An Off-market in Creekside Oaks

Posted on June 20, 2016 by  
Filed under Sold Properties · Tagged:

22 Bay Tree

22 Bay Tree Lane, Los Altos 94022
Off-market / Sold at $2,395,000
2 Beds / 2 Baths / Home: 1,840 sqft +/-
Representing: Buyer


LAEF Fulfills $3.5 Million Grant

Posted on June 16, 2016 by  
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Covington School STEM teacherThe Los Altos Educational Foundation recently met its fundraising goal of $3.5 million for the 2015-2016 school year.

For more than 30 years, the nonprofit foundation has solicited donations from parents and local residents to provide funding for enrichment programs and smaller class sizes for all nine schools in the Los Altos School District.

The foundation’s annual contribution benefits every transitional kindergarten through eighth-grade student through Science, Technology, Engineering and Math; physical education; libraries; art; music; and computer science. The foundation also pays for class-size reduction in grades K-3 and 7-8, and a wider choice of junior-high electives. The foundation accepted donations throughout the school year to fulfill the grant, which was factored into the district’s budgeted 2015-2016 revenue to fund programs, teachers and staff.

The foundation increased this year’s grant to fund an additional certified PE teacher so that every elementary school has a dedicated instructor and a computer science teacher, which enabled the district to expand coding into junior high.

“We are proud to have met our higher goal in response to both our parents and LASD’s desire to offer more PE and develop a computer science program for TK-8,” said Susan Longyear, foundation board president. “I would like to thank all of our donors, from parents and grandparents to our community members and realtors. Giving to LAEF is our way of investing in what we value most: providing the well-rounded educational experience we want for our children.”

The foundation is finalizing its grant for the next school year, guided by input from its annual parent survey and strategic discussions with district leadership. It will announce its educational priorities and fundraising goal in early August.

“We anticipate another successful year, supported by a community that believes strong public schools are the foundation of a thriving community,” said Amy Peabody, the foundation’s executive director.

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Local Caps Career With National Title

Posted on June 12, 2016 by  
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Los Altos native Evelyna WangIf this does prove to be Evelyna Wang’s last season as a synchronized swimmer, at least she’s going out on top.

The Los Altos native recently helped Stanford University capture the U.S. National Collegiate Synchronized Swimming Championship. The senior and her squad edged Ohio State for the title in Florida earlier this spring. It may be the last time Wang competes in the sport; she now considers herself retired.

“It was something that I kind of decided from early on that I would see through the four years of college,” Wang said. Not that it’s easy for her to call it a career.

“I was pretty emotional, because it was really the end of my career and it just pulled together into this perfect ending, and I never imagined it would be so thrilling,” Wang said. Winning the three-day competition required plenty of determination and discipline, according to Wang.

“It took definitely the entire year of hard work,” she said, “From the beginning, we did a lot of conditioning, built our strength and everyone just gave 100 percent every day.”

Wang has spent many of her days in the water – she took up synchronized swimming in sixth grade. Her journey into the aquatic sport began with a “summer camp right before going into middle school,” Wang recalled.

Before that, she focused much of her energy on tennis. But that summer camp experience made Wang realize that synchronized swimming was more to her liking. “(I enjoyed) being in the water and performing,” she said.

A graduate of Homestead High, Wang said participating in the sport during the school year helped shape who she is as an athlete – and as a person.

“Going to practice every day was really time-demanding, and I think that played a big role in helping me learn how to manage my time properly,” Wang said. The same lessons apply to studying.

“You just really need to know when you need to focus on schoolwork and when to leave everything at the pool – just focusing on practice while you’re there,” Wang said.

She described her growth in the sport as an inspirational journey. “I enjoy being able to experience the same things as my teammates,” Wang said.

The ability to communicate and work well with those teammates is vital to experiencing success in a sport that’s all about synchronicity. She described it as “one of the most team sports you could be on.”

Of course, there are other factors necessary to shine in synchronized swimming. Dedication, commitment, discipline and spunk are just as important, Wang noted.

“You also need to have some sort of spirit to make you really perform and enjoy that performance,” she said.

While Wang enjoys many aspects of the sport, she said “being able to know that after a hard day or a hard meet that everyone fought through it just the same” is her favorite part.

Although Wang is done with synchronized swimming, she’s far from idle. Along with completing courses toward her degree in materials science, Wang has enrolled in a co-terminal program to complete her master’s by next year.


Vintner Keeps Winemaking A Family Affair

Posted on June 8, 2016 by  
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Winemaker’s wife and sonThe wine business is often a family business, with multigenerational hands wielding blades when it comes time to harvest, and in-laws and nieces enjoying first samples of a given year’s yield. Labels and vines are passed from mothers to sons and fathers to daughters.

The all-in-the-family focus is a great thing for wine drinkers, because the love these families share is evident in the wines they produce.

I recently met a local, family-centric winemaker at Honcho, the new wine bar in downtown Los Altos. John Benedetti of Sante Arcangeli Family Wines was hanging out at Honcho that night – his wines are featured on the lounge’s menu.

Our conversation about winemaking quickly became a chat about kids. John is a dad. Talking about his wines and his son produced the same wide smile and excited twinkle in his eyes.

“I used to work in high-tech,” shared Benedetti, adding that a primary reason for selling his tech business and making the leap to full-time winemaker was to focus on work that was more inclusive of his young son and family.

In celebration of Father’s Day, I asked Benedetti about how family influences his wines.

“Being a dad is a huge part of what I’m doing,” he said.

He explained that he’s working to build something his son, Lucca, will someday want to be a part of. While his son may be too young to fully appreciate what Benedetti is creating, after one taste of his well-balanced Split Rail Pinot Noir, it’s easy to imagine that his extended family is proud of what he is achieving.

“My dad gets involved, too,” Benedetti said. “He’s 83 now but can still shovel grapes when harvest comes around. It’s hard to make him sit down, actually. I’m often worried he’ll overwork. He and my mom show up at the winery all the time to help out and provide moral support.”

While there are key milestones in the year of a winemaker, such as harvest and bottling, it is a career with few days off. In addition to making Pinot Noirs, Chardonnays and a Rosé of Pinot Noir under his Pescadero-based Sante Arcangeli label, Benedetti serves as a winemaker for several other local producers.

“It’s a career I love and one that usually loves me back,” he said.

For those celebrating their fathers by grilling outdoors this Father’s Day, Benedetti recommends his Mardikian Vineyard 2014 Pinot Noir (Sonoma Coast/Green Valley), which can be ordered online at

“The white pepper in the Mardikian begs for savory food, and the wine is big enough to hold its own against richer foods,” he said.

If you’re taking your dad out on the town the Saturday before Father’s Day, visit Honcho at 235 First St. for a glass of Sante Arcangeli’s local Santa Cruz Mountains Appellation Blend. Benedetti said the wine has wonderful structure and acidity.

For a family day trip beyond Los Altos’ bounds, the Sante Arcangeli tasting room at 216 Stage Road perches just over the hills at the heart of Pescadero.

Christine Moore is a Mountain View resident. To read her blog, visit:


An Off-market Sharon Park Retreat

Posted on June 6, 2016 by  
Filed under Sold Properties · Tagged:

1280 Sharon Park

1280 Sharon Park Drive #28, Menlo Park 94025
Off-market / Sold at $1,500,000
2 Beds / 2 Baths / Home: 1,860 sqft +/-
Representing: Buyer