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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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LAHS students celebrate History Week


Photo By: Photos By Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Photo Photos By Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier

Los Altos High School students, left, attended a variety of presentations during History Week, including one on human trafficking that featured Los Altos High alumna Mihn Dang, right.

Los Altos High School students heard from an engaging array of speakers last week during the school’s inaugural History Week.

School faculty and parent volunteers organized a host of presentations around the theme “Rights for All.” Speakers, films and workshops addressed a variety of human-rights-related topics, from Japanese internment during World War II to the American civil rights movement, Internet privacy protections and the social impact of women’s portrayal in the media.

“Students have the opportunity to be exposed to the world and see what they are learning in the classroom in the real world,” said Principal Wynne Satterwhite. “It really gives them the opportunity to see what they are learning and how it applies to where they are going in life.”

Students and community members attended a panel discussion Jan. 16 featuring the Hon. James Robertson, retired U.S. District judge for the District of Columbia and chief counsel for the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, and Lee Rubin, attorney and former prosecutor for the Department of Justice.

The evening presentation featured a screening of “Mississippi Burning,” a film that chronicles the investigation of the murder of three civil rights activists in a small Mississippi town in 1964.

“When we are young, we are oblivious to the history that is going on around us,” Robertson said. “It’s our life.”

Robertson shared with the audience his involvement in history as a lawyer in Washington, D.C., representing protesters arrested at demonstrations after Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s assassination in 1968. Shortly after his time in D.C., Robertson relocated to Mississippi, where he handled many civil rights cases.

Robertson recounted the history of the civil rights movement in the 1950s and 1960s, from the death of racial segregation in schools to the implementation of voting rights for African-Americans.

“All of this was happening around me,” Robertson said. “I knew about it, but somehow I didn’t think it was history. It was my life, too.”

Robertson compared realizing that one is living in a moment of historical import to a Chinese proverb: “What is the current to a fish? The fish doesn’t know whether he is swimming upstream or downstream.”

“The civil rights breakthroughs of the ’50s and ’60s have morphed into a much broader idea of human and civil rights that your generation is going to deal with,” he told students. “Internet ethics and privacy. Immigrant rights. Consumer rights. Women’s rights. Teen rights. LGBT rights. Human trafficking. This is the current your generation is swimming in, and it is history in the making.”

Rubin, a generation younger than Robertson, discussed his experiences as a lawyer advocating for voter rights and against what he deemed the more “subtle” ways cities and counties find to discriminate against minorities.

“Even now, 48 years after the passage of the Voting Rights Act, there are still controversies and struggles regarding basic participation in the political process,” he said.

Rubin recounted a case he tried in 1995 in which a group of threatening neighbors set a cross on fire in the front yard of an African-American family – an act reminiscent of the civil rights battles in the 1960s.

“These are the kinds of hate crimes that send ripples of fear through an entire community and disrupt people’s ability to do what should be a minimum guarantee as an American family – to enjoy the sanctity of their own homes,” Rubin said.

Rubin said he hoped “Mississippi Burning” and the legacy of the murdered civil rights workers would inspire students.

“As you watch this film, remember to follow your passion, to look for wrongs to right, and that each of you can make a difference,” he said.

In addition to the panel featuring Robertson and Rubin, History Week presentations included a Forbes Magazine blogger discussing social media and Internet commerce privacy rights, leaders in the sports community addressing student athletes’ rights and programs on immigrant rights, domestic violence and bullying.

Students received a special visit from Los Altos High School alumna Mihn Dang, recently featured in the media as a prominent face for victims/survivors of human trafficking.

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