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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Not on the menu? Councilwoman says no to Hillview, maybe to Rosita regarding school site

The city’s stance on Hillview Community Center as a possible school site hasn’t changed, according to a member of the Los Altos City Council.

Councilwoman Megan Satterlee told Los Altos School District board trustees Tammy Logan and Doug Smith that the city isn’t interested in discussing Hillview as a future school site when other options still remain open to the district.

“We’ve had this conversation multiple times and nothing’s changed,” said Satterlee, who added that she simply doesn’t see a “win-win” for the city and district.

Satterlee later added that she “still thinks there are options out there that don’t impact a community resource,” noting that the “threshold” to start conversations about a school site remains a stated assurance that the district will not exercise eminent-domain rights on city property.

The statements came after Smith and Logan told Satterlee and Mayor Jarrett Fishpaw during a Nov. 19 school district-city subcommittee meeting that the district was still interested in exploring a partnership on the site. Smith also broached the subject of a partnership recently during a joint meeting of the Los Altos and Los Altos Hills councils. Councilmembers from both cities discussed a possible alliance to jointly fund a new community center on the Hillview site.

Shared use of Rosita Park?

Reached by the Town Crier, Smith noted that the district remains interested in a “collaborative dialogue about how the interests of all parties might be served best.”

“I’m disappointed in Councilwoman Satterlee’s position, but it’s definitely not new,” Smith stated in an email to the Town Crier. “She has said that she doesn’t think there is a win-win scenario, but I’m not sure how she can say that since we haven’t explored anything yet.”

Smith noted that the district isn’t interested in giving up its eminent-domain rights because it would likely drop the issue of Hillview if joint discussions with the city go nowhere.

“I don’t think it’s appropriate for any government entity to require a person or agency to waive rights before seeing how they might work together to serve the community,” he added.

Instead, Satterlee said the city is more amenable to discussing a “shared use” of Rosita Park if the district exhausts all other school site options. Specifically, Satterlee told Smith and Logan that the district would need to create a proposal that includes the amount of parkland needed to build a school, proposed shared-use guidelines and an idea of which amenities would stay or go, among other details.

Satterlee later told the Town Crier that while the council hadn’t discussed specifics regarding the Rosita site, she believes it would ultimately seek an arrangement that “results in no loss of total land ownership for the city.”

“The reason Rosita is top of mind is because the field and parking lot at Rosita are not generally scheduled or in high use during the school day, making a shared-use arrangement workable,” she noted in an email, while also citing traffic flow concerns around the area as sticking points. “We have also invested a considerable amount in a class (I) pathway that accesses the backside of the Covington site (adjacent to the park).”

Smith said he believes that the district will bring proposals on the park to the city in the future. At the same time, he noted concern that potential talks between Los Altos and Los Altos Hills to rebuild the community center would leave the district out in the cold.

“We should be evaluating all options in parallel,” he said, “not single-streaming them in a way that one group thinks is most optimized for their particular view.”

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