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News

LAH measure could boost sewer rates significantly

The Los Altos Hills City Council’s approval of a series of sewer service rate increases means residents could soon see a hefty jump in their tax bills.

There are 1,749 single-family residential units within Los Altos Hills and each currently p...

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Schools

MVLA foundation recounts first year of Learning in the Cloud

MVLA foundation recounts first year of Learning in the Cloud


Traci Newell/Town Crier
Robert Barker, Los Altos High World Literature teacher, demonstrates how students use online discussion in class.

Technology is no longer seen as a distraction in the classroom, as students in the Mountain View Los Altos ...

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Community

Faria and friends unite to raise funds for cancer research

Faria and friends unite to raise funds for cancer research


Courtesy of Joseph Faria
Supporters of last month’s Relay For Life event in Mountain View include, from left, Los Altos residents Matthew Aufricht, Connor Chu, Matthew Demele and Dominic, Eileen and Joseph Faria. The Los Altos Relay For Life is sla...

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Sports

Right  on track

Right on track


Megan V. Winslow/Town Crier
Mountain View High sophomore Rachael Estell leaps for the win in the girls long jump Friday at the CCS championships.

As far as locals go, the underclassmen overshadowed the seniors at the Central Coast Section track and ...

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Comment

Coffee with cops? We'll drink to that: Editorial

The recent “Coffee with a Cop” event proved a good public relations move for the Los Altos Police Department. It also provided a great opportunity for residents to ask questions and converse with several officers, including the police chief, in an in...

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Special Sections

Deciphering the irksome sounds cars often make

Ahh – the troublesome, telltale auto noise. It’s that squeak, screech, squeal, groan, grind, hum, hiss, rattle, knock, clicking or ticking that drives drivers crazy.

Even with all the technology in modern cars, the sounds our cars make t...

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Business

Local couple launches downtown restaurant

Local couple launches downtown restaurant


Alicia Castro/Town Crier
The Turn Bar & Grill crew prepares for the restaurant’s impending opening.

Jim and Julie Otis are prepared to realize their longtime dream.

The couple – lifelong Los Altos residents – wanted to ensure ...

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Books

Horan's 'Loving Frank' offers fictionalized account of famed architect's illicit affair

Horan's 'Loving Frank' offers fictionalized account of famed architect's illicit affair


In the 1920s, two married people fall in love, leave their spouses and children and set about living and traveling together. Affairs of this sort were considered shocking at the time. But the scandal was heightened given that the man was Frank Lloy...

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People

DR. WALLACE IRA SAMPSON

DR. WALLACE IRA SAMPSON

     

Dr. Wallace Ira Sampson, 85, passed away peacefully on Monday, May 25, at Santa Clara Valley Medical Center. He leaves his wife of 59 years, Rita (nee Landry) Sampson, brother Sandy, sons Robert, Paul (Suzanne), Buck (Kathryn), ...

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Travel

Flying south for the winter: Antarctica trips are not just for the birds

Flying south for the winter: Antarctica trips are not just for the birds


Photos Courtesy of Dave Hadden
Los Altos residents Dave and Joan Hadden watched the scenery from the large boat and a smaller Zodiac.

Standing on the beach with hundreds of thousands of penguins is “the experience of a lifetime,” according to Ga...

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Stepping Out

Kushner's 'Angels' arrives at Foothill

Kushner's 'Angels' arrives at Foothill


David Allen/Special to the Town Crier
Harper Pitt (Sophia Naylor) describes her life to Joe Pitt (Dan Martin) in “Angels in America,” playing in the Lohman Theatre at Foothill College through June 14.

The Foothill Theatre Arts Department’s produ...

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Spiritual Life

Magazine

Practice prudent pruning: Maintaining manzanita, ceanothus and toyon

Practice prudent pruning: Maintaining manzanita, ceanothus and toyon


tanya kucak/Special to the Town Crier
Shrub manzanitas are known for their sinuous mahogany trunks and branches. If the foliage hides the bark, prune selectively to open the center so that the bark is visible year-round. This Montara manzanita is ...

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Inside Mountain View

Construction update: Downtown projects pick up pace


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
A construction worker directs the placement of a beam for the new Safeway store on First Street.

As the pace of holiday shopping in downtown Los Altos picks up, so does the schedule for the area’s ongoing construction projects. Following is an update on four projects currently underway – in varying degrees – in the downtown triangle.

First Street Safeway

Structural work on the new 45,000-square-foot, podium-style Safeway at 160 First St. is “significantly complete,” according to Keith Turner, Safeway’s director of public and government affairs.

Safeway representatives were slated to update the Los Altos City Council Tuesday night on the project’s progress – past the Town Crier’s press deadline.

In an email to the Town Crier, Turner said foundations and double-T structural supports are in for the new grocery store. Workers are currently framing the walls and roof for the southern half of the building, which will be approximately twice as large as the 1960s-era Safeway the new store will replace.

“All work is progressing nicely and without any significant disruption,” Turner said.

Turner added that the next steps include completing remaining structural work on the north side of the building and the installation of roof steel and walls. Then construction crews will enclose the building, which includes the installation of metal decking and exterior walls, by the end of January.

Work to install the store’s various electrical, plumbing and mechanical systems will continue within the building.

Turner anticipated that the store’s ground-level parking area slab will be prepped and poured in January or February.

The new market remains on track for a June finish, he concluded.

100 First St. condominiums

Construction crews are framing the third floor of developer Randy Lamb’s 48-unit condominium complex at 100 First St., according to David Dacus, sales manager for Lamb Partners LLC. He added that the project is currently slated for completion sometime in mid-summer.

Dacus said the project, built on the site of the demolished U.S. Postal Service office, is expected to “top out” with the completion of roof installation sometime early next year. Dacus noted that the lack of rain this fall meant that the project didn’t experience the on-again, off-again work interruptions construction crews typically endure.

“We make hay when the sun shines, as the saying goes,” said Dacus, who added that he still anticipates some weather-related impacts through the winter.

On the sales front, Dacus said early interest in the one- to three-bedroom units, which range from 800 to 2,700 square feet in size, has been significant, even though pricing won’t be revealed until early next year.

“We’ve had a lot of people reserving homes already,” said Dacus, without citing any specific figures.

For more information, visit 100firststreet.com.

Enchanté boutique hotel

Los Altos resident and developer Abby Ahrens told the Town Crier that her French-themed boutique hotel, Enchanté, is currently on schedule for a pre-summer finish.

“Definitely by May,” she said.

The 12,000-square-foot hotel at the corner of Main Street and San Antonio Road will feature 18 uniquely themed rooms with fireplaces, a lounge, a bistro and a public plaza. Ahrens said Comcast crews recently installed fiber-optic cable.

“It’s the best of both worlds,” said Ahrens, noting that hotel perks would include a canine concierge service. “It’s got a dark flavor with the best of technology.”

She added that construction crews are currently working to install the structure’s slate roof and electrical work. In addition, workers are installing a “several-hundred-year-old” antique French window – called an “oeil-de-boeuf,” French for “bull’s-eye” – on the upper level of the boutique hotel, facing its plaza and San Antonio Road. Crews are expected to begin applying final exterior coats for the building “in the near future,” she added.

Ahrens said her finishing touches to decorate the interior of the hotel would include “a smattering of antiques.”

For updates and more information, visit facebook.com/ EnchanteHotel.

First & Main mixed-use project

According to Los Altos Special Projects Manager Dave Brees, construction crews for the Jeffrey A. Morris Group are currently framing the podium deck that will top the underground garage of the developer’s two-story project.

Brees said a crew recently poured concrete to form the walls of the underground parking area, which will underpin retail and Class A office space at the corner of First and Main streets. Approximately half of the garage floor has been poured, he added, with the second half scheduled for completion this week.

Construction on the gateway project, which began last summer, remains on track to finish within its 14- to 16-month time frame, Brees said.


Downtown Construction Update: December 2013 - Photos by Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier

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