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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Hidden Villa volunteer rediscovers fountain of youth as a tour guide


Laurie Aubuchon/Special to the Town Crier
Hidden Villa volunteer Peter Thurston crawls through The Rabbit Hole, one of the few guides to attempt passage through the small space. The tunnel allows visiting children to enter the farm’s organic Education Garden.

Being a kid again is one of the benefits Peter Thurston, 73, enjoys about volunteering at Hidden Villa. The retired marketing programs director at IBM Storage Systems joined the Hidden Villa Board of Trustees in 2009.

In his role as Hidden Villa farm and nature guide, Thurston teaches schoolchildren from all over the Bay Area about the nonprofit educational farm and wilderness area located in Los Altos Hills.

While his enthusiasm about the job is not unique among Hidden Villa guides, on occasion his method of entry into the organic Education Garden is. Scooting on his belly, using his forearms and feet to propel himself forward, he has delighted children by crawling through a diminutive portal called The Rabbit Hole – a child-sized tunnel into the garden.

Exploring the surrounding hills, Thurston said he strives to make the children comfortable.

“We focus on making the kids fall in love with nature,” he said. “They fall in love, and then they learn.”

Guides promote the connection by hiking and playing games with the children as they facilitate farm experiences.

“Every time I’m done with a tour, I really feel good,” Thurston said.

Residents of Los Altos Hills for 43 years, Thurston, his wife Carol and their three now-grown children have enjoyed many walks at Hidden Villa.

“My wife had them all go to camp here,” Thurston said of Hidden Villa’s summer camps.

Thurston also contributes his time at Environmental Volunteers and Filoli, but his Hidden Villa experience is special.

“Being on the board is a real honor,” he said, “but being with the kids is a real joy. I’ve never had a bad day here. I really haven’t.”

Hidden Villa invites potential volunteer guides to observe an upcoming school tour 8:15 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Jan. 24 at the preserve, 26870 Moody Road, Los Altos Hills. Call 949-8643 prior to joining the tour.

If visitors subsequently decide to volunteer, all necessary training is provided free of charge. No experience is required.

For more information, call 949-8643 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

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