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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Letters to the Editor

Resident supports bond because of charter school

After following the continuing disputes between the Los Altos School District and Bullis Charter School, culminating in children being locked out of school, I must speak for hundreds who are tired of this soap opera.

Being affiliated with neither, my personal observation is that Bullis Charter School is one of the most successful charter schools in history.

We are incredibly fortunate to have this dynamic, creative educational force in our midst. Because a well-educated society is a benefit to all, I would have absolutely zero problems supporting a bond to benefit the charter school.

District officials demonstrate brazen impudence in attempting to impose policy on the charter school under the guise of facilities negotiations. That is blackmail.

Time and again, the district has fallen on its face in court. This circus has to stop. Kudos to Los Altos Hills Mayor Gary Waldeck for bringing sanity to this discussion.

It would behoove the district board to show some humility and learn a thing or two from the charter school, which, frankly, has done a far better job of educating children.

Rajiv Bhateja

Los Altos Hills

Local tap water isn’t safe for everyone

I must respond to the advice given by a Palo Alto Medical Foundation physician, Dr. Amy E. Gilliam (“Getting the red out: How to manage your child’s eczema,” Sept. 18), who recommended various medications and treatments.

Those of us who are made sick by our tap water recommend first trying spring water.

I recall some years ago the Town Crier had a front-page article with a photo of a young man with debilitating eczema living in Los Altos Hills. The article mentioned a group, Citizens Concerned About Chloramine, which had formed because others in the area had gotten eczema from the local tap water after chloramine was added. Others had asthma attacks if they took a shower. Some people have gastrointestinal problems if they drink or cook with tap water. Some must avoid swimming pools.

Before starting medicines, for a month try drinking, bathing and handwashing only with bottled water, which is spring water without chloramine. Note that not all bottled water is without chloramine. I do not know which brands to recommend, except I know that Arrowhead Springs, Crystal Geyser and Calaveras Springs work for me.

For bathing, I add vitamin C to my hot tub water and have devised an outdoor shower using that. Dining out, I ask for lemon to squeeze into my glass of water, and I avoid soup, rice, pasta and steamed or boiled vegetables, which absorb the chloramine of the cooking water. At home, I cook with and drink only water that has no chloramine.

All this involves some effort, but it is far less trouble than having asthma, eczema and gastrointestinal problems.

It is hard to believe that public tap water is toxic in the U.S. We hear from Cal Water of Los Altos and San Francisco’s Hetch Hetchy water sellers to Los Altos Hills that our tap water is fine for people. But there have been no scientific studies proving that chloramine is safe to add to public water.

For more information, call the president of Citizens Concerned About Chloramine, Denise Johnson-Kula, at (408) 227-5767; email me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. ; or visit chloramine.org.

Marjorie Rauch

Los Altos

A call for a carbon tax

Last Friday, the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released its Fifth Assessment Report, further solidifying the science of climate change and calling for action.

“The scientific evidence for anthropogenic climate change has strengthened year by year, leaving fewer uncertainties about the serious consequences of inaction,” according to the report.

While it may seem like a global or national issue beyond the scope of Los Altos, consider that the Los Altos City Council is actively working to complete the city’s Climate Action Plan. The council and most residents understand the global impacts of our local decisions.

Most people recognize the seriousness of the problem and do what they can in their own lives but worry that there is no good way to tackle the global issue.

Fortunately, there is a simple suggestion being proposed that really could help: a carbon tax. If we add a fee at the point where carbon-based fuels come out of the ground (or enter the country) that reflects the true cost of burning those fuels (environmental damage, health effects, etc.), then everyone downstream will make choices that move us toward a sustainable energy economy and prevent the full ravages of climate change. The time to enact this is now.

Karl Danz

Los Altos

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