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News

Loyola Corners economics, traffic rise to top of planning concerns

Loyola Corners economics, traffic rise to top of planning concerns

Alicia Castro/Town Crier
Loyola Bridge construction parallel to the Fremont Avenue frontage may lead officials to alter circulation plans for the area.

Loyola Corners stakeholders last week mulled the issues that will likely shape the area&rsquo...

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Schools

LAHS Green Team commemorates Earth Week

LAHS Green Team commemorates Earth Week


Traci Newell/Town Crier
Los Altos High School Green Team members, above, quiz their classmates about water conservation. The club distributed plants as prizes during the club’s Earth Week activities.

Members of the Los Altos High School Green...

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Community

Local pianist, 11, slated to perform Saturday at statewide competition

Local pianist, 11, slated to perform Saturday at statewide competition


Courtesy of the Cha family
Spencer Cha plays piano at a Santa Clara University recital. The sixth-grader also enjoys soccer, tennis, golf and skiing.

Spencer Cha has come a long way since he first sat down at the piano at age 2.

“I remem...

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Sports

Spartans net second place, eye top prize next season

Spartans net second place, eye top prize next season


Megan V. Winslow/Town Crier
Jeremy Hsu, Mountain View High’s top singles player, competes against Pinewood Thursday. The Spartans won the match 7-0.

With freshmen playing the top three spots in singles, the future of the Mountain View High boy...

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Comment

Los Altos at a leadership crossroads: Editorial

Don’t look now, but there could be some major changes ahead regarding how the Los Altos city government is run.

The current city council has the opportunity to hire a new city manager in the wake of Marcia Somers’ recent resignation. Fur...

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Special Sections

How to personalize the wedding bar

How to personalize the wedding bar


Christine Moore/Special to the Town Crier
A seasonal signature cocktail adds interest beyond the standard wedding bar’s spirits and mixers. Focus on one set of fresh ingredients, such as blueberries, blackberries and mint for a dose of budget...

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Business

Farmers prepare to market season's bounty

Farmers prepare to market season's bounty


Alicia Castro/Town Crier
Journeyman farmer Jen Friedlander waters Hidden Villa’s greenhouse plants, which will grow stronger in the controlled indoor environment before being transferred to the field outdoors.

Around Hidden Villa, the gree...

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People

BUOL JOANNE DOUGHERTY

BUOL JOANNE DOUGHERTY

1930-2016

Heaven gained a beautiful angel today. Our beloved mother’s blessed life ended in her Los Altos home surrounded by her loving family on April 18, 2016.

Buol Joanne Dougherty was born Sept. 28, 1930 in Chicago. At the age of two, M...

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Stepping Out

'Catch' comes to conclusion LA Stage Co. comedy  ends run this weekend

'Catch' comes to conclusion LA Stage Co. comedy ends run this weekend


Richard Mayer/Special to the Town Crier
Bryan Moriarty, left, stars as Yossarian and John Stephen King plays the Psychiatrist in Los Altos Stage Company’s “Catch-22.”

Los Altos Stage Company’s presentation of “Catch...

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Spiritual Life

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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