Local resident finds opportunity in housing crisis

Courtesy of Sumant Pendharkar

Sumant Pendharkar has seen house values skyrocket since he moved to Los Altos in 1997, and he wants Los Altos residents to view the market increases as an opportunity, not a challenge.

Pendharkar, a financial adviser, recommends that people with high-value homes purchase a second home in the area – not as a vacation home, but as a home for their children.

County assessment roll reaches $450 billion

Santa Clara Santa Clara County Assessor Larry Stone reported that the annual assessment roll reached $450 billion, a 7.37 percent increase over the previous year.

The assessment roll reflects the total net assessed value of all real and business property in the county as of Jan. 1.

Peruri's VoterCircle aims to educate politicians & voters

Town Crier File Photo
Sangeeth Peruri, second from right, began developing his VoterCircle campaign management app during his successful run for Los Altos School District Board of Trustees.

Sangeeth Peruri may have been a bit of a dark-horse candidate for the Los Altos School District Board of Trustees in 2014, but he had two secret weapons: a mind-set focused on efficiency and a campaign team willing to get creative.

“I found the process really inefficient,” Peruri said of winning his seat. “We were spending a lot of time phone-banking for Measure N … and people don’t respond from a volunteer they’ve never met. There had to be a better way.”

Realtors' Charitable Foundation awards scholarships to teens

Courtesy of Silicon Valley Association of Realtors
Denise Welsh, left, president of the Silicon Valley Association of Realtors, presents the SILVAR Charitable Foundation scholarship to Los Altos High graduating senior Simge Yildiz.

The Silicon Valley Realtors Charitable Foundation, the charitable arm of the Silicon Valley Association of Realtors, recently presented $1,000 scholarships to 18 graduating high school seniors.

Now in its 18th year, the realtor scholars program recognizes students whose achievements encompass academics, extracurricular/employment activities and community involvement. The selection committee included representatives from the local business community, area high schools, area colleges and SILVAR.

Service employees struggle to hang onto jobs in Los Altos

Megan V. Winslow/Town Crier
Jael Ruiz takes an order behind the counter at the American Italian Delicatessen on Main Street. Ruiz, who has worked in Los Altos for more than a decade, said she enjoys the city’s family atmosphere, but her commute from Campbell – up to two hours a day – takes a toll on her family.

After nearly 17 years working at restaurants in downtown Los Altos, Jael Ruiz has long wrangled with the housing and transportation challenges that define the lives of workers throughout the region.

An employee at the American Italian Delicatessen on Main Street, Ruiz said she enjoys her work assembling sandwiches and prizes the relationships she has formed with co-workers and customers. However, her job comes with constant uncertainty.

Office on Main to hit planning commission

Asher Kohn/Town Crier
A public notice in front of 40 Main St. describes the site’s three-story office project.

A contentious three-story building with more than 15,000 square feet of office space is on the agenda at Thursday’s Los Altos Planning and Transportation Commission meeting.

Ted Sorensen, the owner of the property at 40 Main St., has requested code exceptions to the city’s height ordinance, on-site parking and rear-yard setbacks, in exchange for offering a public “paseo” that would connect Main Street to the rear parking lot.

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