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News

E. coli found in Los Altos water indicated breach, but only low risk

E. coli found in Los Altos water indicated breach, but only low risk


Courtesy of Microbe World
Colorized low-temperature electron micrograph of a cluster of E. coli bacteria

When E. coli and other bacteria were discovered in some Los Altos water last week, officials from the local water supplier, California Water...

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Schools

BCS hosts Stretch to Kindergarten program for underserved youth

BCS hosts Stretch to Kindergarten program for underserved youth


Traci Newell/Town Crier
The six-week, tuition-free Stretch to Kindergarten program, hosted at Bullis Charter School, serves children who have not attended preschool. A teacher leads children in singing about the parts of a butterfly, above.

Local un...

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Community

Google car painting project calls on artists

Google car painting project calls on artists


Google self-driving car

Already known as an innovator in the tech field, Google Inc. is now moving in on the art world.

The Mountain View-based company July 11 launched the “Paint the Town” contest, a “moving art experiment” that invites Califo...

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Sports

Pedaling with a purpose

Pedaling with a purpose


courtesy of
Rishi Bommannan Rishi Bommannan cycled from Bates College in Maine to his home in Los Altos Hills, taking several selfies along the way. He also raised nearly $13,000 for the Livestrong Foundation, which supports cancer patients.

When R...

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Comment

The truth about coyotes: Other Voices

The Town Crier’s recent article on coyotes venturing down from the foothills in search of sustenance referenced the organization Project Coyote (“Recent coyote attacks keep residents on edge,” July 1). Do not waste your time contac...

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Special Sections

Grant Park senior program made permanent

Grant Park senior program made permanent


Photos by Alicia Castro/Town Crier
Local residents participate in an exercise class at the Grant Park Senior Center, above. Betsy Reeves, below left with Gail Enenstein, lobbied for senior programming in south Los Altos.

It all began when Betsy Reev...

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Business

New State Street rug retailer has downtown Los Altos covered

New State Street rug retailer has downtown Los Altos covered


Alicia Castro/Town Crier
Los Altos Rug Gallery owner Fahim Karimi stocks his State Street store with a wall-to-wall array of floor coverings.

A new downtown business owner plans to roll out the red carpet – along with rugs of every other color –...

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Books

Book Signings

• Fritz and Nomi Trapnell have scheduled a book-signing party 4-6 p.m. Aug. 1 at their home, 648 University Ave., Los Altos.

Fritz and his daughter, Dana Tibbitts, co-authored “Harnessing the Sky: Frederick ‘Trap’ Trapnell, ...

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People

GRACE WILSON FRANKS

GRACE WILSON FRANKS

Resident of Los Altos

Grace Wilson Franks, our beloved mother and grandmother, left us peacefully on July 16, 2015 just a few weeks short of her 92nd birthday. She was born to Ross and Florence (Cruzan) Wilson in rural Tulare, California on Septem...

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Travel

Gearing up: Make travel more civilized with accessories

Gearing up: Make travel more civilized with accessories


Eren Göknar/Special to the Town Crier
San Francisco-based humangear Inc. sells totes, tubes and tubs for traveling.

In travel, as in romance, it’s the little things that count.

Beyond the glossy brochures lie the travel discomforts too mun...

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Stepping Out

Going out with a 'Bang'

Going out with a 'Bang'


Richard Mayer/Special to the Town Crier
“Chitty Chitty Bang Bang” stars, clockwise from top left, Alexander Sanchez, Sophia Sturiale, Deborah Rosengaus and Danny Martin.

Los Altos Stage Company and Los Altos Youth Theatre’s joint production of t...

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Spiritual Life

Build a 'light' house and get out of that dark place

Most of us have a place inside our hearts and minds that occasionally causes us trouble. For some, it is sadness, depression or despair. For others, it may be fear, anger, resentment or myriad other emotional “dark places” that at times seem to hij...

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Magazine

Inside Mountain View

Residents gather at NASA Ames for Pluto Flyby event

Residents gather at NASA Ames for Pluto Flyby event


Megan V. Winslow/Town Crier
NASA Ames’ Pluto Flyover event kindles the imaginations of young attendees.

Sue Moore watched the July 20, 1969, moon landing beside patients and staff members of the San Francisco hospital where she worked as a nurse...

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Letters to the Editor

Enough with the 3 stories already

Three story, three story, three story – that is what Los Altos is becoming.

The most recent issue of the Los Altos Neighborhood Network newsletter listed six already approved buildings of three stories ready for construction downtown. If you want to look at the future downtown, look at the boxey-building being constructed at 240 Third Street – 44 feet tall with a roof appendage to 48 feet. On the skyline of downtown, you can see that structure from the intersection of First and Main at San Antonio. Is that what we want? Look at our village – do we want it to look like a high-rise developer’s dream?

I encouraged the city council to stop the three-story parking structures on Plaza South. All you have to do is stand in Plaza South and look at the enormous structure going up next to the Walgreens parking lot to see what the future of Los Altos will look like with the current development emphasis. I urge the city council to reconsider their focus on downtown development and keep Los Altos a village. After all, we live here and the developers probably don’t.

Ask city council members: How about resetting the zoning for the parking plazas back to what it was before this folly was approved? That way, additional public review will have to occur before a project of this magnitude can be resumed.

Ron Murphy

Los Altos

Out of touch in Los Altos?

It was Jean Jacques Rousseau who actually coined the phrase, “Let them eat cake” in his book “The Confessions” (1781-1788). But the hapless – and later headless – Marie Antoinette usually gets the blame for this handy bon mot of the clueless.

Just such insensitivity can pop up even in Los Altos.

While cities around us face troubling cuts in services, the Los Altos City Council is determined to undertake the largest civic building project in our history. The multiphase, multiyear Community Center Master Plan would raze and replace every building where our present civic center now stands – except the History House, which can’t, by deed, be touched.

Phase I requires voters to approve a $65 million bond. Phase I would also bulldoze the apricot orchard that has encircled city hall for half a century.

To get the ‘dozers rolling, the council approved Dec. 13 an “educational outreach” program – paid for by taxpayers – to “frame” the urgent need for this.

Four local citizens – I was one – asked the council to make these “outreach” materials more transparent – or at least include thriftier options. After all, right on the outreach brochure, it said, “We want to hear from you!” But that night, they didn’t seem to want to hear from us. Materials approved.

They’re selling Phase I as an “intergenerational center” for seniors and teens – with a couple of other buildings thrown in. Wily strategy! Who wants to be the Scrooge who nixes that?

Yet it is the means we use to achieve our ends that define us. Re-use is more eco-friendly than razing. Wild mustard is kinder to our aquifer than asphalt. Saving our apricot orchard leaves a living tribute to our history. And facts are always more valuable to voters than framed-up marketing.

Leaving a couple of dollars in taxpayers’ pockets might not be such a bad idea, either. Marie Antoinette didn’t, and they finally had to cut off her credit.

Robin Chapman

Los Altos

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