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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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State senator seeks to return money to Los Altos Hills

A bill sponsored by State Sen. Jim Beall (D-15th District) would return money to Los Altos Hills and other Silicon Valley communities.

On a recent visit with the Silicon Valley Association of Realtors (SILVAR), Beall explained Senate Bill 629, tax-equity allocation legislation that would require the county to redirect approximately $2.1 million in property taxes to the cities of Los Altos Hills, Cupertino, Monte Sereno and Saratoga beginning in the 2014-2015 fiscal year.

Because of the current tax formula, the cities receive less property-tax revenue (approximately 4 percent) than other cities in the state (7 percent). Beall said he is working to correct the inequity by requiring the Santa Clara County auditor to revise property-tax allocation formulas and reimburse the cities.

Beall said the matter is a question of fairness, because the loss in revenue has limited the ability of some cities to maintain library hours and provide adequate road repairs and parks and recreation services.

“We’re trying to correct that and working to have their property taxes returned to them,” he said of the affected cities. “Let’s work on that together.”

Beall also shared a bit of good news during his SILVAR appearance. After years of deficits, he said, California’s budget is healthy, with projections of a $2 billion surplus for 2014. Beall noted that this time around, the state needs to set aside much of that money as reserves.

“We need to avoid the tendency to overspend and keep a rainy-day fund,” he said.

Beall is also sponsoring SB 628, a bill on infrastructure financing around transit stations. The measure would require municipalities that use infrastructure-financing district bonds for transit projects to designate a portion of property-tax revenue to increase and improve lower- and moderate-income housing in the district.

During his chat with realtors, Beall outlined additional priorities, including advocating a good state drug and mental-health policy. Specifically, Beall noted that the state should focus on recidivism, as 70 percent of offenders released return to state prison after only a couple of years. A good drug and mental-health policy would not only help offenders, but also communities as a whole, he added.

Beall said money spent on incarceration continues to rise at the expense of education, leading to state tuition increases for public colleges and universities, forcing students to shoulder a heavier loan debt.

“Many families have these problems, and that’s bad for the economy,” Beall said. “For me, making policy to fund higher education and limit tuition increases is good for real estate.”

The Silicon Valley Association of Realtors provided information for this article. For more information, email Rose Meily at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

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