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 add ...

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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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