Wed07292015

News

Cal Water says no E. coli in water; limits boiling advisory area

Cal Water says no E. coli in water; limits boiling advisory area

Cal Water officials said today that preliminary water quality test results were negative for E. coli were negative and "only a single hydrant" in the South El Monte area of Los Altos showed the presence of total coliform. They reduced the "boil your ...

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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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Safeway buys Los Altos Pharmacy: Mom-and-pop shop stays local for now, but adds corporate logo


Photo By: Town Crier File Photo
Photo Town Crier File Photo

Staff at Los Altos Pharmacy anticipate remaining on the job as Safeway takes over. The pharmacy has made a name for itself with compounding consultations and seminars.

A family business since 1934, Los Altos Pharmacy is changing with the times this fall. A “Safeway” sign should appear above its Second Street doors as of Dec. 13.

Owner Bart Nelson, son of the pharmacy’s founder, sold the 78-year-old business to Safeway earlier this month. He said he and many of the staff plan to stay on as the pharmacy changes name.

The pharmacy is expected to remain open at 255 Second St. until it moves a few blocks away to the renovated Safeway planned at 160 First St. As that project wends through the design and permitting phases, it could be years before the familiar pharmacy closes its doors for good. Safeway will maintain prescription files, telephone lines and computer information for pharmacy customers, according to Nelson.

Pharmacies have long existed in Safeway stores, according to Safeway representative Keith Turner, including more than 100 in Northern California. Nelson said Safeway was interested in expanding the scope of wellness care in new stores like the one planned for Los Altos.

He noted that as President Barack Obama’s health-care reforms take effect in 2014 and after, the pharmacy business may change and grow, with pharmacists increasingly offering consultations as well as filling prescriptions.

“What you’re seeing at some of the new Safeways is more consultation management offices,” Nelson said, noting that he anticipated the inclusion of this feature in the new Los Altos Safeway. “In addition, Los Altos will have a new compounding lab – they’re going all-out to make the Los Altos store one of the centers for compounding for Safeway.”

This isn’t the first time a gigantic retailer caused the family-owned business to adopt a radical makeover. When Walgreens opened in 2003 less than a block away, Nelson saw a 20 percent drop in profits – and accelerated his business’ focus on the niche world of compounding. Los Altos Pharmacy specializes in compounding custom-made medicines with specific doses, flavors or delivery methods for individual customers. Want a lollipop or popsicle version of a prescription for an ornery child? A chicken-flavored pill for a finicky pet? They can find a solution for you.

“The industry is going through another evolution. It seems that we go through these about every decade. Every time there’s an evolution, you either change on the front end of it or you get left behind,” Nelson said. “Sure I can work until I’m 80 or 85 or 90, however it takes a ton of energy and a ton of financial support to evolve every 10 years.”

Nelson said his business has developed seminars and private consultations in tandem with its compounding specialty, evolving a business model beyond filling mainstream prescriptions – and that this apparently fit with Safeway’s own long-range plans.

Turner noted that Los Altos already offers women’s health and other consultations and added that the chain’s commitment to wellness and preventive care means its philosophy aligns with that of Los Altos Pharmacy, driving the merger.

Safeway purchased the pharmacy business but not the physical building and land on Second Street, which remain in Nelson’s hands. He said he has no idea what might take the pharmacy’s place a few years down the road, once the envisioned Safeway renovation becomes a reality.

Turner said a projected opening date for the new store is still a “moving target.”

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