Fri10242014

News

Council hosts study session on downtown parking garage

Council hosts study session on downtown parking garage


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
The Los Altos City Council continues to explore options to address parking constraints in the downtown triangle.

The Los Altos City Council last week held the first of two study sessions to discuss the potential construct...

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Schools

LAHS Science and Technology Week features medical examiner

LAHS Science and Technology Week features medical examiner


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
A Los Altos High School student learns how to use robotic surgical equipment at the school’s Science and Technology Week event last year. Students can also attend hands-on presentations at this year’s event, w...

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Community

Ahoy, matey: Pirate Manor ramps up Halloween display

Ahoy, matey: Pirate Manor ramps up Halloween display


Town Crier File Photo
Pirate Manor is once again scheduled to arrive in the front yard of Dane and Jill Glasgow’s home on Manor Way in Los Altos, just in time for Halloween.

Although not the Walking Dead, pirate skeletons have been brought to li...

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Sports

Lancers rule the pool against Spartans

Lancers rule the pool against Spartans


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
St. Francis High’s Eric Reitmeir launches the ball over Mountain View High driver David Niehaus (2) and goalie Kenny Tang. The host Lancers won Friday’s non-league game 9-3.

There wasn’t a lot on the line Friday when ...

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Comment

Reeder, Fung for El Camino HCD: Editorial

The good news for the El Camino Healthcare District (formerly the El Camino Hospital District, for those still getting used to the new name) is that there is a contested election Nov. 4 for the district’s board of directors. Three candidates are runn...

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Special Sections

Plant-based diet offers benefits

Plant-based diet offers benefits


Photo by Ramya Krishna
Los Altos resident Nandini Krishna prepares a meat-free dish According to author Caldwell B. Esselstyn Jr., M.D., a plant-based diet can help prevent cancer.

Shirley Okita of Los Altos has found that adhering to a mostly plant...

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Business

New shop offers haute couture for girls

New shop offers haute couture for girls


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
The Girls @ Los Altos at 239 State St. offers clothing lines such as Nellystella as well as toys and other items for girls.

Cecilia Chen opened The Girls @ Los Altos as a tribute to the party dress. Whether it’s for...

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Books

Helping kids catch a few Zs: Local dental hygienist pens meditative bedtime book

Helping kids catch a few Zs: Local dental hygienist pens meditative bedtime book


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Mimi Sommers, who works at a Los Altos dentist’s office, recently wrote a children’s book.

A local dental hygienist recently published a book that aims to ease parents and children during a sometimes anxious e...

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People

BARBARA DARLING MERIDETH

1946-2014

Born in Palo Alto, raised in Los Altos, retired in southern Oregon. Survived by Peter James Merideth, sons Matthew, Jacob and John Merideth, the loves of her life.

She was a housewife who took great pride in her home, her surroundings and...

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Travel

Falling leaves: Four places in California to see autumn colors

Falling leaves: Four places in California to see autumn colors


Courtesy of Castello di Amorosa
Castello di Amorosa in Calistoga, above, boasts a beautiful setting for viewing fall’s colors – and sampling the vineyard’s wines.

Yes, Virginia, there is fall in California.

The colors pop out in...

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Stepping Out

'Sleepy Hollow' awakens at Bus Barn

'Sleepy Hollow' awakens at Bus Barn



Los Altos Youth Theatre’s production of “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow,” a musical based on Washington Irving’s classic story, is set to run through Nov. 2 at Bus Barn Theater. The cast comprises 27 young actors, directed by Cindy Powell. Courtesy o...

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Spiritual Life

Magazine

Local events add color to autumn calendar

Local events add color to autumn calendar


Van Houtte/town crier Visitors make their way through the Children’s Alley.

As Los Altos’ signature Chinese Pistache trees exchange their summer green for vibrant hues of yellow, orange and red in the fall, an abundance of local events also ad...

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Play links golf in Scottish broom with views of San Francisco Bay

This is the eighth in a series of articles reviewing the top 20 public golf courses within easy reach of Los Altos.

Yearn to play Royal Troon or Muirfield courses in Scotland, where links golf began?

There's a little touch of Scotland right here in our own backyard.

You can avoid that 10-hour flight across that big pond off our East Coast by driving to the Tony Lema Course at the Monarch Bay Golf Club in San Leandro, only 40 minutes from Los Altos – an affordable way to experience what links golf is all about.

Tony Lema ranks No. 13 in Dawson's countdown of the best 20 golf courses around the South Bay.

The course is special for a couple of reasons. Not only does it have the wind, the bunkers and the tall, thick grasses that define links courses, it offers expansive views of San Francisco Bay. On clear days, the San Mateo Bridge and downtown San Francisco seem close enough to touch – and the Bay is close enough to catch very errant shots.

While the property is as flat as an estuary, the builders arranged the dirt to create sculptured bunkers and elevated greens – though major expanses of rough and fairway remain fairly level and treeless. Heavy marsh grasses added around the tees and other prominent spots contribute to the British Isle texture without interfering with shot landing areas.

The course is in good condition. Fairways are firm but smooth, with enough grass that the ball sits up. Roughs are good and not too heavy but vary in density depending on the sprinkler setup. The greens are consistent and have the shape and character one might expect on a links course.

The seventh hole, a long par 3 into the breeze with a very long, narrow, elevated green, is special. Deep bunkers surround the putting surface and the hole is as tough and Scottish as they come.

The real sweet spot at Monarch Bay is the challenge of approaching greens with unusual pin positions, over deep, well-placed bunkers.

A key to having a good round here is to select the correct set of tees. Inexperienced golfers should choose a shorter set to make sure they can out-hit the heavy grasses surrounding the elevated tee boxes. Better golfers should opt for the championship or the tournament blocks because the front, white tees eliminate much of the excitement of hitting over water or avoiding fairway bunkers. Also, green approach shots are much less interesting from the front layout.

Unless you want to dare the gusty winds, get an early start time or play on a very warm day. Otherwise, as one might expect on a bayside course, the wind can create havoc – like the winds at St. Andrews, which turn a short course into a beast.

Greens fees range from $14 to $59, cart fees, $20-$26.

For more information, call (510) 895-2162 or visit www.monarchbay.americangolf.com.

Longtime Los Altos resident Doug Dawson is a retired manufacturing business manager, who is researching and writing "Northern California's 100 Best Public and Resort Golf Courses."

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