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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Climate Action Plan goes forward: Council directs staff to begin environmental review process


Town Crier File Photo
The Los Altos City Council plans to implement a Climate Action Plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The council previously approved installation of electric-vehicle charging stations, above.

A policy document that will serve as a guideline in making Los Altos more environmentally friendly recently entered a new phase.

The Los Altos City Council voted unanimously in favor of preparing a final draft of the city’s Climate Action Plan Sept. 24. In doing so, the council directed city staff to initiate an environmental review process, as required by the California Environmental Quality Act.

The council also approved $11,865 in additional funds to complete work on the plan, which outlines various measures the city can take to achieve a minimum greenhouse gas reduction target of 17 percent below the city’s 2005 level of 182,830 metric tons of carbon-dioxide equivalent.

The city’s Climate Action Plan complies with State Assembly Bill 32, known as the Global Warming Solutions Act. The bill, passed in 2006, established a statewide goal of decreasing greenhouse gas emissions to 1990 emission levels by 2020.

Prior to the vote, Los Altos resident Margaret Suozzo – representing local environmental group GreenTown Los Altos – told the council that the Climate Action Plan was “not perfect, but it’s an excellent start” and urged advancement of the proposal.

“We look forward to working with the city to implement the plan and reduce the carbon footprint of our community,” she said.

Gary Hedden – who serves as an Environmental Commissioner to the city but spoke on his own behalf – said the council should give measures outlined in the report the “highest possible priority” if the city aims to meet its reduction target by 2020.

Council reactions

Despite the unanimous vote to move forward, Councilwoman Megan Satterlee questioned whether the city had the manpower, time and resources available to meet the plan’s reduction goals. Specifically, Satterlee said that while she didn’t relish playing the spoiler role, she simply couldn’t foresee measures in the plan “happening by 2020.”

“I really sort of feel like we have to be a little more honest with ourselves,” Satterlee noted before voting in favor of the plan’s continued development. “We currently have a number of frozen positions on (city) staff, we have a backlog of CIP (Capital Improvement Program) projects (and) we have a backlog of council-requested items to come before us. You add this entire work plan on top of all that existing work and it ain’t all getting done.”

However, Mayor Jarrett Fishpaw noted that he’d like “to see us move forward,” while conceding that he also considered the backlog of work ahead for the city.

Councilwoman Jeannie Bruins praised the efforts of city staffers and consultants in their work while calling the plan a “roadmap” for the city to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions over the next several years.

“When I look at this, this really lends itself to this plan-do-check-act approach to things,” she said. “You plan something, you do it, you check it … and then we take it and act accordingly. I think it is structured to allow us to do that very successfully.”

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