Local founders back in court

A federal grand jury charged Los Altos Hills resident Elizabeth Holmes with wire fraud last week in the continuing investigation of her company, the Palo Alto-based Theranos Inc.

Holmes, 34, founded Theranos in 2003 as a life sciences startup focused on closely guarded medical innovation related to blood testing and diagnostics. As she assembled a star-studded board and raised hundreds of millions of dollars from local venture capitalists and wealthy investors, Holmes grew the company to a valuation of $9 billion yet revealed little about the fundamental science driving her products.

Q&A: LACI's Anne Wojcicki talks 170 State St. remodel

Megan V. Winslow/Town Crier
Anne Wojcicki, the principal at Los Altos Community Investments, wants “food and fun” in her 170 State St. building. Located in downtown Los Altos, the building has been mostly vacant for nearly a year.

Food and fun are the priority for Anne Wojcicki when 170 State St. takes on new life after its remodel.

Located in downtown Los Altos and owned by Los Altos Community Investments, the complex has been occupied by Play! Los Altos and Kiwi Crate in recent years. Now completely vacant – and long ready for a face-lift – 170 State St.’s future gained some clarity in a Town Crier interview last week with Wojcicki, the principal at LACI and CEO of 23andMe.

No study in sight for a downtown business improvement district

A plan to form a Los Altos business improvement district to serve merchants and property owners will just have to wait, according to members of the organizations that had backed it.

At the Feb. 13 Los Altos City Council meeting, members of the Los Altos Village Association, Los Altos Property Owners Downtown and the Chamber of Commerce asked the council to allocate $10,000 for a BID feasibility study. However, the council rejected the proposal, noting that the city’s Downtown Vision project had yet to be completed. Instead, they encouraged the groups to conduct their own educational session.

Spectrum Interior Design moves down the road to MV

Spectrum Interior Design, founded in Los Altos by resident Amy Fischer nearly six years ago, is in the process of relocating to a larger site in Mountain View and will most likely celebrate its sixth anniversary in its new digs April 1.

The company expanded twice at its old First Street address, eventually occupying three suites on two floors, but it still wasn’t as much space as it needed, prompting the move, according to Fischer.

Caffeine-free and curious

Photo by Megan V. Winslow/Town Crier

Twins Sarah Patterson, above in white, and Grace Patterson, in pink, examine a Santa Clara County Department of Environmental Health notice at the Starbucks on Main Street, inset. Bemused caffeine addicts stalled out in front of the outpost became a common sight in downtown Los Altos over the holidays. The coffee shop failed inspections Dec. 21 and 27 and reopened over the weekend. Reached by phone, store manager Khan Tran declined to describe the work that had been ongoing inside the store last week. The location had received high marks in previous examinations, but last month an inspector noted live cockroaches on and around the coffee bar and kitchen areas.

Business Briefs: Retirement planning, smart homes and more

Photo by Megan V. Winslow/Town Crier
Tre Monti prepares to open on Main Street, right.

Financial adviser discusses retirement planning

Financial adviser Arvind Ven is scheduled to discuss “Social Security and Retirement Planning” 7 p.m. Jan. 22 at the Los Altos main library, 13 S. San Antonio Road.

Ven, who writes the Town Crier’s “Fiscal Fitness” column, will explain how to manage Social Security retirement benefits and will highlight other sources of retirement income to augment and/or fill in the gaps from Social Security.

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