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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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City council looks ahead: Goals include developing new community center plan


Town Crier File Photo
During their annual retreat, members of the Los Altos City Council committed to implementing short-term parking solutions for downtown Los Altos in 2014.

A plan that would lead to the funding and construction of a new community center is among a handful of goals on the Los Altos City’s Council’s to-do list for 2014.

Councilwoman Jeannie Bruins told the Town Crier that the development of an action plan to replace the aging Hillview Community Center was one in a “manageable set of goals” discussed by the council at its annual retreat Dec. 14 at the Jesuit Retreat Center.

Bruins noted that the city would spend the year exploring “what it will take” for a new center to become reality. She noted that the plan would likely cover several crucial components in detail, including funding strategies, design options and potential partnerships with other entities.

Mayor Megan Satterlee added that public feedback from a 2012 public survey showed a higher level of resident interest in replacing the aging community center as opposed to some other civic facilities. The survey was conducted at the time to gauge public interest in a bond measure to fund the first phase of the city’s Civic Center Master Plan, which called for the replacement of city hall, the Los Altos Police Department and the community center.

“What is different is that the feedback on the master plan has caused us to amend the phasing. Clearly the top priority is the community center,” said Satterlee, who described public interest as “high” for replacing Hillview.

Satterlee added that the task would include a 2014 public engagement process “around some options that look different from the master plan so that we can get to a design we think we can move forward with.”

Other priorities

Planning for a new community center wasn’t the only goal discussed during the daylong retreat.

Bruins said the city would continue to explore parking solutions for downtown Los Altos. Satterlee confirmed that the city would implement and follow up the short-term strategies outlined in the city’s Downtown Parking Management Plan.

Satterlee expressed interest in crafting a policy that would outline ways that developers could meet their projects’ parking demands by helping to fund the reconfiguration of public parking plazas. She cautioned, however, that “there has to be a meeting of the minds by the majority of the council in order for this policy to move forward.”

Satterlee pointed to transportation issues as another key discussion for the new year. She noted that the council would explore solutions in 2014 to the “barriers to success” that prevent some city transportation projects from moving forward at a more rapid rate. She said the issue could include looking at “making some modifications” to engage the public on projects earlier and more efficiently.

“The goal is to move faster when we start projects and to move more of them forward,” Bruins said.

The council also listed an ongoing effort to improve community engagement as a whole, which might include the appointment of an ad hoc committee to develop new strategies, Bruins noted. In addition, Bruins and Satterlee cited the continuation of managing the city’s finances in a prudent manner as a top priority for 2014.

Some items that could not be addressed in the daylong retreat, including discussions on council norms, the 2014 legislative calendar and potential adjustments to the city’s administrative approval process, are slated for discussion at a special meeting, scheduled Tuesday.

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