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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A time to reflect on our good fortune

Pages of the Past

As I read stories about events in Los Altos during the past holiday seasons, I came across a Town Crier article that was written in 1995 which I'd like to share with you. The title of the story was " CSA volunteer turns potential downer into Christmas dinner for the homeless." It was about a volunteer who found 15 homeless people waiting outside the Los Altos United Methodist Church hoping to have their Christmas dinner. The volunteer couldn't find anything to give them at that particular moment so she called several restaurants to see if they could help. Never discouraged and several telephone calls later, she decided to get into her car and drove down El Camino Real looking for restaurants that might be open. The Hunan Hone's Chinese restaurant was the only one she found. She told the owner her story about the homeless people who will miss Christmas dinner. With his help, 15 boxes of Chinese dinner were delivered by this "miracle worker" named Mary Burkhardt.

How about 1945, when Christmas in Los Altos was designated as the first "war-free Christmas" for families here? Homes were brightly decorated and open houses continued through the week to welcome returning servicemen. Holiday decorations also adorned most of the downtown merchants' window displays and many Christmas trees were anchored around Main Street. As a holiday observance, the big oak tree that had become a favorite landmark in Los Altos, was illuminated with Christmas lights.

Back then, our servicemen did not have the pleasure of one-year tours "in-country." When they left for the war, they knew they would be gone until it was over. At any time, being home during the holidays gives one a special sense of warmth. Can you imagine returning to our little town when it was fully decked out? What a great reflection.

Finally, there's the story about the Santa's helpers who last year helped area children by working with local companies to establish "Family Giving Trees." "Wish Cards" from children were used as Christmas tree decorations, the cards were selected and sorted, presents provided in response to those cards, and then distributed to the right recipients. Thousands of little children received their "only" Christmas present thanks to those many "Santa's Helpers."

I have collected some wonderful letters from my readers since I came on board and I want to say "thank you so much." You may send special Christmas and family memories, and any suggestions, to my e-mail address and I will try to include them in my future issues.

So, as we say goodbye to this year and say hello to the real Millennium, we have a great time to reflect - not only on our own good fortune but on being surrounded by so many in our community who take the time to reach out to others.

Hill is a member of the Los Altos History Museum Association. Send comments or suggestions to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

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