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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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Bike and pedestrian committee to stay - for now

During a special joint meeting of the Los Altos City Council, the traffic commission and the Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Committee (BPAC) Jan. 11, bicycle advocates questioned why the future of BPAC appears in doubt.

BPAC members, who report directly to the traffic commission, have heard rumors that their committee could be disbanded.

Early last year, councilmembers directed the Los Altos Personnel Committee to realign the terms and membership of certain committees, according to Councilwoman Val Carpenter.

BPAC came under scrutiny after a seat on the board remained vacant for months and because the city is scheduled to hire a transportation manager this spring to oversee issues related to city traffic, including motor vehicles, bicycles and pedestrians. Councilmembers are weighing whether the transportation manager’s work would overlap with BPAC’s charter.

“I’d like to hear a clear definition of what the problem is,” said Suzanne Ambiel, BPAC vice chairwoman.

BPAC members are involved with several citywide bicycle and pedestrian-related initiatives, and “our work output has not diminished,” Ambiel said.

Preston Tollinger, traffic commission chairman, agreed. In addition to updating the city’s pedestrian and bicycle master plans, BPAC members work on other matters, including safe and convenient ways for children to travel to and from schools, he said.

“We haven’t heard the problem yet,” said Michael Gallagher, traffic commissioner, of the possibility of BPAC’s demise.

Councilwoman Megan Satterlee clarified that BPAC is not the problem, but membership and voting rights do raise concerns.

“I do see an overlap between the traffic commission and BPAC,” Satterlee said. “I’d like to minimize overlap and maximize efficiency. Ultimately, information should be flowing, and we want to have the best pedestrian, bicycle and automobile safety.”

Gallagher said members of the traffic commission and BPAC should talk among themselves about a plan and find a solution.

At the Dec. 14 council meeting, several residents urged councilmembers to continue allowing BPAC to offer its expertise directly to the traffic commission. They pointed out that large groups of bicyclists use Los Altos roadways, and not having a citizens’ committee to deal with their problems wouldn’t make sense.

Councilman David Casas suggested another meeting with BPAC to hear directly from the members who have complained about their roles.

“I’ve been with BPAC for more than five years, and it’s sad that we’re not able to accomplish anything,” member Randy Rhody said.

Councilmembers agreed to wait until after city officials hire a transportation manager to make a decision on BPAC’s future. Options include consolidating the committee’s responsibilities into the traffic commission, disbanding BPAC, maintaining the status quo or elevating BPAC to a commission.

Contact Jana Seshadri at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

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