Thu03052015

News

Council considers freezing First St. development

Council considers freezing First St. development


Megan V. Winslow/Town Crier
A pedestrian walks along First Street in downtown Los Altos last week. Future construction on the street could soon be barred by an emergency moratorium on development.

Further construction along First Street could...

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Schools

Santa Rita students put on Kranky Kids Radio Show

Santa Rita students put on Kranky Kids Radio Show


Traci Newell/ Town Crier
Neighborhood volunteer Lishka DeVoss, center, introduces members of Santa Rita School’s Kranky Kids Radio Club to their interviewee last week. The students star in the Kranky Kids Radio Show, which airs Fridays on KZSU.
...

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Community

Music for Minors partners with Harvard to expand efforts

Music for Minors partners with Harvard to expand efforts


Palmer

When the thriving Music for Minors began to outgrow its capacity, the local nonprofit organization made new friends.

Beginning in late February, Music for Minors – a Town Crier Holiday Fund recipient – partnered with Harvard Business Sch...

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Sports

Eagles make school history

Eagles make school history

Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
The Los Altos High School Eagles defeated Santa Clara High School Tuesday to advance to the Central Coast Section basketball finals Saturday.

The Eagles are headed where no Los Altos High boys basketball team has gone...

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Comment

Dangerous streets: A Piece of My Mind

I’m driving along El Monte Avenue between Foothill Expressway and Springer Road at approximately 6 p.m. on a midwinter evening. In keeping with the “village feeling” of our town, there are no sidewalks and no streetlights.

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Special Sections

Lions, lambs and Cab Franc for March

Lions, lambs and Cab Franc for March


Christine Moore/Special to the Town Crier
Oven fries, a slice of feta cheese and the bite of harissa mayonnaise make for a late-winter, early-spring dinner perfectly paired with Cabernet Franc.

I can’t help but wonder whether March will come in ...

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Business

Los Altos scientist named Inventor of the Year

Los Altos scientist named Inventor of the Year

Alicia Castro/Town Crier
Robert Showen, above, the Silicon Valley Intellectual Property Lawyers Association’s Inventor of the Year, began researching his ShotSpotter technology in his Los Altos home. Sensors are placed around a city, below, and fou...

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Books

French novel

French novel "Hunting and Gathering" offers character-driven suspense


Anna Gavalda is a well-known author in her native France, where she has published six books, most of which have met with considerable praise and commercial success. Her fourth novel, “Hunting and Gathering” (Riverhead Books, 2007), is filled ...

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People

JACK JOSEPH CRANE

JACK JOSEPH CRANE

Long time Los Altos resident, Jack Joseph Crane, loving husband and devoted father of two children, passed away peacefully at the Terraces in Los Altos, Saturday, February 21, 2015. He was 95 years of age. Jack was born on June 22, 1919. He is prec...

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Travel

Seoul of the city: Korean capital offers mix of old and new

Seoul of the city: Korean capital offers mix of old and new


Ramya Krishna/Special to the Town Crier
Seoul’s Cheonggyecheon public recreation space, above, features an elevated pedestrian bridge.

Seoul, South Korea, is a study in contrasts. Having grown quickly, the city is a mix of old and new.

Using...

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Stepping Out

TheatreWorks jumps into ‘Lake’

TheatreWorks jumps into ‘Lake’


Kevin Berne/Special to the Town Crier
Jason Bowen, from left, Adam Poss and Nilanjana Bose star in “The Lake Effect,” opening this weekend at the Lucie Stern Theatre in Palo Alto and running through March 29.

The TheatreWorks production ...

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Spiritual Life

Is your thought life sabotaging your spiritual journey?

My computer started having problems – there seemed to be some sort of malware running in the background. At first it was just annoying, then it began to slow down my computer, interfering with its basic operations. What is it doing? Why can...

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Magazine

Local events serve up family fun

Local events serve up family fun


Courtesy of Peninsula Youth Theatre
Peninsula Youth Theatre’s production of “Pecos Bill: A Tall Tale” is slated to open March 20 in Mountain View.

For families seeking a break from the daily routine, events abound this month and next in Los Alto...

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Letters to the Editor

Councilwoman refutes characterization

During a Los Altos City Council special meeting Jan. 7, I expressed concern that the city staff had approved a two-story project on city property without the public or council having any prior knowledge or input.

I did so to ensure that such a mistake won’t happen again. Your subsequent editorial regarding that discussion troubled me, since neither your publisher nor your editor-in-chief was present and, as you mentioned, the meeting was not recorded (“Histrionics undermine valid points,” Jan. 15).

I want to assure the people of Los Altos that I will continue to raise important issues on their behalf with the professional courtesy and respect that has characterized my eight years of service on the Los Altos City Council.

Val Carpenter

Los Altos City Councilwoman

Homeowners thank local firefighters

As we dig out from our Nov. 25 house fire, we wish to thank Capt. Shanna Kuempel, Kendall Pearson, Battalion 14C, all the firefighters and emergency workers from the El Monte Fire Station and others who worked tirelessly and with care to preserve our house and its contents.

We empathize with and lament such losses when we learn of other tragedies like this – but it is different when it happens to you. These men and women were phenomenal. The morning after the fire, Capt. Kuempel and another firefighter came by to sweep out the considerable debris. Afterward, a group of firefighters visited every few days to see how we were doing.

Since then, our nearby firefighters might appreciate our new mantra: “Let your sirens blare, we’re so glad you’re there!”

We offer special thanks to Town Crier reporter Diego Abeloos, who, responding to a call from worried friends of ours in Massachusetts, came to check that we were OK. This is what small-town living is all about.

Barbara and Marv Emerling

Los Altos

Resident supports Styrofoam ban

I’m happy that the city of Los Altos has joined many cities and countries, including Taiwan, to ban polystyrene (Styrofoam) beginning July 4 (“Los Altos OKs Styrofoam ban,” Jan 22). It’s too bad it will not start on April 22, as proposed by members of the community, to include the farmers’ market and raise awareness on Earth Day.

Chronic exposure to styrene, the building block of polystyrene, affects the central nervous system, leading to depression, headache, fatigue and weakness. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) classified styrene as a possible human carcinogen. In 1986, the EPA reported polystyrene manufacturing as the fifth-largest creator of hazardous waste, with 57 chemical by-products released. Toxic chemicals leach out of these products into the food they contain, especially when heated in a microwave.

Polystyrene recycling is limited and shrinking and is not a closed-loop system.

Because biodegradable polymers are available as substitutes, even though they are not as insulating, post-consumer recycled paper, bamboo and corn are renewable resources.

Dane Wharton, age 13

Los Altos

Native plants boost conservation efforts

Thank you for your timely and informative article on water conservation (“Making every drop count: Water agencies emphasize conservation,” Jan. 15).

I would like to emphasize that the economic vitality of our community depends on wiser use of this life-sustaining and limited resource. As our population grows, we each need to use water more efficiently.

Watering lawns is the single biggest waste of residential water. Turf grasses are really unsuitable for our climate. Deep-rooted native grasses such as bent grass or red fescue provide the same usability of lawns. Compared with turf grass, these native species require substantially less water and no chemical fertilizers.

Add color, texture and structure to your landscape with beautiful California native plants. The native birds and butterflies will thank you.

The Santa Clara Valley Water District will thank you with a check for up to $2,000 from its landscape rebate program. And your neighbors will thank you.

Kit Gordon

GreenTown Los Altos,

Los Altos Hills Water Conservation Committee

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