What's in a name?: Andronico's fans to see as brand returns to Los Altos

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Megan V. Winslow/Town Crier
Safeway Community Market in Rancho Shopping Center is preparing to drop the company’s rebranding from 2016 and revert to its former name, Andronico’s. Items from Safeway’s Signature line are currently on sale.

Some call it the “Baby Safeway.” To others, it’s “Safronico’s.” As soon as this week, however, customers may start referring to the petite market in Rancho Shopping Center as Andronico’s once again, as signage – and more – is set to revert back to its pre-2016 state.

The change is part of a rebranding effort Safeway is undertaking at four Safeway Community Market locations known as Andronico’s until 2016, the year Albertsons, Safeway’s parent company, purchased them: two in Berkeley, one in San Anselmo and the one at 690 Fremont Ave. in Rancho Shopping Center in Los Altos. A fifth location in San Francisco retained part of the original name, which is shared by an Andronico’s Community Market that opened January 2019 in Monterey.

Changes to downtown Los Altos businesses ring in the new year

Megan V. Winslow/Town Crier
Signs – and signs of the times – are posted around downtown Los Altos in the new year. Cooks’ Junction, sells items for 50%off before owner Linda Janes hands her business down to her daughters.

Whether it’s through a temporary pop-up installation, ownership change or retirement, the retail landscape in downtown Los Altos enters 2020 looking different than it did a year ago.

The old makes way for the new

Loyal customers of Kids Only, formerly located at 248 Main St., said goodbye to the shop when longtime operator Rita Tjhoi was forced to close its doors last October. But those customers can now rejoice: Tjhoi’s son, Kevin, is selling merchandise from the old location in a pop-up shop at the former home of Kitchens of Los Altos at 155 Main St.

Mountain View Chamber of Commerce takes on the new year with new leader


When the Mountain View Chamber of Commerce reopens after the holidays, a new president and CEO will be at the helm – fourth-generation area native Peter Katz.

Katz took over responsibilities Dec. 10, according to a press release about his arrival. As he settles in, he will bring expertise from 20-plus years in commercial businesses, more than 10 years with nonprofit organizations and several years with educational institutions.

Why do I need to fix up my house to sell?

I get asked this question all the time: Why do I need to fix up my house to sell? The answer is that you don’t have to.

You could walk out the door and sell your house just as it is now without lifting a finger. That is the easiest thing to do. The problem is, even in this seller’s market, the buyers will base their offer price on what they see when they first walk in the door. If they see weeds in the yard, threadbare carpets and faded paint around where you removed your paintings, they will typically offer a lower price than they would had they seen a sparkling clean, freshly painted and staged house.

Tips for a stress-free tax season

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The wisest uses for a tax refund is to funnel it into retirement savings, pay off debt or pad a rainy day fund, experts say, since it is essentially your own income you overpaid to the state.

Taxes are an unavoidable fact of life. Unfortunately, they can be somewhat overwhelming, which can cause people to put the task off and miss the deadline. Use the following strategies for a stress-free tax season.

• Get it over with. The sooner you file your taxes, the sooner you can stop worrying about them. Early filing also means an earlier refund – if you’re due one – or time to plan to prepare to pay any owed taxes. To ensure it all happens on time, block out time on your calendar to sit down and work on your taxes. Be sure not to underestimate how much time is needed. If your situation has gotten more complicated over the past year, figure that into the equation.

Despite previous warning, Los Altos downtown employee parking fee to remain same

Megan V. Winslow/Town Crier
Los Altos business owners and employees received letters in the fall warning of a possible rate hike for the annual parking permit. Economic development coordinator Anthony Carnesecca said last week that an increase will not take effect anytime soon.

City of Los Altos economic development coordinator Anthony Carnesecca in October teased two possible changes to the coming year’s downtown employee parking permit: a shift in the permit cycle to reflect the calendar year and a more than doubling of the annual renewal rate. As of this month, it’s official that only the first option will be enacted for now.

For those dreading a jump of $37 to $100 for a 2020-2021 parking permit comes good news – because of the Los Altos City Council’s overflowing agendas, the fee schedule was not on the docket for review before the close of the year. At the earliest, the increase would take effect in 2021.

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