Thu10302014

News

Police stress need for low speed in school zones

Police stress need for low speed in school zones


Town Crier File Photo
After two recent accidents involving cyclists and motorists, police urge caution – on both sides.

After two recent incidents of vehicles striking student bicyclists, Los Altos Police urge residents to exercise caution whe...

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Schools

Gardner Bullis School debuts new Grizzly Student Center

Gardner Bullis School debuts new Grizzly Student Center


Photo by Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Students line up to check books out of the library in the new Grizzly Student Center at Gardner Bullis School.

Gardner Bullis School opened its new Grizzly Student Center earlier this month, introducing a lea...

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Community

Home improvement workshop scheduled Wednesday (Oct. 29)

The County of Santa Clara is hosting a free informational workshop on 6:30 p.m. Wednesday at Los Altos Hills Town Hall, 26379 Fremont Road.

The workshop will offer ways single-family homeowners can increase their homes’ energy efficiency. Eligible i...

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Comment

Off the fence: TC recommends 'yes' on N

The Town Crier initially offered no position on the controversial $150 million Measure N bond on Tuesday’s ballot. But some of the reasons we gave in our Oct. 15 editorial were, on reflection, overly critical and based on inaccurate information.

We ...

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Special Sections

Long-term solutions emerge as water conservation goes mainstream

Long-term solutions emerge as water conservation goes mainstream


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Forrest Linebarger, right, installed greywater and rainwater harvesting systems at his Los Altos Hills home.

With more brown than green visible in her Los Altos backyard, Kacey Fitzpatrick admits that she’s a little e...

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Business

Local realtors scare up money for charity

Local realtors scare up money for charity


Photo courtesy of SILVAR
Realtors Gary Campi and Jordan Legge, from left, joined Nancy Domich, SILVAR President Dave Tonna and Joe Brown to raise funds for the Silicon Valley Realtors Charitable Foundation.

Los Altos and Mountain View realtors raise...

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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

DAVID S. NIVISON

DAVID S. NIVISON

David S. Nivison, 91 years old, and a resident of Los Altos, California since 1952, died Oct. 16, 2014 at home.  His neighbors had recently honored him as the “Mayor of Russell Ave., in recognition of 62 years of distinguished living” on that ...

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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

ECYS opens season Sunday

ECYS opens season Sunday


Ramya Krishna/Special to the Town Crier
The El Camino Youth Symphony rehearses for Sunday’s concert, above.

The El Camino Youth Symphony – under new conductor Jindong Cai – is scheduled to perform its season-opening concert 4 p.m....

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Spiritual Life

Christian Science Reading Room hosts webinar on prayer and healing

Christian Science practitioner and teacher Evan Mehlenbacher is scheduled to present a live Internet webinar lecture, “Prayer That Heals,” 7:30 p.m. Nov. 14 in the Christian Science Reading Room, 60 Main St., Los Altos.

Those interested ...

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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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Round and round we go: Editorial

Sometimes, what you think is the right answer turns out not to be the right answer for someone else. And in our democracy, majority rules.

So, even if statistics prove a roundabout is the best traffic-calming solution to address speed and safety concerns along Fremont Avenue, it may not be. Not when a full house of nearby residents fill the city council chambers and state emphatically that they don’t want it.

Such was the case last week during a Los Altos City Council study session on a proposed roundabout for the Fremont-Fallen Leaf Lane intersection. One after another, speakers shot down the idea and pleaded with the council to explore alternative traffic-calming measures.

A traffic consultant made a solid presentation, using animated computer graphics to illustrate traffic flow. The roundabout would slow down traffic, he said, and slower traffic means fewer accidents. The consultant noted that 24 accidents had occurred at the Fremont-Fallen Leaf intersection but provided no context on the types of accidents or the span of time involved.

Neighborhood residents would have none of it. Many said speed was not a factor, even though the council approved a traffic plan in 2011 – of which the roundabout is a part – based on residents’ feedback that speed was their biggest concern.

In fact, their biggest concerns turned out to be vehicle access to Fremont as well as pedestrian and bicycle safety. Residents feared they would have no opportunity to turn onto Fremont during peak commute hours, something that’s difficult to do already. Bicyclists unfamiliar with how to properly negotiate a roundabout could increase their risk of being hit, they claimed.

Roundabouts are considered successful traffic-calming solutions among traffic experts, although they are expensive – this one would cost $400,000. The few residents who voiced support had lived in different areas around the country and world, and saw firsthand how they worked.

But the opposing majority worried about something “monstrous,” as one resident put it. Facing the prospect of a roundabout, residents openly wondered which traffic problem the city was trying to solve. Whatever the case, the council directed city staff to examine other traffic-calming alternatives. The people have spoken.

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