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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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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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