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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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A shot at history

Photo Elliott Burr/Town Crier Mountain View High forward Emily Andrew, right, fends off a Homestead High defender Friday.

The Mountain View High girls soccer team has a chance to make school history today and even more before the month is over.

The Spartans can capture their first Santa Clara Valley Athletic League De Anza Division title with a win over sixth-place Palo Alto, scheduled to visit at 3:30 p.m. After today’s league finale, Mountain View can take aim at its first Central Coast Section crown.

“With making the quarters two years ago and the semis last year, we think it’s about time we made the finals, and hopefully win the whole thing,” forward Kirsten Belinsky said. “I think we are capable of doing this if we take every game individually and not get too far ahead of ourselves. We just need to play like we’ve been playing all season.”

The Spartans’ last loss came Jan. 12 against Los Gatos, their only challenger for the league title. Friday’s 2-all tie at Homestead put Mountain View’s record at 7-1-3 in the daunting De Anza Division; Los Gatos is 6-0-5 and hosts fifth-place Gunn today.

“We’re still in the driver’s seat,” said coach Simon Cook, whose Spartans are 14-2-3 overall. “We’ve got a chance to do something we’ve never done – win league – and on Senior Day.”

With only five seniors – far fewer than last year’s second-place squad – Mountain View has exceeded Cook’s expectations. The Spartans have outscored their opponents 48-18 this season.

“The team is doing very well,” Cook said. “We’re playing some really good soccer and scoring lots of goals.”

The Spartans play an attacking style, starting four forwards who are capable scorers. Junior Emily Andrew leads the team with 17 goals, “a phenomenal number,” Cook said. Belinsky is next with 12 goals, followed by fellow seniors Tavi Crum and Elizabeth Browne with nine and three, respectively.

“The four of them have different skills and give us so many striking options,” said Cook, in his third year as coach. “Tavi is strong, Kirsten is a great dribbler, Emily has speed and Elizabeth is a terrific passer.”

So just imagine how opposing teams feel when they line up against Mountain View.

“Teams can’t just focus on shutting down one player,” said Belinsky, whose 10 assists ties Crum for the team lead. “It makes us hard to defend.”

Defenders must account for midfielder Erica Higa as well. The freshman has three goals and two assists.

“She’s played pretty much every minute at center mid, which is a tough position,” Cook said.

Higa and sophomores Emma Donckels (fullback) and Ally Gamble (midfielder) have been integral to the team’s success, according to the coach.

“I thought this would be a rebuilding year after losing so many seniors, but those three newcomers have helped fill the gaps and are a big reason why we’ve done really well,” Cook said.

Donckels plays a key role on a defense that doesn’t surrender goals easily. Goalie Sarah Bennett, a junior, has seven shutouts, which Cooked called “very impressive.” It’s even more so when considering Mountain View often uses four or five attackers.

“Our defense is solid with just three defenders, which allows us to keep more players up the field,” said Belinsky, headed to Brown University.

While the defense has been formidable and the offense potent, Belinsky believes teamwork is the primary reason the Spartans are thriving.

“We have so many talented players that it makes us so much better when we pass the ball around than when any of us try to work alone,” she said.

It’s that sort of attitude that makes this team better than last year’s squad, according to Cook.

“We’re playing far better soccer this year,” the coach said. “We have good soccer players who work well together – there’s a very good team spirit. They work hard and all have a common goal, which is to win every time they step on the field.”

And perhaps make some school history in the process. The CCS playoffs are scheduled to begin Tuesday.

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