Wed10222014

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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New neighborhood program promotes emergency preparedness in Los Altos


Photo By: Town Crier File Photo
Photo Town Crier File Photo Los Altos Hills Community Emergency Response Teams train to respond to emergencies until professional agencies can arrive. Los Altos PREPARE hopes to bring Los Altos up to speed.

If the power fizzles, mobile networks die or families face separation in the aftermath of a natural disaster or emergency, one local advocate wants Los Altos residents to be prepared to bounce back by creating resilient neighborhood networks that function with or without the assistance of emergency responders.

“It’s not if it happens, but when,” said Los Altos resident Sherie Dodsworth, certified public accountant and entrepreneur, of her efforts to develop stronger neighborhood networks to communicate with the city and first responders when an emergency strikes.

Working hand-in-hand with the city and organizations like the Los Altos Chamber of Commerce, neighborhood watch groups, amateur radio operators and local Boy Scout troops, Dods-worth launched a new initiative to build the networks last fall.

Motivated in part by concerns for her elderly neighbors, who would face major challenges during an emergency, Dodsworth crafted the framework for Los Altos PREPARE – a Los Altos Community Foundation-supported program that engages residents in emergency preparedness planning, outreach and education.

“Our goal is not just preparedness, but also safety by incorporating neighborhood watch and social media,” she said. “The more we know each other over a cup of coffee, the better our community will be.”

To rally volunteers for the initiative and spark community interest, Los Altos PREPARE has scheduled a free Intro to the Personal Emergency Preparedness program 3-4 p.m. April 18 in the Los Altos City Council Chambers, 1 N. San Antonio Road. In addition to a one-hour presentation by Santa Clara County Emergency Services coordinators George Hurst and Mike Sanders, participants can learn about opportunities to organize their families and neighborhoods in the wake of an emergency.

Bringing the city up to speed

Without a dedicated budget for engaging the community in emergency preparedness, the city of Los Altos lags behind some neighboring cities, according to Dodsworth.

Although Los Altos, through annual trainings and drills, trains its police, fire and public works personnel to operate an Emergency Operations Center (EOC), there is currently no coordinated plan for how individual neighborhoods should communicate with the EOC during an emergency.

The Los Altos Recreation Department began offering a free Personal Emergency Preparedness (PEP) class three years ago, but Dodsworth notes that only a small number of residents have participated. Six people registered for February’s PEP class that had the capacity for 25, and Dodworth said the class she attended drew just 10 participants.

In comparison, more than 1,000 Los Altos Hills residents have trained in Personal Emergency Preparedness or are certified as members of the Community Emergency Response Team (CERT).

Dodsworth wants Los Altos PREPARE to lead the charge in creating a grassroots neighborhood network that can make Los Altos “better and stronger.”

In addition to ensuring that every neighborhood in Los Altos is emergency-ready, Los Altos PREPARE will cooperate with the city to improve preparedness information available to residents through the city’s website and continue to encourage enrollment in PEP and CERT classes.

For residents unable to attend the Los Altos PREPARE launch, the Recreation Department is registering participants for April 20 and May 11 PEP classes at losaltosrecreation.org/current-brochure.html.

To volunteer or for more information on Los Altos PREPARE, call 888-2610, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or visit losaltoscf.org/losaltosprepare.

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