Sat10252014

News

Election flyer mimics newspaper coverage

Election flyer mimics newspaper coverage

A flyer is being distributed across Los Altos that looks like it is from the Los Altos Town Crier but was neither created nor distributed by the community’s weekly newspaper. The flyer, pictured at right, is being distributed by workers from Pyrami...

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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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Los Altos studies December flooding, cites wayward debris as major culprit


Photo By: Town Crier File Photo
Photo Town Crier File Photo

Residents of St. Charles Court in Los Altos wade through the nearly knee-deep water after December storms flooded their neighborhood.

Localized flooding hasn’t been a problem since the Dec. 23 storm that dumped more than 4 inches of rain in parts of Los Altos, but city officials are preparing for the next major downpour.

Unretained soil and loose vegetation were primarily to blame for the storm-drain blockage that caused flooding just before Christmas, according to a recent Los Altos Public Works Department report. The report identified problem areas that should be corrected as part of the city’s effort to prevent future incidents.

In assessing storm-response measures, the Public Works analysis concluded that debris was responsible for blocking several storm drains and inlets critical for the proper flow of rainwater into area creeks.

During a Nov. 29 pre-storm inspection of 10 stormwater hot spots – locations with a history of flooding – no problems were detected. The city’s maintenance staff regularly performs debris clearing and pipe obstruction checks to ensure the city’s readiness for flooding, the report noted.

“Our storm preparation activities typically begin in October,” said Los Altos Public Works Director Jim Gustafson. “All of the pipe outfalls that convey stormwater to Adobe, Permanente, Hale and Stevens creeks are inspected and cleared of debris and vegetation as necessary to ensure that they will perform their intended purpose before the first major storm arrives.”

To prevent future flooding incidents, city officials studied the stormwater flowing through manholes and will propose additional capital projects as part of Los Altos’ Storm Drain Master Plan. They also intend to advise residents in flood zones about the availability of sandbags and other measures that can prevent dead vegetation and loose soil from impeding the flow of storm drains.

“All of the above are intended to address conveyance of the 10-year storm event, which is approximately what we had on Dec. 23,” Gustafson said.

The city’s police dispatch team and municipal service center recorded 44 calls from 42 locations across the city during the climax of the Dec. 23 storm. Los Altos received between 1 inch and 4.28 inches of rain in a 24-hour period, resulting in the most significant impact on local streams since 1998, according to the Santa Clara Valley Water District.

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