Fri10242014

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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MV-LA board approves return of Alta Vista to Shoreline site

Alta Vista High School, an alternative school for students with mostly attendance problems, will relocate to its original site and undergo a shift in focus, Mountain View-Los Altos Union High School District board members decided at their March 24 meeting.

The board approved a conceptual plan that would change Alta Vista into a continuation school and move facilities back behind the district office, the old Shoreline High School site next to Mountain View High School on Truman Avenue.

The move results from a dissolved partnership the district had over the past three years with Foothill College. Superintendent Don Phillips said Alta Vista operated out of Foothill's Middlefield campus, the old Cubberley High School site on Middlefield Road in Palo Alto. The idea was that Alta Vista students would take advantage of Foothill services or apply to the college after high school.

"Neither materialized to the degree Foothill was hoping for," said Brigitte Sarraf, associate superintendent in charge of educational services.

"They needed us to move so we had to find a new home," Phillips said.

With the lack of available commercial property, district officials turned to the Shoreline site, which has been renovated to accommodate the spillover of Mountain View High students in the midst of the district's $58 million renovation of the main high schools.

In changing the focus from an "alternative" to a "continuation" school, district officials plan on limiting Alta Vista to students 16 years and older. Students with attendance problems and/or failing grades would be admitted. The district also envisions a 25-to-1 student-to-instructor ratio and an enrollment topping at 150 students.

As a continuation school, Alta Vista students would have to meet minimum weekly attendance requirements stipulated in laws that govern continuation education.

Phillips said the district also plans stronger curriculum for basic skills such as English and math.

Sarraf added Mountain View High services, such as foreign language classes, would be available to students who are up for the challenge.

The change saves the district $166,000 in "double staffing" between the regular high schools and Alta Vista, and by reducing duplication of programs, Phillips said.

"Some of the changes, we think will enhance (the program)," Phillips said. "We want to ensure these kids are challenged. Most of these students have basic literacy deficits, so we want a very strong skill development focus in the program - and a strong career-to-work path."

"We're trying to take this as an opportunity (for improving) quality, enhancements, facilities - and save dollars at the same time," he said.

Sarraf said administrative staff would return to the board with requests for more specific changes to the Alta Vista program within two months.

"We're still excited with all the changes that have occurred over the past couple of years as we continue to improve and refine the program," she said.

Bill Pierce, who had been an interim principal at Alta Vista, was named Alta Vista principal at the last board meeting.

DISTRICT OFFICE FIXES: Phillips said he'll be proposing a host of fixes for the district offices at 1299 Bryant Ave., in Mountain View, before the board at its next meeting, this coming Monday.

The proposed renovations, running about $500,000, include installing handicapped accessible ramps to comply with Americans With Disabilities Act requirements, improving parking, renovating bathrooms, replacing the roof and removing asbestos from the ceilings.

Work on the 30-year-old building would begin in the summer of 1998, pending board approvals.

Monday's proposal calls for the board to give the go-ahead for design and planning work, Phillips said.

The board also is in the process of developing annual goals, which include higher academic standards, improvements to the building program and improving technology.

District officials will be seeking public input at the next meeting, scheduled for 7 p.m. in the district board room, 1299 Bryant Ave.

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