Stabilizing Redwood Grove Preserve

Posted on August 30, 2015 by  
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Redwood Grove CreekRedwood Grove Nature Preserve is getting spruced up this week.

The Los Altos City Council July 28 budgeted $525,600 for a creek rehabilitation project and renovation of a trail stairway in the park. Work began Monday and is scheduled to wrap up in late October. The park will remain open during construction, but the park’s boardwalk, creek and pedestrian bridge will be closed in the areas undergoing upgrades.

The city’s park-in-lieu fund will cover a large chunk of project expenses, with a boost from a $90,000 grant from the Santa Clara Valley Water District’s Clean, Safe Creeks and Natural Flood Protection program.

The nonprofit agency Acterra will support the work by revegetating areas disturbed during construction with native plants grown from seeds and cuttings collected from the Adobe Creek watershed.

Granite Rock Company will complete the restoration work. A crew will repair and improve a severely eroded 30-foot section along Adobe Creek and replace the existing footbridge upstream of the erosion site and the 560 feet of boardwalk around the area. To prevent further hillside erosion, they will replace the ridge trail stairway access on the western slope of the grove.


Special Projects Manager Dave Brees said the staircase would also help focus travel up and down the hillside – minimizing erosion and destabilizing random use. “This is a well-loved, well-used park,” Brees told the Town Crier last week. “This is a really exciting project. The hillside erosion control is pretty cutting edge.”

Crews will use root wads, the trunks of dead trees with the roots attached and soil removed so that the roots are exposed. As a mitigation material, repurposed root wads offer immediate stabilization and long-term benefits for the creek – they provide toe support for bank revegetation and collect sediment and debris that enhance the bank structure over time.


A Pool View Condo @ Parc Regent

Posted on August 11, 2015 by  
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Photographed by Blu Skye Media

One West Edith #B107, Los Altos, CA 94022
Listed at $1,549,000 / Sold at $1,642,000
2 Beds / 2 Baths / Home: 1,568 sqft / Lot Size: 1,568 sqft +/-
Residential Condominium
Represented: Seller


Quiet Street & Great Curb Appeal

Posted on August 9, 2015 by  
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296 Ramon - Front

296 Ramon Drive, Los Altos, CA 94024
4 Beds / 2.5 Baths / Home: 2,557 sqft / Lot Size: 8,700 sqft +/-
Single Family Detached – Leased


Downtown @ The Parc Regent

Posted on August 8, 2015 by  
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One West Edith #D225, Los Altos, CA 94022
Listed at $1,595,000 / Sold at $1,685,000
3 Beds / 2 Baths / Home: 1,468 sqft / Lot Size: 1,468 sqft +/-
Residential Condominium
Represented: Seller


New Zealand Couple Stops In Los Altos

Posted on August 7, 2015 by  
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Fred SmitsHaving driven 28,000 miles around the United States the past 12 months in their 1957 Mercedes-Benz 220S towing a modern camping trailer, Fred and Elisabeth Smits stopped by the Saturday morning car gathering outside Main Street Cafe & Books July 18 to share their experiences and do a little show-and-tell.

The recently retired couple decided a few years ago to spend their first five or so years of retirement driving around the world. The Smits started the journey by shipping their completely rebuilt Mercedes and custom camping trailer from their home in Auckland to Los Angeles. From there, they have driven across the southern states to Florida with a diversion to Las Vegas and the Grand Canyon, up the East Coast to Maine, then across the northern U.S. with a stop at the Indianapolis 500 race, and finally past Mount Rushmore to Seattle and down the coast to Los Altos.

The Smits had learned of the local gathering from members of the Mercedes-Benz Club of America and stopped by during their last two weeks before their one-year U.S. visa expires. They will be crossing into Mexico and the second leg of their journey.

During the next 12 months, their plan is to drive all the way to the tip of South America before returning north to Buenos Aires, where they will ship their rig to Europe. From there, plans are a little more flexible – maybe even 18 months in Europe – before crossing Russian and China and heading down through Southeast Asia, then shipping the rig to Australia for the last leg before home.

So far, so good, they report. During this year they’ve flushed out and repaired a few mechanical issues with the rebuilt car and settled into a routine of camping on the road for approximately two weeks at a time before spending a few days in a hotel to catch up on laundry and correspondence.

Elisabeth said not one day have they wondered why they undertook the odyssey or thought about heading home early. With nearly 30,000 miles under the wheels already, the Smits said they’re still looking forward to each new day and the sights it will bring.


Volunteer Profile: Caroline Rumptz

Posted on August 5, 2015 by  
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Caroline RumptzLos Altos resident and former teacher Caroline Rumptz’s favorite thing about guiding farm tours at Hidden Villa is the “unadulterated joy” the schoolchildren feel on her tours as they experience new things.

“It lights them up,” Rumptz said.

Rumptz sings the praises of volunteering.

“Every day I’m here, I find something rewarding,” she said of her volunteer work. “You have these amazing experiences with children, especially with the inner-city kids, and that wonder never loses its appeal.”

During her five years of volunteering at Hidden Villa, Rumptz also has supported the organization by helping maintain the organic Education Garden each summer, providing bookkeeping services for the Environmental Education department and contributing financially.

“I think Hidden Villa is such a unique place,” she said, “that it deserves to be supported and nurtured.”

Hidden Villa, the nonprofit, educational farm and nature preserve in Los Altos Hills, provides science-based, hands-on learning opportunities for schoolchildren from communities of all means.

After volunteers are trained at their own pace, each develops his or her own unique style while guiding groups – for example, by encouraging children to pretend to turn into butterflies before tasting nectar or providing invisible horses for them to ride around the farm.

The mother of three sons, Rumptz and her husband of 25 years, Eric, brought their boys to Hidden Villa when they were young, on average, once every two weeks.

“This place is stunning and rewarding, and at the end of the day, you can go for a hike. You’re not going to find it anyplace else. I looked,” Rumptz said.

When not volunteering, Rumptz enjoys spending time with her family, hiking with her dog Champ, gardening with her husband, tending to her four hens, kayaking, skiing, spending time in Lake Tahoe and rooting on her youngest son’s water polo team.

Hidden Villa invites potential volunteer guides to its next orientation, scheduled 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sept. 12 at the preserve, 26870 Moody Road, Los Altos Hills. If visitors subsequently decide to volunteer, all necessary training is provided free of charge. No experience is required.

For more information, call 949-8643 or email:


MVLA Foundation’s Grant Sets Record

Posted on August 2, 2015 by  
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MVLA FoundationThe MVLA High School Foundation donated $1.5 million to the Mountain View Los Altos Union High School District this year, the largest grant in the foundation’s 33-year history.

At the annual gifting dinner earlier this year, MVLA Foundation co-executive directors Laura Roberts and Margaret Gong and board President Mike Maciag presented the check to then-Superintendent Barry Groves and Susan Sweeley, president of the district’s board of trustees. Foundation board members, school district trustees, administrators, principals and volunteers attended the event.

“Thanks to incredible community and parent support, we’ve increased not just the amount of donations, but also the number of participating families and local businesses for the fourth consecutive year,” Roberts said. “All students benefit when foundation dollars provide reduced freshman class sizes, extended library hours, the latest science lab equipment and investments in Chromebooks and Learning in the Cloud.”

The MVLA Foundation continues to fund tutorial centers, the SIS online grading system, PSAT testing and College and Career Centers.

In addition to individual gifts from families of high school students, the foundation received support from local real estate agents, merchants and corporate sponsors.

“The generous support from the MVLA Foundation makes an enormous difference in our schools’ and teachers’ abilities to sustain academic excellence in our public high schools,” Groves said. “We have record numbers of students graduating and continuing on in colleges and careers of their choosing. Students tell me that they feel prepared for their future. This is attributable in large part to the many programs funded by the MVLA High School Foundation.”

For more information, call Laura Roberts at 940-4670, or visit: