Wed10222014

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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Residents protest flood-detention basin at Blach

Photo Fritz Wildmoser/Special To The Town Crier A group of residents opposed to the installation of Santa Clara Valley Water District flood basins gather at Blach Junior High, one of two local sites slated for the project. One protestor called the project a "colossal waste of taxpayer money."

Neighbors of Blach Junior High School in Los Altos turned out in force last week, hoping to sink the Santa Clara Valley Water District’s proposal to install a flood-detention basin on the school’s athletic fields.

The water district-sponsored Permanente Creek Flood Project design workshop, held at Blach Nov. 16, drew opponents protesting the district’s plan. The design proposes building a 10-foot-deep underground basin across 7.5 acres to collect runoff in the event of a “100-year flood,” a large-magnitude flood with a 1 percent chance of occurring every year.

Water district officials consider the basin a preventive, protective measure, but workshop attendees disagreed.

“This seems like a drastic measure,” said 60-year Los Altos resident Leona Peery, 85. “I think it’s overkill. If they kept the creek clean, it wouldn’t be as severe.” “We don’t need it,” another man shouted, drawing applause from the audience.

In 2000, voters passed Measure B – the Clean, Safe Creeks and Natural Flood Protection Plan – designed to improve water conditions and safeguard homes, schools and businesses for 15 years. The measure provides $32 million, available through 2015, for creek restoration and flood protection.

The project area includes nearly 11 miles of Permanente Creek, beginning in the foothills above Cupertino and continuing through Los Altos and Mountain View, designed to protect approximately 1,664 properties from a major flood, improve riparian habitat and provide opportunities for trails and other recreational uses.

The proposed designs have generated criticism from residents concerned with the disruptions that could result from the construction of the basin, as well as the installation of an 8-foot-wide, 4,000-foot-long pipe required to channel excess waterflow to the Cuesta Annex in Mountain View.

Many workshop participants complained of a lack of communication regarding the proposal.

A project of such magnitude is bound to have a huge impact on the community, according to water district engineer Afshin Rouhani, who answered questions from the audience.

“This type of project requires a lot more outreach than the typical,” because of the logistical measures that would be required, Rouhani said.

In exchange for constructing the flood basin, the water district has offered to install a new soccer field at Blach, made of artificial turf but at a depth of 10 feet.

“This is going to be a sunken pit, a bowl covered with turf. It will be hot,” said Los Altos resident Cathy Martina. “Sinking the field 10 feet is significant – I hope people realize that.” Blach faculty and Los Altos School District officials approve of the water district’s plan, according to Trustee Mark Goines.

“The staff is very excited about the improvement of quality and flood protection they will get,” Goines said. “Blach School incurred $250,000 worth of damage during a minor flood in 1984, and we are very concerned about that.”

After gathering input, water district officials are scheduled to present a revised schematic plan to the school district early next year. To proceed with a final design phase, the water district must secure a majority of votes from the five school district trustees.

For more information on the Permanente Creek Flood Protection Plan, visit www.valleywater.org.

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