Kids' space closes as LACI prepares for State St. overhaul

Eliza Ridgeway/Town Crier
Play! provided a sprawling kid-oriented indoor space for celebrations such as Mountain View resident Logan Grosskurth’s third birthday.

Local parents mourned the loss of an unusual local resource when Play! Los Altos, one of the area’s premier children’s play spaces, had closed. News of the closure spread via the parenting blog Silicon Valley Toddler and elsewhere within hours of the announcement last week. Families from Los Altos, Mountain View and around the region weighed in to regret the loss of a “creative” space at the same time they lamented its reputation for pricey entrance fees.

Play! Los Altos representatives announced July 17 that they were closing their 170 State St. location, effective immediately.

Florist folds after long run at Rancho

Madison Ivy/special to the Town Crier
Just For You Florist closed earlier this month. Co-owner Jeff Bumgartner said grocery stores and internet sales made it tough to run a specialty store.

After more than a decade as a Los Altos stalwart, Just For You Florist closed earlier this month.

Owned by Jeff Bumgartner and Randy Ellis for 13 years, the flower shop shuttered after the duo decided not to renew their lease at their Rancho Shopping Center location.

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.

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