Fri11282014

News

VTA plans for El Camino Real prompt skepticism


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
A Valley Transit Authority proposal to convert general-use right lanes on El Camino Real to bus-only use received a chilly reception last week.

A Valley Transit Authority proposal that prioritizes public transit along El Camino Real drew a largely skeptical reaction from residents who spoke at one of two public hearings last week.

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After feast comes frolic: Festival of Lights Parade set for Sunday


Town Crier File Photo
The Festival of Lights Parade rolls into downtown Sunday evening.

The 38th annual Festival of Lights Parade, with its floats, bands and costumed characters, is scheduled to light up downtown Los Altos 6 p.m. Sunday along Main and State streets.

This year’s hourlong affair features 59 entries, according to parade volunteer and spokeswoman Nancy Schneider. Entries include 22 floats and marching bands from Los Altos, Mountain View, Homestead, St. Francis and Fremont high schools, among others. Costumed performers from classic fairy tales will be marching along, including new “Alice group cards,” according to Schneider. The popular Snow Queen and her court also will be on hand, waving to the crowd.

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Milk Pail, developer working on new parking deal


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Developer Merlone Geier Partners is working toward a parking agreement with The Milk Pail Market as part of its Phase 2 Village at San Antonio Center development.

A new parking agreement may be on the horizon for a longtime Mountain View market.

The Milk Pail Market owner Steve Rasmussen told the Town Crier last week that he is working with developer Merlone Geier Partners on a parking deal to keep his 40-year business afloat. An email to Merlone Geier Vice President Mike Grehl was not returned by the Town Crier’s press deadline.

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Local businessman launched international chicken phenomenon


Town Crier File Photo
Los Altos businessman Pete Harman’s legacy includes his downtown Kentucky Fried Chicken franchise.

Longtime Los Altos businessman Leon Weston “Pete” Harman, Kentucky Fried Chicken’s first franchisee, died Nov. 19. He was 95.

Mr. Harman’s family restaurant had grown into a multinational phenomenon after he allied with Col. Harland Sanders to dish up Kentucky Fried Chicken. As the chain’s initial franchisee, Harman and his wife, Arline, built a large food service corporation, Harman Management Corp., and for the last half century based it on First Street in Los Altos. First Street also hosted a KFC branch through the mid-1990s.

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Police Blotter

Fire damages Los Altos Hills home

Santa Clara County firefighters extinguished a structure fire on West Loyola Drive in Los Altos Hills Sunday afternoon.

According to officials, the fire appeared to be unintentional and was contained to a bedroom and the hallway in the home. Officials reported smoke damage throughout the structure and estimated the loss at approximately $100,000.

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Death by drought: LAH faces pine loss


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
The Los Altos Hills County Fire District has removed 2,872 dying trees in the past few years. O’Keefe Lane, above, was particularly hard hit.

Extracting fallow trees is a full-time job for Stu Farwell, who operates the Los Altos Hills County Fire District’s Dead Tree Program.

Although private property owners have kept his team busy with assessments and tree removals since the program launched in 2000, in recent months they have reported an uptick in requests to clear away dead or dying Monterey pine trees. The fire district has removed 2,872 trees since 2011 – the majority of which were pine species, according to Farwell.

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Los Altos Briefs

City earns bike-friendly status

The League of American Bicyclists recently recognized Los Altos as a bronze-level Bicycle Friendly Community.

This is the second time the organization awarded Los Altos the bronze-level designation – one of four assigned to cities by the league. The city first applied for and received the status in 2011.

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