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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Project Los Altos artist collecting everyday records from residents

COMM SFMOMA KaterinaSeda-8350
Šedá, above, wants local residents to enter records for best, worst, biggest and smallest for her “Project Los Altos” installation at 359 State St. For more details, visit everythingisperfect.org.

When Katerina Šedá, an artist from the Czech Republic, arrived in Los Altos this fall to research and design a commissioned installation for “Project Los Altos: SFMOMA in Silicon Valley,” she heard from residents time and again that “everything is perfect” in the community.

“I was so tired of hearing this that I wanted to use it in the project,” said Šedá, who decided to collect “ordinary” records for inclusion in “Everything Is Perfect,” a project that culminates in the publication of the “Los Altos World Records” book next spring.

Observing that many local residents were already winners in life, Šedá wanted to produce something that offers a different perspective on what it means to be “the best.” Twisting the assumption that only world records count, “Los Altos World Records” intends to show that every person can be successful at something.

Selecting from a list of existing record categories or one that a resident proposes, Los Altos and Los Altos Hills residents can submit records through Jan. 31, after which the submissions will be verified and category winners declared. As an incentive to enter, every participant who sets a record will receive a certificate and a copy of “Los Altos World Records.”

“The best records are ordinary and easy,” Šedá noted. “This is the paradox.”

Šedá has received approximately 40 entries so far, including Martin Alter’s submission for the “Largest Collection of Rubber Ducks” at 300 and Laura Brewer’s claim to “Fastest Stenographer Using a Steno Machine” at 290-300 words per minute.

Although some records are so unique that they’re unlikely to be surpassed, entries like “House with the Most Evergreen Trees Out Front” at seven, “Largest Conference Table” at 14 feet long and “Most Friends on Facebook” at 869 might draw a challenge.

At its core, though, the friendly competition isn’t about numbers at all.

“I want to connect people through ordinary stuff,” Šedá said. “It’s not really about success as much as it’s about thinking creatively about our own lives.”

To ensure her project’s success, Šedá is counting on participation from local residents, which is more difficult than she expected.

When visitors arrive in the back room of 359 State St., where Šedá’s installation is set up, they will find a desk with a computer and an assortment of accessories – a nondescript setup. So normal, in fact, that some guests have expressed initial confusion. Visitors have wondered why the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art would rent gallery space to another business, while others ask Šedá where her completed project is.

“They don’t understand that this is art,” said Šedá of how her project challenges the mainstream idea that art is something that is finished and sits passively on a gallery wall.

Once guests grasp the concept behind the project, Šedá noted, they’re receptive to her modern art.

She said she still finds coaxing residents to submit records challenging, in part because “they’re afraid their records aren’t special enough.”

Šedá is dispelling the perception by taking to the streets, going door-to-door with project flyers and talking with residents about submitting a record. She would also like to add more children’s entries to the project and is reaching out to school administrators.

Completed submission forms along with documentation of the record (a photo, business card, certificate, etc.) can be dropped off at the 359 State St. submission office 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Wednesdays through Sundays; mailed to “Los Altos World Records,” 359 State St., Los Altos 94022; or submitted online at everythingisperfect.org. There’s no limit to the number of entries an individual can submit. For inspiration, view a sampling of photos illustrating current entries in the installation space or in the “Submitted Records Gallery” on the project’s website.

By connecting people who may never cross paths, Šedá is confident that her project will achieve its mission of helping the local community redefine “success.”

“Success is something that divides people, and I’m trying to create a different picture.”

For more information, visit everythingisperfect.org.

COMM SFMOMA KaterinaSeda EverythingisPerfect graphic small

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