has also seen a rash of auto burglaries throughout Los Altos. In several cases, he added, the crimes “proved too tempting” to burglars, because cars owners left their vehicles unlocked and failed to remove valuables like GPS units, laptops, iPads, purses and wallets.

“A significant number of these thefts from vehicles have been crimes of opportunity,” he said. “Locking your vehicle and not having things in plain sight really help prevent those opportunities.”

An ounce of prevention

Galea noted that residents could do more to make their homes less susceptible to a break-in. They should always lock all doors and windows to their homes, even when leaving for short errands. When traveling on vacation or business, Galea recommended that residents notify a nearby trusted neighbor of their plans, in addition to arranging for someone to check the home periodically and pick up mail.

The goal, he said, is to make the “home look occupied,” because burglars typically look for telltale signs like unattended front lawns and piled-up newspapers before breaking in. Other deterrents noted by Galea include the purchase and installation of video surveillance systems or house alarms. Smaller steps, like hiding an emergency house key in less predictable locations, can also help prevent burglaries.

“If you’re going to hide a key somewhere, be more creative than leaving it under the doormat or a potted plant near the front door,” he said. “That’s where everyone leaves their spare keys.”

Galea concluded that the best rule of thumb for residents to follow is to contact police whenever there’s even a shred of doubt.

“We can drive down the street or see someone standing on the corner, but it’s the residents in the neighborhoods who can tell when things are out of place,” he said. “They know their neighborhood best.”

To report suspicious activity, call the Los Altos Police Department at 947-2770.

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