Fri05272016

News

FAA report

FAA report "a start" in allaying noise onslaught


Alicia Castro/Town Crier
Anti-noise advocates exchange informational door hangers to give to neighbors.

A federal report released last week identifies possible solutions to the aircraft noise plaguing South Bay communities.

The Federal Aviation...

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Schools

Almond community packs meals for those in need

Almond community packs meals for those in need


Courtesy of Polly Liu
Almond School families worked together last month to package more than 15,000 meals for the Stop Hunger Now organization. Approximately 85 volunteers, including students in grades K-6, packaged meals of rice, soy, vitamins and...

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Community

Veteran Marie Houghton Mong: Mapping out a long life of doing

Veteran Marie Houghton Mong: Mapping out a long life of doing


Megan V. Winslow/Town Crier
Marie Houghton Mong relaxes with one of her two 16-year-old cats at The Terraces at Los Altos retirement community.

On the average day, Marie Houghton Mong can be found in her attractive and comfortable apartment at T...

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Comment

Blame it on Rio: No Shoes, Please

In 2008, I wrote a column explaining why I thought Beijing was an inappropriate venue for that year’s Summer Olympic Games. I cited health risks: the city’s terrible pollution and the country’s corrupt food supply chain. I also note...

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Special Sections

Upscale modern: Los Altos Hills home honors DNA of originals

Upscale modern: Los Altos Hills home honors DNA of originals


Megan V. Winslow/Town Crier
Melissa and Nick French, right with son Grayson, pooled their talents to design their dream home. Melissa designed the living room sofa and table.

Melissa and Nick French took “do it yourself” to a new dimens...

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Business

ATHENA awards recognize local leadership

ATHENA awards recognize local leadership


Alicia Castro/Town Crier
Chamber of Commerce Mountain View presented this year’s ATHENA Leadership Award to Maria Marroquin, left, and Leane Reelfs, right. The ATHENA Young Professional Leadership Award went to Diana Bautista, center.

Chamber ...

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People

ERNEST TRAUGOTT

ERNEST TRAUGOTT

Resident of Los Altos 
August 18, 1920 - May 11, 2016 

Ernie died peacefully at his home, just a few months short of his 96th birthday. 

Ernie had an amazing life, born in Germany he and his family fled the Nazi's soon after Kristal...

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Stepping Out

LA Stage Company's 'Arts Razzle-Dazzle' showcases local talent

LA Stage Company's 'Arts Razzle-Dazzle' showcases local talent


Courtesy of Eileen Eng
Mountain View High junior Julia Rogers, 2015 South Bay Teen Idol winner, is slated to perform at Tuesday’s “Arts Razzle-Dazzle” at Bus Barn Theater.

Los Altos Stage Company shines a spotlight on the perfo...

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Spiritual Life

Former St. Nicholas pastor shares his story as exorcist

The Rev. Gary Thomas served the Los Altos faith community as pastor of St. Nicholas Catholic Parish for several years before he announced in 2005 that San Jose Bishop Patrick J. McGrath had assigned him to study in Rome, not unusual for U.S. priests...

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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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