Sat11012014

News

Spooktacular moved indoors


Due to rain, today's downtown Los Altos Halloween activities have been moved to the indoor courtyard of Play! at 170 State St. Enter from the back on the parking lot side to participate in crafts, games and fun. Activities continue until 4 p.m.

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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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LA Forward explores San Brunos city plan


Photo By: Courtesy of City of San Bruno
Photo Courtesy Of City Of San Bruno Participants at a Los Altos Forward-sponsored meeting discussed San Bruno’s Transit Corridor, shown above on the city’s website, as a possibility for Los Altos.

The city of San Bruno’s new big-picture civic planning process could inspire Los Altos to follow suit – or at least that’s what some members of Los Altos Forward believe.

During an event last week organized by Los Altos Forward – the grassroots, nonprofit organization that promotes ways to increase downtown vibrancy – a group of local residents, including two former city mayors and three city councilmembers from Los Altos and Los Altos Hills, joined Los Altos Forward member Kim Cranston for a presentation on how San Bruno engaged stakeholders to create a roadmap for future development and growth in the city.

“Hopefully Los Altos will do something like (San Bruno’s plan) to engage the community in the visioning and planning process,” said Cranston, a downtown property owner and activist. “We can learn best practices from other communities to gather some DNA from those examples to figure out what is best for Los Altos.”

Aaron Aknin, former planner for the city of San Bruno, shared insight into how the city initiated its comprehensive general plan. In addition to securing an Environmental Impact Report and $500,000 from the city council for plans, the project leaders organized a steering committee and coordinated numerous workshops and design charettes to include residents in the process.

“As people saw that we were responding to their concerns, their buy-in increased,” Aknin noted.

Although building a critical mass of support for the city’s development plans was key, Aknin emphasized the importance of synchronization with economic reality. He said his team didn’t want to generate something that was never going to be built – a fear that stifles many stakeholders from investing in planning projects. As components of the overall plan, the San Bruno team developed design guidelines and zoning and transportation maps.

Cranston said the goal of the Los Altos Forward meeting was to prompt dialogue on how a community-driven plan could benefit Los Altos.

“If you don’t have an overall plan, you don’t know where you’re going,” he said. “Otherwise, we’re taking the Sarah Winchester approach to development … one block at a time, one room at a time.”

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