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News

Police stress need for low speed in school zones

Police stress need for low speed in school zones


Town Crier File Photo
After two recent accidents involving cyclists and motorists, police urge caution – on both sides.

After two recent incidents of vehicles striking student bicyclists, Los Altos Police urge residents to exercise caution whe...

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Schools

Gardner Bullis School debuts new Grizzly Student Center

Gardner Bullis School debuts new Grizzly Student Center


Photo by Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Students line up to check books out of the library in the new Grizzly Student Center at Gardner Bullis School.

Gardner Bullis School opened its new Grizzly Student Center earlier this month, introducing a lea...

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Community

Home improvement workshop scheduled Wednesday (Oct. 29)

The County of Santa Clara is hosting a free informational workshop on 6:30 p.m. Wednesday at Los Altos Hills Town Hall, 26379 Fremont Road.

The workshop will offer ways single-family homeowners can increase their homes’ energy efficiency. Eligible i...

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Comment

Off the fence: TC recommends 'yes' on N

The Town Crier initially offered no position on the controversial $150 million Measure N bond on Tuesday’s ballot. But some of the reasons we gave in our Oct. 15 editorial were, on reflection, overly critical and based on inaccurate information.

We ...

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Special Sections

Long-term solutions emerge as water conservation goes mainstream

Long-term solutions emerge as water conservation goes mainstream


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Forrest Linebarger, right, installed greywater and rainwater harvesting systems at his Los Altos Hills home.

With more brown than green visible in her Los Altos backyard, Kacey Fitzpatrick admits that she’s a little e...

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Business

Local realtors scare up money for charity

Local realtors scare up money for charity


Photo courtesy of SILVAR
Realtors Gary Campi and Jordan Legge, from left, joined Nancy Domich, SILVAR President Dave Tonna and Joe Brown to raise funds for the Silicon Valley Realtors Charitable Foundation.

Los Altos and Mountain View realtors raise...

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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

DAVID S. NIVISON

DAVID S. NIVISON

David S. Nivison, 91 years old, and a resident of Los Altos, California since 1952, died Oct. 16, 2014 at home.  His neighbors had recently honored him as the “Mayor of Russell Ave., in recognition of 62 years of distinguished living” on that ...

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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

ECYS opens season Sunday

ECYS opens season Sunday


Ramya Krishna/Special to the Town Crier
The El Camino Youth Symphony rehearses for Sunday’s concert, above.

The El Camino Youth Symphony – under new conductor Jindong Cai – is scheduled to perform its season-opening concert 4 p.m....

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Spiritual Life

Christian Science Reading Room hosts webinar on prayer and healing

Christian Science practitioner and teacher Evan Mehlenbacher is scheduled to present a live Internet webinar lecture, “Prayer That Heals,” 7:30 p.m. Nov. 14 in the Christian Science Reading Room, 60 Main St., Los Altos.

Those interested ...

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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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Revered poet, novelist honored for life's work

Los Altos resident Janet Lewis has written novels and poetry. But she is not a poetess.

"It's horrible to call anyone a poetess. You're a poet, a writer or a novelist," she said.

"I was a poet." She paused. "Hell, I was a novelist."

Janet Lewis is 96.

We sat together, recently, and talked in the living room of her Los Altos Spanish-style stucco cottage where she has lived and loved and worked since 1934.

Saturday she is being honored at a signing of one of her poems, "A Celebration Morning Devotion," 1 to 3 p.m. at the Atherton Gallery in Menlo Park.

San Francisco artist Elaine Badgley/Arnoux created an etching of Lewis. The etchings (75 in a limited edition) and the poem have been published by Auroboro Press and will be donated to the Rare Books Collection of the Library of Congress, Stanford Library, and the San Francisco New Public Library.

Lewis is "well known for her clarity and her crispness," said Sally Nash Pera, a friend of Lewis. She is probably best known for her novel, "The Wife of Martin Guerre," published in 1941, and written in her house on West Portola Avenue.

"I did most of it in this room," Lewis said, as she looked around.

An Oriental rug covers some of the 1-inch oak strips in the hardwood floor. Floor-to-ceiling bookshelves fill the walls.

She and her husband, Yvor Winters, a poet and critic, married in 1926 and came to this area for Winters to complete his doctorate at Stanford. When he joined the English Department there, they bought their home is Los Altos.

"Palo Alto couldn't take us in because we usually had more than two dogs. We had very fine Airedales, show dogs. And we liked to keep goats, chickens, rabbits and cats."

Lewis wrote more novels than poetry, and her first work was published while she was still in college. Later, her novel, "The Invasion," was published in 1931. "I had a baby right in the middle of (writing) it. Once a novel is up and running, it's easier to stay with it. It's harder to start one."

She said she wrote two to three hours every day on a typewriter. Her Martin Guerre manuscript was turned down as being "unlikely, improbable and hard to believe." Since then it has been published in England by Penguin and translated into French.

"The original story about Martin Guerre was real," Lewis said. "I fictionalized it, and told it from the point of view of a woman."

The movie, "The Return of Martin Guere," is based upon the same story she used in her book. "I couldn't copyright the story, just my book."

In the 1960s Lewis taught writing at Stanford in the creative writing department. Her husband died in 1968. She continued teaching and writing.

Lewis has also written "The Ghost of Monsieur Scarron," "The Trial of Soren Qvist," two children's books and opera librettos.

"The exciting moments come when you're writing. They disappear so fast, melting into your work. The moment when you see a way through a tangle ahead of you, that's a very good moment."

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