Fri10242014

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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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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