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News

E. coli found in Los Altos water indicated breach, but only low risk

E. coli found in Los Altos water indicated breach, but only low risk


Courtesy of Microbe World
Colorized low-temperature electron micrograph of a cluster of E. coli bacteria

When E. coli and other bacteria were discovered in some Los Altos water last week, officials from the local water supplier, California Water...

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Schools

BCS hosts Stretch to Kindergarten program for underserved youth

BCS hosts Stretch to Kindergarten program for underserved youth


Traci Newell/Town Crier
The six-week, tuition-free Stretch to Kindergarten program, hosted at Bullis Charter School, serves children who have not attended preschool. A teacher leads children in singing about the parts of a butterfly, above.

Local un...

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Community

Google car painting project calls on artists

Google car painting project calls on artists


Google self-driving car

Already known as an innovator in the tech field, Google Inc. is now moving in on the art world.

The Mountain View-based company July 11 launched the “Paint the Town” contest, a “moving art experiment” that invites Califo...

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Sports

Pedaling with a purpose

Pedaling with a purpose


courtesy of
Rishi Bommannan Rishi Bommannan cycled from Bates College in Maine to his home in Los Altos Hills, taking several selfies along the way. He also raised nearly $13,000 for the Livestrong Foundation, which supports cancer patients.

When R...

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Comment

The truth about coyotes: Other Voices

The Town Crier’s recent article on coyotes venturing down from the foothills in search of sustenance referenced the organization Project Coyote (“Recent coyote attacks keep residents on edge,” July 1). Do not waste your time contac...

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Special Sections

Grant Park senior program made permanent

Grant Park senior program made permanent


Photos by Alicia Castro/Town Crier
Local residents participate in an exercise class at the Grant Park Senior Center, above. Betsy Reeves, below left with Gail Enenstein, lobbied for senior programming in south Los Altos.

It all began when Betsy Reev...

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Business

New State Street rug retailer has downtown Los Altos covered

New State Street rug retailer has downtown Los Altos covered


Alicia Castro/Town Crier
Los Altos Rug Gallery owner Fahim Karimi stocks his State Street store with a wall-to-wall array of floor coverings.

A new downtown business owner plans to roll out the red carpet – along with rugs of every other color –...

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Books

Book Signings

• Fritz and Nomi Trapnell have scheduled a book-signing party 4-6 p.m. Aug. 1 at their home, 648 University Ave., Los Altos.

Fritz and his daughter, Dana Tibbitts, co-authored “Harnessing the Sky: Frederick ‘Trap’ Trapnell, ...

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People

GRACE WILSON FRANKS

GRACE WILSON FRANKS

Resident of Los Altos

Grace Wilson Franks, our beloved mother and grandmother, left us peacefully on July 16, 2015 just a few weeks short of her 92nd birthday. She was born to Ross and Florence (Cruzan) Wilson in rural Tulare, California on Septem...

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Travel

Gearing up: Make travel more civilized with accessories

Gearing up: Make travel more civilized with accessories


Eren Göknar/Special to the Town Crier
San Francisco-based humangear Inc. sells totes, tubes and tubs for traveling.

In travel, as in romance, it’s the little things that count.

Beyond the glossy brochures lie the travel discomforts too mun...

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Stepping Out

Going out with a 'Bang'

Going out with a 'Bang'


Richard Mayer/Special to the Town Crier
“Chitty Chitty Bang Bang” stars, clockwise from top left, Alexander Sanchez, Sophia Sturiale, Deborah Rosengaus and Danny Martin.

Los Altos Stage Company and Los Altos Youth Theatre’s joint production of t...

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Spiritual Life

Build a 'light' house and get out of that dark place

Most of us have a place inside our hearts and minds that occasionally causes us trouble. For some, it is sadness, depression or despair. For others, it may be fear, anger, resentment or myriad other emotional “dark places” that at times seem to hij...

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Magazine

Inside Mountain View

Residents gather at NASA Ames for Pluto Flyby event

Residents gather at NASA Ames for Pluto Flyby event


Megan V. Winslow/Town Crier
NASA Ames’ Pluto Flyover event kindles the imaginations of young attendees.

Sue Moore watched the July 20, 1969, moon landing beside patients and staff members of the San Francisco hospital where she worked as a nurse...

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Parking pains: Main Street merchants take issue with enforcement during streetscape project


Photo By: Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Photo Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier Downtown merchants complain that San Antonio Road construction hurts business.

Two Main Street merchants say the San Antonio Road streetscape project has been bad for business.

Spot Pizza manager Jeff Gilmartin and Italian Delicatessen owner Tamara Sloan told the Town Crier that the ongoing construction project – located directly behind their respective businesses – is driving customers away because fewer parking spots are available near their shops.

Specifically, Gilmartin and Sloan noted that some customers have endured long searches in Plaza 3 and on nearby streets. Prior to the start of construction Jan. 7, city officials announced that approximately 50 spaces in the plaza would be unavailable during the 90-day project.

“We have a lot of people coming in for pickup orders who ask all the time, ‘What’s going on and when will it end?’” said Gilmartin, who added that the lack of parking has also impacted his pizza delivery drivers.

Making matters more difficult, he said, is that the city continues to enforce the plaza’s three-hour time limit, unlike some parking areas during the First Street streetscape construction in 2011-2012.

On that front, Gilmartin said one of his customers recently received a citation for double parking on Main Street “out of desperation.” He added that the customer circled the plaza and Main Street for several minutes in search of a space with no luck.

“I don’t think he’ll be back for pizza here,” said Gilmartin, who added that occasional construction-related closures of the plaza entrance closest to San Antonio Road and Main Street are hindering drivers.

“I think they should give a break to all of the customers,” he said.

Sloan added that the absence of spaces taken up by the streetscape project is causing a parking ripple effect in the plaza. Spots typically used by her employees prior to the project, she said, are now taken up by customers, and vice versa.

“My main concern is that I just don’t want my customers getting ticketed. It’s irritating, because they can’t find parking,” said Sloan, who stressed that on-site construction workers have been “awesome” in their interactions with merchants.

Los Altos Economic Development Manager Kathy Kleinbaum said she’s sympathetic to the merchants’ concerns but believes that relaxing parking enforcement might not be the solution.

She noted that regulations relaxed during First Street streetscape construction resulted in most spaces being occupied by anyone but customers.

“Employees ended up utilizing the closer and on-street spaces instead. … Time limits benefit customers because they ensure that the spots will turn over and become available,” said Kleinbaum, adding that she previously advised merchants to encourage their employees to park in less-impacted plazas.

Kleinbaum noted that the project, which she estimated would take another two months to complete, is simply forcing some – like nearby employees – to temporarily change their parking habits.

“I believe we have plenty of parking in the lots,” she said. “And I really strongly believe that if we suspend time limits, it’ll make it even more difficult for customers to park.”

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