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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Joint councils consider community center options

When it comes to finding someone to help the city fund a new community center, Los Altos may have an interested partner in Los Altos Hills.

The topic of exploring a joint funding venture to replace the aging Hillview Community Center facility was broached last week at a joint meeting of the Los Altos and Los Altos Hills city councils. Los Altos Hills councilmembers expressed varying degrees of interest in talking about the possibility, an item placed on the joint-meeting agenda at the behest of Los Altos Councilwoman Val Carpenter.

For now, Los Altos City Manager Marcia Somers and her Los Altos Hills counterpart, Carl Cahill, will be “working together to determine if a committee can be formed in the future,” according to Los Altos Public Information Coordinator Erica Ray.

Los Altos Hills Mayor Gary Waldeck told the Town Crier the possibility of the cities working together “has a lot of merit” but added, “I think it’s going to be very expensive. The question now is, what’s involved?”

Councilmembers from both cities characterized the talks as exploratory in nature.

“This is a lot like a Rubik’s Cube with about 20 points per side instead of only three. Other than that, it’s simple,” Waldeck added with a chuckle.

The Los Altos council seeks to fulfill its 2013 priority to find a way to replace the Hillview structure with a new multipurpose, multigenerational community center.

The city hired a consultant earlier this year to study the city’s options.

A 2012 resident survey revealed inadequate support for a bond measure to fund the first phase of a master plan that called for the replacement of several civic center structures.

Los Altos Hills Councilwoman Courtenay C. Corrigan noted that the potential for the cities to “join forces” on future parks and recreation programming made a two-city partnership “even more compelling to me.”

Los Altos Hills Councilman John Radford, meanwhile, expressed interest in a potential third partner – the Los Altos School District (LASD).

“I’m very interested in a three-way partnership that has maybe a higher ability to pass a bond, but also then uses some of that space for the Los Altos School District … that would make it much more attractive to me,” he said.

However, Radford added, “Residents can only take so much, in terms of bonds,” and pointed to the potential for a LASD bond measure in 2014.

LASD Board of Trustees President Doug Smith told councilmembers his district’s involvement as a third partner could prove beneficial. He noted that the district has a lower threshold – 55 percent – to pass a bond measure, versus the two-thirds vote required by cities.

Other scenarios, he added, include the possibility of having LASD purchase or lease a portion of civic center land to help fund a new community center.

“We would love to participate in that and see if there is a way that we can craft something that works,” Smith said.

Los Altos Councilwoman Megan Satterlee, however, pointed out potential problems with having a shared site, noting conflicts between typical school hours and peak hours of use by community center patrons.

“Right now, our feeling is that there are other solutions to the need for a school site,” she said.

Satterlee later told the Town Crier that each city’s timing to see movement on the project – among other factors – will play a role in any future discussions with Los Altos Hills.

“It sounded to me like the (Los Altos Hills) council was open to discussions,” she said, “and that’s a good place to start.”

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