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News

E. coli found in Los Altos water indicated breach, but only low risk

E. coli found in Los Altos water indicated breach, but only low risk


Courtesy of Microbe World
Colorized low-temperature electron micrograph of a cluster of E. coli bacteria

When E. coli and other bacteria were discovered in some Los Altos water last week, officials from the local water supplier, California Water...

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Schools

BCS hosts Stretch to Kindergarten program for underserved youth

BCS hosts Stretch to Kindergarten program for underserved youth


Traci Newell/Town Crier
The six-week, tuition-free Stretch to Kindergarten program, hosted at Bullis Charter School, serves children who have not attended preschool. A teacher leads children in singing about the parts of a butterfly, above.

Local un...

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Community

Google car painting project calls on artists

Google car painting project calls on artists


Google self-driving car

Already known as an innovator in the tech field, Google Inc. is now moving in on the art world.

The Mountain View-based company July 11 launched the “Paint the Town” contest, a “moving art experiment” that invites Califo...

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Sports

Pedaling with a purpose

Pedaling with a purpose


courtesy of
Rishi Bommannan Rishi Bommannan cycled from Bates College in Maine to his home in Los Altos Hills, taking several selfies along the way. He also raised nearly $13,000 for the Livestrong Foundation, which supports cancer patients.

When R...

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Comment

The truth about coyotes: Other Voices

The Town Crier’s recent article on coyotes venturing down from the foothills in search of sustenance referenced the organization Project Coyote (“Recent coyote attacks keep residents on edge,” July 1). Do not waste your time contac...

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Special Sections

Grant Park senior program made permanent

Grant Park senior program made permanent


Photos by Alicia Castro/Town Crier
Local residents participate in an exercise class at the Grant Park Senior Center, above. Betsy Reeves, below left with Gail Enenstein, lobbied for senior programming in south Los Altos.

It all began when Betsy Reev...

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Business

New State Street rug retailer has downtown Los Altos covered

New State Street rug retailer has downtown Los Altos covered


Alicia Castro/Town Crier
Los Altos Rug Gallery owner Fahim Karimi stocks his State Street store with a wall-to-wall array of floor coverings.

A new downtown business owner plans to roll out the red carpet – along with rugs of every other color –...

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Books

Book Signings

• Fritz and Nomi Trapnell have scheduled a book-signing party 4-6 p.m. Aug. 1 at their home, 648 University Ave., Los Altos.

Fritz and his daughter, Dana Tibbitts, co-authored “Harnessing the Sky: Frederick ‘Trap’ Trapnell, ...

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People

GRACE WILSON FRANKS

GRACE WILSON FRANKS

Resident of Los Altos

Grace Wilson Franks, our beloved mother and grandmother, left us peacefully on July 16, 2015 just a few weeks short of her 92nd birthday. She was born to Ross and Florence (Cruzan) Wilson in rural Tulare, California on Septem...

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Travel

Gearing up: Make travel more civilized with accessories

Gearing up: Make travel more civilized with accessories


Eren Göknar/Special to the Town Crier
San Francisco-based humangear Inc. sells totes, tubes and tubs for traveling.

In travel, as in romance, it’s the little things that count.

Beyond the glossy brochures lie the travel discomforts too mun...

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Stepping Out

Going out with a 'Bang'

Going out with a 'Bang'


Richard Mayer/Special to the Town Crier
“Chitty Chitty Bang Bang” stars, clockwise from top left, Alexander Sanchez, Sophia Sturiale, Deborah Rosengaus and Danny Martin.

Los Altos Stage Company and Los Altos Youth Theatre’s joint production of t...

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Spiritual Life

Build a 'light' house and get out of that dark place

Most of us have a place inside our hearts and minds that occasionally causes us trouble. For some, it is sadness, depression or despair. For others, it may be fear, anger, resentment or myriad other emotional “dark places” that at times seem to hij...

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Magazine

Inside Mountain View

Residents gather at NASA Ames for Pluto Flyby event

Residents gather at NASA Ames for Pluto Flyby event


Megan V. Winslow/Town Crier
NASA Ames’ Pluto Flyover event kindles the imaginations of young attendees.

Sue Moore watched the July 20, 1969, moon landing beside patients and staff members of the San Francisco hospital where she worked as a nurse...

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GreenTown on the go: Environmental volunteers focus on year ahead

Photo Town Crier File Photo When students return to local elementary and middle schools, GreenTown Los Altos will again sponsor the Walk or Wheel to school program, which launches Oct. 5.

Just months after newly appointed Keith Turner resigned from his duties as executive director, GreenTown Los Altos leaders have refocused their energies and goals on the group’s grassroots: GreenTown is, once again, an all-volunteer organization.

First named Cool Los Altos, the non-profit environmental group now known as GreenTown Los Altos has been wracked with leadership problems after Executive Director Kacey Fitzpatrick, Cool Los Altos co-founder, resigned from the full-time, paid position following a management-infrastructure reorganization in July 2010.

GreenTown members thought they needed executive leadership with administrative capabilities in a new director and invited Turner on board, according to Margie Suozzo, GreenTown chairwoman for the leadership team. Turner’s tenure ended five months later in April.

“The fit just wasn’t right,” she said.

But all of that’s in the past now, said Suozzo, who has assumed an overseer’s role – unpaid – to help the group focus on its four primary programs and promote environmental education for all.

Coming off Los Altos’ recent success among other cities participating in the Drive Less Challenge – “We (came in) fourth on a list of nine communities,” Suozzo said – a new challenge arises with the upcoming school year in promoting green transportation.

Once again, GreenTown is encouraging elementary- and middle-school students to bike or walk to school by subsidizing incentives and the Zap-machine software that records students’ green miles from tracking devices on bike helmets or backpacks. Nationally known as Freiker or Boltage, GreenTown has its own name for the program – Walk or Wheel (WoW) – which includes using scooters, skates or carpooling.

Suozzo said a baseline would be established at participating WoW schools, and in coming weeks, GreenTown plans to promote the program, culminating in a celebratory kickoff Oct. 5, Walk-to-School Day.

“Our goal is to get 20 percent more than that baseline by the end of the school year,” she said.

GreenTown members also lead first-Saturday bike rides during spring and summer months to encourage adults and families to ride their bikes.

“We want to engage people to show them it’s not that hard to get from here to there,” said Mary Gospe, marketing and communications chairwoman. “And it’s fun.”

And anyone 8 to 80 is a target, she said.

GreenTown also sponsors a bike safety expo in March. Suozzo said the Los Altos School District didn’t use $30,000 last year earmarked for bike and bike-safety issues. She wants to ensure that doesn’t happen again.

Another important focus is GreenTown’s water stewardship and conservation program, which educates people on how water is used, how pollutants reach the watershed and how to conserve resources. Premiering in October, the Los Altos History Museum’s newest exhibition, “Shaped by Water: Past, Present and Future,” will further help inform the public, Suozzo said.

The group’s water-reduction chairman, Joe Eyre, is collaborating with California Water Service Company to crunch data on Los Altos residents’ water use, particularly outdoor watering, which accounts for approximately 50 percent of consumption in Los Altos and 80 percent in Los Altos Hills.

“Conserve outdoor water,” Suozzo said.

The education campaign will include information on harvesting greywater and rainwater. An added incentive for conservation – Suozzo said the first 25 residents who sign up for a free Santa Clara Valley waterwise audit by Sept. 30 will be entered in a drawing for a $100 gift certificate for native plants.

And GreenTown’s water-stewardship program includes at least two creek cleanups each year.

GreenTown members are participating in downtown development meetings to promote bike and walking paths, underground parking, parks and high-density building structures for sustainable land use.

“We’ll weigh in on these issues, but we’re doing a little less lobbying,” Suozzo said.

Other programs include the business co-op, which advocates that schools and restaurants switch from Styrofoam to compostable food containers.

Upcoming activities include showcasing energy efficiency and renewable energy at house parties in leading-edge homes. One such event is scheduled 4-6 p.m. Sept. 18 at the residence of Waidy Lee in Los Altos.

“Her home is completely carbon neutral,” Suozzo said.

For more information, visit www.greentownlosaltos.org.

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