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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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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