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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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Los Altos Hills Briefs

In its first meeting of the new year, the Los Altos Hills City Council met Jan. 24 to discuss the state’s new Complete Streets policy, private roads and a single-use plastic bag ban, among other items. Below is a roundup of issues on the agenda.

The next meeting is scheduled 6 p.m. Feb. 21 in the Los Altos Hills Town Hall Council Chambers, 26379 W. Fremont Road.

Streets resolution passes with reservations

With a 3-2 vote, the council narrowly passed a resolution to adopt the California Complete Streets Act of 2008 (AB 1358) – an unfunded state mandate that requires the town to revise its circulation plan to accommodate a “balanced, multimodal transportation network” by Jan. 1, 2014.

By accepting the resolution, the town becomes eligible for up to $186,000 in project funding from the Metropolitan Transportation Committee through a One Bay Area Grant.

Planning Director Debbie Pedro wrote in a memo that Los Altos Hills would “incorporate Complete Streets infrastructure into existing streets to improve the safety and convenience of users … with the particular goal of creating a connected network.”

The new advisory guidelines of the Complete Streets policy are intended to help the state reduce greenhouse gases and facilitate a shift in transportation patterns to include more public transit, bicycling and walking. In reviewing the Complete Streets policy, the council would have the authority to make exceptions to recommendations if program requirements were not sensitive to local conditions.

Some councilmembers and residents were hesitant to adopt the resolution, wary about the bill’s implications and whether it could impact the town’s rural character.

“You’re going to shackle the town’s residents and the town itself with things that are not in our best interest,” said Planning Commissioner Jim Abraham.

With an influx of growth in neighboring Palo Alto, Abraham expressed concern that the new policy might limit the town’s ability to control its own transportation growth.

“This is state law,” responded City Manager Carl Cahill. “You’re not going to have to turn Fremont Road into a four-lane throughway for Stanford traffic.”

Private roads study session

Responding to a recent flurry of residents struggling to find the resources and neighborhood cooperation necessary to resurface or upgrade their aging private streets, councilmembers plan to schedule a public study session.

“What one person thinks is a deficient roadway, another thinks is OK,” said City Manager Carl Cahill.

The city may consider assisting residents by establishing a framework to draft proposals that include the setup of roadway maintenance agreements, in-lieu fees or state funding structures.

Uncomfortable with the prospect of making the decision without input from the Planning Commission and the public, the council directed town staff to schedule a study session including all interested parties.

Open Space Committee supports bag ban

Although Los Altos Hills’ only commercial operations are Foothill College and the food trucks that linger on campus, members of the town’s Open Space Committee urged the council to expand its February 2012 polystyrene container and nonrecyclable food containers ban to include single-use plastic bags.

“This is largely a symbolic gesture to show solidarity with other cities in the area,” said Open Space Committee member George Clifford.

Councilman John Harpootlian objected, saying it wasn’t appropriate for Los Altos Hills to be “pontificating” on the issue when the town lacks a commercial center and doesn’t have “skin in this game.”

The council resolved to allow staff to draft a bag-ban amendment that could be discussed at a future meeting.

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