Sat10252014

News

Election flyer mimics newspaper coverage

Election flyer mimics newspaper coverage

A flyer is being distributed across Los Altos that looks like it is from the Los Altos Town Crier but was neither created nor distributed by the community’s weekly newspaper. The flyer, pictured at right, is being distributed by workers from Pyrami...

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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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Bullis Charter School reviews future growth options

After years of spiking enrollment requests, Bullis Charter School officials are reviewing options for school expansion.

The school has added a class per grade per year over the past several years, growing from two sections of each grade to three.

The charter school’s board of directors held a study/work session Sept. 24 to discuss solutions for the increasing needs.

“The demand has increased in all grade levels,” said board member Andrea Eyring. “When we first started the school, it was trickier. Now there is enough demand in all the grades.”

The board explored both short- and long-term options for the school’s future.

One option – maintaining the school’s current growth model – would add only additional sixth- and eighth-grade sections.

To address the number of applicants turned away each year, however, board members proposed revising the growth model to accommodate more students.

A second option, a possibility for the short term, would add one section for grades K-3, leading eventually to four sections per grade.

“We have quite a few siblings wait-listed right now,” said board member Janet Medlin. “We could serve families that are already here by having a new K-3 strand starting next year. Those grades could easily be filled by next year.”

An option for scaled-down growth in the short term would add only one kindergarten section beginning next year, and add a class section per year, capping at four sections of each grade.

Board Chairman Ken Moore said adding one kindergarten section next year might not require more facilities space, as it would be the addition of an afternoon class, for which they already have space on campus.

In the longer term, the board discussed several possibilities for growth. Board members said long-range planning might require a more detailed study that could take more than six months.

One long-term vision, dubbed the “Five-Four model,” would offer five sections for grades K-3 and four sections for grades 4-8, which have slightly larger class sizes.

Another proposal was to duplicate the school’s current three-section model, meaning there eventually would be six sections of each grade. Moore said that growth could be implemented in a number of ways.

A transitional model, eventually adding many more sections, would add two sections each in grades K-5 in addition to the current three sections of K-8.

Moving forward, Moore said the board should consider several factors about the proposed growth models: demand, Proposition 39 (facilities allocation), the funding model, class size, maintaining quality, the specialized teacher component and timing.

“There are great pros to expanding the program,” Medlin said. “We need to makes sure we aren’t compromising the product we are delivering now.”

The Nov. 1 deadline looms for the charter school to report to the district its forecast for in-district students for the 2013-2014 school year.

Moore said the board rescheduled its Oct. 1 meeting to Oct. 8 to allow the Proposition 39 Committee (which deals with the facilities request process each year) more time to look at short-term options. He said another study session on the topic should be discussed at the Oct. 8 meeting.

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