Downtown Fun Run on New Year’s Day

Posted on December 26, 2012 by  
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The Los Altos Recreation Department has scheduled its annual New Year’s Day 5K Fun Run 9 a.m. Tuesday at Community Plaza, corner of Main and State streets in downtown Los Altos. No registration is required for the free event.

All ages and ability levels are invited to run, walk, inline skate, scooter, skateboard or push a stroller 3.1 miles throughout the business district of Los Altos. The course is on street surfaces, with State, Whitney and Main streets closed to vehicle traffic as well as portions of First, Second, Third and Fourth.

Bicycles are not permitted. Light refreshments will be served

For more information or to volunteer, call Greg Milano at 947-2848 or visit


Crescent Park Charmer

Posted on December 15, 2012 by  
Filed under Sold Properties · Tagged: , , , ,

1466 DANA AVE, Palo Alto, CA 94301
Listed at $2,998,000 / Sold at $2,900,000
4 Beds / 3 Baths / Home: 3,074 sqft / Lot Size: 7,745 sqft
Single Family Detached
Represented: Buyer


A Great Investment

Posted on December 14, 2012 by  
Filed under Sold Properties · Tagged: , , , ,

152 & 154 SOUTH BERNARDO AVE, Sunnyvale, CA 94086
Listed at $1,248,000 / Sold at $1,195,000
3 Beds / 2.5 Baths & 2 Beds / 2 Baths – Building: 2,656 sqft / Lot Size: 8,343 sqft
Residential Income (2-4 Units)
Represented: Buyer


First Friday’s Anniversary

Posted on December 13, 2012 by  
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First Friday organizers celebrated the monthly event’s first anniversary in style last week with a variety of holiday-themed festivities for the December “All Aboard for the Holidays” gathering.

The event included musicians and carolers performing throughout various areas of downtown Los Altos as children enjoyed free locomotive train rides and a visit from Santa Claus at 359 State St. In addition, Fiesta Vallarta, Maltby’s Restaurant & Tavern, Opa! and Ristorante Bella Vita hosted happy hours.

Organizer Joe Eyre told the Town Crier that First Fridays – a program of the Los Altos Community Foundation – originally started as a “social experiment” of sorts, citing the need to increase downtown vibrancy at night for merchants and shoppers alike.

Initially, he added, organizers from the grassroots group Los Altos Forward didn’t know what to expect when they kicked off the inaugural First Friday last year.

“We didn’t know what we were doing,” Eyre said with a chuckle about the event, featuring a different theme each month. “We just knew we wanted music and we wanted the merchants to stay open later.”

Eyre said organizers convinced approximately 25 downtown merchants to remain open until 8 p.m. for the initial event, which drew a sizable crowd and “set the stage for future events.” Since then, he added, First Fridays have consistently included the participation of 25-36 downtown merchants.

“I remember we were handing out Xeroxed copies of our program, which contained a map,” said Eyre, who estimated that 10-12 volunteers organize the event every month. “It was pretty basic, but the reception was great. We realized we were on to a good thing.”

And while the monthly event has gained in popularity, Eyre noted that a key part of its success stems from downtown visitors changing their shopping habits.

These days, he noted, several shoppers will purposely wait to purchase goods downtown until the monthly event occurs, because it offers the added benefit of serving as a social opportunity. Eyre added that the event has also caused several little-known downtown merchants to gain in popularity.

As for the future, Eyre said, organizers continue to work toward making First Fridays a part of the fabric that makes up downtown Los Altos.

“Hopefully we can keep this going. That’s the plan anyway,” Eyre said. “We don’t want to lose momentum now.”

For more information, visit


Helping Seniors Enjoy Life

Posted on December 4, 2012 by  
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Thanks to Los Altos residents Paul and Ellen Gonella, local seniors can focus on friends, family, fun and fellowship.

The Gonellas are dedicated to supporting seniors and have engaged others in their quest to help older adults age in place. Their mission has become an integral part of the their lives.

The Gonellas are part of Los Altos Legacies, a nonprofit, bequest-driven group that partners with the Los Altos Community Foundation to enhance the quality of life for seniors in the area.

“I think the organization does a very good job for being a small, volunteer-staffed senior organization,” said Ellen, who serves as Los Altos Legacies’ secretary and treasurer. “We all earnestly want the best for Los Altos and Los Altos Hills seniors. To the extent we can financially, we come through when asked.”

The Gonellas enlist volunteers to offer “significant value to seniors and the community overall by providing ongoing influence, advocacy and active guidance to senior-oriented initiatives,” according to the group’s website.

“Seniors are a growing group,” Paul said. “The more people who help, the better.”

Los Altos Legacies has worked for the past few years to establish a Los Altos branch of Avenidas Village, a private, nonprofit Palo Alto-based concierge service for adults 50 and older who want to stay in their homes as they age. Members pay an annual fee for access to staff and vetted services.

Aging in place is growing in popularity, Ellen said.  “About 90 percent of all seniors surveyed locally want to age in their homes,” she said.  Bringing Avenidas Village to the area seemed the perfect solution.

Los Altos Legacies paid Los Altos and Los Altos Hills residents’ membership fees for Avenidas Village and the Los Altos Senior Center. However, after a year, funding dried up and few seniors had signed on.

Local residents may still sign up as members of Avenidas Village, but without the benefits of a dedicated Avenidas representative or free membership.

Avenidas Village boasts 350 members on the mid-Peninsula. Los Altos and Los Altos Hills residents represent the third-largest contingent, after Palo Alto and Stanford.

Los Altos Legacies continues to pursue a variety of smaller-scale philanthropic projects.  The organization subsidizes ongoing social events for seniors, including lunches, barbecues, entertainment and a December holiday party.

Volunteers purchase supplies for the Senior Center, including materials for the “Monkey Ladies,” a group of women who meet weekly to make sock monkeys for sick children at Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital.

The group partners with the Rotary Club of Los Altos to sponsor Partners for Elder Generations, which matches older adults with volunteering opportunities.

Los Altos Legacies also hosts the annual “Encore!” event, an interactive seminar designed to encourage seniors to get involved in the community.

For more information or to make a tax-deductible donation, visit