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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Council scheduled to discuss plastic-bag ban outreach


Photo By: Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Photo Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier

Los Altos resident Gerald Giusti loads his groceries after a stop at Safeway. A single-use plastic-bag ban takes effect July 4.

According to Los Altos Economic Development Manager Kathy Kleinbaum, implementation of a program to educate residents and merchants about the upcoming plastic-bag ban should appear before the Los Altos City Council Tuesday.

The program would disseminate the conditions of the ban on the distribution of single-use plastic bags by most of the city’s merchants starting July 4. The ordinance, introduced Feb. 26 and adopted by the council last week, affects city retailers selling clothing, food and personal items, as well as their customers.

The council declined to approve a $13,000 appropriation to hire a consultant for community education during the Feb. 26 discussions, calling instead for collaboration between the city and several local groups to publicize the ban.

Kleinbaum met with members of the Los Altos Village Association, the Los Altos Chamber of Commerce and GreenTown Los Altos and merchants from several Los Altos commercial districts to discuss public outreach efforts. Educating residents and merchants about the nuances of the ordinance, she said, is “critical.”

“For merchants, they need time to figure out what portions of their merchandise will work (with the new ordinance) and what won’t work. … Three months is a very short time,” she said. “We’ve got to get a lot done in a very short period of time.”

Kleinbaum referred to specific distinctions in the ordinance, such as the fact that retailers must charge customers at least 10 cents for a single recycled-content paper, reusable plastic or cloth bag, while protective bags for produce and meat and dry-cleaning garment bags are exempt. Retailers will be required to itemize customer-purchased bags on sales receipts and store those transaction records for at least three years. The ordinance exempts restaurants, fast-food establishments and nonprofit resellers.

“It’s not as simple as merchants simply stopping (the use of) plastic bags,” she said.

Kleinbaum recommended using direct-mail notification to Los Altos merchants in addition to notices included in residents’ utility bills to advertise the effects of the ordinance.

The city will develop and distribute a retailer toolkit, Kleinbaum noted, that will include a fact sheet, signage for merchants to post as notification of the ban and a list of recycled-content paper bags and reusable plastic bag suppliers.

In addition, separate forums for merchants and residents will be scheduled to clarify any remaining questions. Volunteers from GreenTown Los Altos may go door-to-door to discuss the details further with merchants. Representatives at an information table at downtown’s weekly Los Altos Farmers’ Market will offer educational materials and respond to questions.

The plan includes the distribution of Los Altos-themed reusable bags to residents, which Kleinbaum suggested could be a marketing opportunity to encourage residents to shop locally.

Kleinbaum expects the outreach program to begin in earnest in April if approved.

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