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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Oh, the funds they have raised: 3rd Los Altos Relay For Life sets a record with $598,000

Approximately 2,000 volunteers from throughout the community made a marathon out of the fight against cancer this past weekend, raising funds for the American Cancer Society in Los Altos' third annual Relay For Life. As of Sunday morning the relay had raised $598,800, within easy reach of organizers' $600,000 goal.

That marks a significant increase over last year's total of more than $480,000. Funds continued to come in and will be tallied through August.

Team members hefting banners and sporting kooky hats massed in the field before the 10 a.m. Saturday kickoff.

Crab, hamburger, shark and sombrero headdresses distinguished some of the teams braving the morning heat. Dotted throughout the crowd, cancer survivors were visible in purple T-shirts.

Volunteer coordinator Cynthia Sternberg donned a floppy bow tie and towering striped chapeau to stir up the crowds as the Cat in the Hat in keeping with the Relay 2006 theme, "Oh, the places you'll go!"

Channeling Dr. Seuss, Sternberg recited: "So don't forget the donations but today is for fun!/ There's still money to be raised./ There's still battles to be won./ And the magical things you can do when you know,/ That by walking in relay,/ Oh! The Places You'll Go!"

Progress cited

David Veneziano, chief executive officer of the California branch of the American Cancer Society, celebrated achievements in the fight against cancer, including a statewide 12 percent increase in survival rates. The society has funded the research of eight Nobel laureates and supported 64,000 cancer patients in California. The society also has advocated for such causes as an increase of the tobacco tax.

Mountain View High School student Liz Creger got an OK from her doctor to delay chemotherapy until Saturday afternoon so that Saturday morning she could join her former principal, Pat Hyland, also battling cancer. Together they released doves as more than 300 cancer survivors began the day with an emotional survivor's lap.

A small flock of doves looped above the crowd against a hot blue sky during the first few laps. As the teams stretched in exhibition around the length of the track, the Leland Stanford Junior University Marching Band gamboled in the center of the field - wildly dressed students joined by a handful of local alumni, who grabbed an instrument and some tie-dye to join in.

A Los Altos resident and four-year survivor wiped tears as she watched the teams troop by. "It's sad, it's very emotional," she said. A friend had convinced her to come for the first time this year.

Jana Powell, another Los Altos resident, who watched the teams go by, is a 28-year survivor. "I was 24 years old, and had just moved, alone, away from home," she said. "It was the biggest shock in the world - at 24 years old, you think you own the world." A routine X-ray at the doctor's office found a tumor in her chest. "It was bad, I was all by myself. But I always believed, just hit it hard. This is what you've got to do." A few years of chemo and radiation later, Powell became one of the success stories commemorated at this year's event.

She said the relay gave her a chance to be open about her experience. "I don't really talk about it, ever," Powell said. "My friends were surprised to see me here. It's really emotional, especially the Caregiver's Lap. I can imagine how hard it was for my mom. She said over and over, 'If I could trade places with you, I would.'"

"My greatest wish for the future is that you will not be here, and your children and grandchildren will not be here, because cancer will have been cured," Relay chairwoman Jeanne MacVicar told the crowd.

Team play

Sixty-eight teams raised money for the American Cancer Society. Each team does its own fund raising, through events like barbecues and bake sales, and commits to keeping a member on the track throughout the 24 hours. On the sidelines and in the city of tents, groups continued the fund raising with the sale of snow cones and smoothies. The survivor's tent provided snacks and rest, and relaxing yoga sessions were scheduled twice in the 24 hours.

At the evening luminaria ceremony, the track glowed with lights from nearly 5,000 candlelit, decorated bags in honor or remembrance of those who have faced cancer. Walkers went quiet for a moment of silence in remembrance of those who could not be there. Survivors gathered to carry the Chain of Hope, more than 1,700 links each representing a year of survival.

Los Altos High School junior Margaret Lewis performed two of her original songs during the ceremony. She had sung one of them to her mother's twin in the hours before she died of cancer. "I sang it at her funeral, and I sing it at every show. It's just an honor for me to get to do that for her," Lewis said. She plans to record the songs for people who would like a CD to keep.

Singer Janie Lidey performed a song specially written for survivors as well as an evening concert. Earlier in the day Sorella!, the Spice Islands Polynesian Dancers and a silent auction added entertainment.

The relay has evolved over its three years as new participants join and traditions grow.

"One thing that's unique about Los Altos Relay is that it doesn't come with a recipe," said Jan Masters, the relay chairwoman for survivorship. "It's about the process of participating. It's a physical way to express hope."

Youth play role

In the KIDZONE tent, youngsters perched on chairs from Linden Tree Children's Recordings and Books to color in the shade. Next to them, Hollis Bischoff hosted the Knit a Row tent for a second year, providing an oasis for fund raising with the fingers as well as the feet.

Among the many elementary school students who turned out for the event, Oak School's young cougar was braving the heat Saturday morning, as was Loyola's lion. Almond, Blach, Covington, Loyola, Oak, Santa Rita, Pinewood and Springer schools sent teams, as did Mountain View and Los Altos high schools. Mountain View students Kristen Benner and Emily Bernstein brought sleeping bags, planning to spend the night in the city of tents that had sprung up on the lower field.

"In the last year, I've been exposed to a lot more people who have cancer, and it has affected my life," Bernstein said, citing a classmate of theirs who has been ill. Benner said that a sophomore research project on cancer had taught her about the power of fund raising. They held a garage sale to raise money.

"This is all about love and anger and the need to fight back, to have a place to put your emotions and deal with grief and celebrate life together," said MacVicar, a survivor of breast cancer. "It's very healing for people suffering with grief and empowering to survivors to know a lot of other people have gone through what they are.

"For some people it's the best thing that's happened to them after they heard the words, 'You have cancer.'"

For more information or to donate, visit www.losaltosrelay.com.

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