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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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The quest to preserve Immigrant House


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

Mary Kay Marinovich is on a mission to preserve Mountain View’s circa-1880s Immigrant House.

Mary Kay Marinovich proves the reliability of that old adage that one person can make a big difference.

The Los Altos resident has successfully spearheaded the effort to preserve a small, inconspicuous structure in downtown Mountain View that once housed immigrant families in the city’s early days.

Marinovich is inspired by personal history. Her family members from Croatia once lived in what is called “Immigrant House” at 166 Bryant St.

She remembers a friend of hers renting the house for $96 a month in the 1970s.

“We did Shakespeare and wrote plays here,” Marinovich said, standing in the living room. “The house has got a great vibe.”

Marinovich began her quest to preserve Immigrant House when she learned in July that developer Roger Burnell’s application to construct a 21,750-square-foot office building on the site met with Mountain View City Council approval.

Faced with losing the source of her memories, Marinovich pulled out all the stops. She led a petition drive, conducted face-to-face meetings with councilmembers and even wrote and performed a song about the house for a YouTube video (www.youtube.com/watch?v=AySFowHKnxA).

The city council approved preserving the building in October. Members OK’d a plan Jan. 29 that would fund $32,000 to move the 400-square-foot structure, built in the 1880s, to the city’s Municipal Operations Center on Whisman Road for no more than three years. The time would give city officials an opportunity to decide where to relocate the building permanently.

Burnell said his firm, Arnell Enterprises Inc., is taking charge of the move, scheduled for Sunday.

“We are contributing toward the engineering, (hazardous materials) remediation, management, administration and partial moving costs, and then also posting up the remainder of the funds for the balance until the city catches up and reimburses us,” he said. “Doing this saves much time, and almost two-thirds of what it would cost (the city), when one compares the bids.”

Burnell plans to begin construction on his project next month and finish the basic building by the end of October.

The search for a new site

A host of new locations for Immigrant House have been discussed, including placement at city-owned lots along Shoreline Boulevard, parkland around police headquarters, Pioneer Park and Eagle Park. Supporters said the house could be used for a variety of purposes, including as a small museum or meeting room.

“Preserving this little house will afford the opportunity for students and other interested parties to experience firsthand the culture and lifestyle of immigrant groups and its laborers who helped to settle and cultivate the Santa Clara Valley,” Marinovich wrote. “We save the homes of the wealthy – let’s save the home of the people who created them.”

Immigrant House shares its site with other small, decaying structures, including the 1,100-square-foot Pearson House, also from the 1880s era (see page 45). Pending unforeseen developments, the Pearson House and remaining structures will be demolished this month.

The next challenge for Marinovich is fundraising to restore the house. She said she has two years to raise the $100,000 needed for renovation work. She is partnering with members of the Old Mountain View Neighborhood Association, which is applying for a 501(c)(3) designation to allow fundraising events.

In the meantime, Marinovich is mixing and mingling. She joined the Mountain View Kiwanis Club, which donated $1,000 to the cause. She’s considering fundraising events and contacting key people in town for advice and guidance.

The structure has no asbestos or lead-paint problems that plague many old structures, Marinovich said, praising the sturdy redwood used for its construction.

“I keep thinking, 30 years from now, children can see this structure,” she said. “Let’s show what it looked like to the first people who came here.”

For more information on Immigrant House, email Marinovich at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

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