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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Clark traffic signal a big waste of money: Editorial

At a recent Mountain View Chamber of Commerce event, Assemblyman Rich Gordon (D-24th District) indicated that the state is back on the road to fiscal responsibility. Gordon cited some $20 billion in budget cuts.

That’s good news, but he and other state representatives might want to consider the state Department of Transportation for more cuts. If Caltrans’ planned traffic signal for the Clark Avenue/El Camino Real intersection is any indication, there could be much money going down the proverbial drain.

Caltrans plans to spend $1.3 million to install a traffic signal that is simply not needed.

The only possible rationale for the light, a protected left-turn signal from Clark onto El Camino, has been prohibited by the Mountain View City Council. The council banned left turns at the intersection to protect Mountain View and Los Altos neighborhoods, whose residents fear that the new signal would encourage motorists to cut through residential streets to reach Clark.

As it is now, motorists attempting to make left turns from Clark have to wait a while for heavy traffic on El Camino to clear. With the traffic signal, they could make left turns conveniently.

There’s a better alternative to a traffic signal, at a small fraction of the cost. A traffic island blocking the left-turn lane and allowing only right turns would do the trick. Add a sign, if you must, that reads “No Left Turns.”

Councilmembers and residents posed such an alternative, but Caltrans went ahead with its own proposal. The department’s rationale is that an unusually high number of collisions occur at the intersection; officials cited 28 during a five-year period. Seven of them, they said, involved left turns, leading to their conclusion that the signal was still needed – with or without the left-turn option.

However, think of the increase in expensive fender-benders along El Camino as motorists are forced to start and stop at short intervals because there are so many stoplights. Then add one more costly traffic signal to the mess.

Actual work has yet to begin on the Clark signal. We would appreciate it if Caltrans had a change of mind on this project.

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