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 ad...

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LAH Council Briefs

The Los Altos Hills City Council took the following actions at its Oct. 17 meeting. The next council meeting is scheduled 6 p.m. Tuesday at town hall, 26379 W. Fremont Road.

Trust lowers cost of sewer connections

When the Malavalli Revocable Trust signed onto a sewer reimbursement agreement with the town in June 2011 – fronting the costs for the estimated $2 million, mile-long Natoma Road Sanitary Sewer Main Extension – the trust’s representatives drafted a plan for 25 future users to share in the cost of the project. Several years later and with no other users signed on for a sewer connection, the trust’s representatives approached the council with a proposal to entice more users to sign up for sewer connections.

According to an amendment presented to the council, offering a month-long “discount incentive” would reduce each future user’s share of project expenses or usage fee from $85,000 to $35,000, plus administrative fees and a percentage of the construction cost index. With no cost to the town, councilmembers approved the request, recommending that the trust extend the discount window from 30 days to 90 to allow potential users more time to assess the full cost of a sewer connection.

The council directed staff to create a template to advise future sewer-connection applicants who may not be aware of all the steps and fees involved in the process.

Council approves variance, sticks homeowners with bill

After much back-and-forth, the council voted unanimously to approve a variance allowing an illegally constructed 10-foot-by-12-foot utility shed to remain on a residential property.

According to a staff report, when the homeowners built their 3,200-square-foot house in 2003, they were required to dedicate an additional 30 feet of right-of-way along Moody Road as well as 0.52 acres of their property for conservation easement. During a staff inspection of the property in January following heavy December rains, staff discovered the shed and reported it to the town.

Noting the half-acre for conservation, the council approved the variance and decided that the property owners should pay the $7,800 variance fee, bucking the Los Altos Hills Planning Commission’s 4-1 vote in favor of waiving the fee. Councilmembers expressed reservations about absolving the property owners from paying the fee, as it would condone violating the town’s planning and building codes.

Public invited to weigh in on Page Mill project

When Caltrans signaled its intention to install traffic lights at the north- and southbound off-ramps at Page Mill Road and Interstate 280 to improve safety for motorists, Los Altos Hills recommended additional safeguards for non-vehicular traffic.

In collaboration with the city of Palo Alto and Santa Clara County, Los Altos Hills staff drafted two preliminary design proposals – a long-term “ultimate” plan and an interim “concept” plan. With the goal to make the intersection safe and functional for all users, including motorists, pedestrians, bicyclists and equestrians, the plans propose design modifications, additional striping and a bike lane, among other elements.

The town plans to present the recommendations to Caltrans after soliciting feedback from the community. Local residents can review the designs and add input at a meeting scheduled 6 p.m. Nov. 12 at town hall.

To view the concept plans and submit comments to the town online, visit losaltoshills.ca.gov/announcements/491-signals-i-280.

Arastradero Trail opens Nov. 1

Los Altos Hills trail users will be connected to their neighbors in Palo Alto after the $1.19 million Arastradero Trail Improvement Project opens next month.

Funded by Stanford University, the project includes the rehabilitation of existing town pathways and the construction of a new one to link the intersection of Purissima and Arastradero roads in Los Altos Hills to the Pearson-Arastradero Preserve in Palo Alto.

A dedication ceremony and ribbon cutting are scheduled 9 a.m. Nov. 1 at the footbridge near the Park and Ride lot at Arastradero and Page Mill roads.

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