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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Discover Cuba: Chamber of Commerce trip promises historical, musical, artistic feast


Photo By: Courtesy of Chamber explorations
Photo Courtesy Of Chamber Explorations

Colorful American cars from the 1940s are parked in front of El Capitolio, Havana’s former seat of government. The Los Altos Chamber of Commerce has planned a guided tour of Cuba in the fall.

Move over, Jay-Z and Beyoncé.

The Los Altos Chamber of Commerce plans to shepherd 30-60 local residents on a U.S. Treasury Department-sanctioned visit to Havana, Cuba, Oct. 31 to Nov. 7.

From a tour of pedestrians-only Old Havana, a 500-year-old UNESCO World Heritage Site, to landmarks including the former state capitol El Capitolio and famed author Ernest Hemingway’s “Finca Vigía,” or Lookout Farm, the eight-day trip will spotlight the island’s music, art and history.

Hemingway lived in Cuba for 20 years, writing “The Old Man and the Sea” and “Islands in the Stream” there in the 1940s and ’50s.

Before the Fidel Castro-led Cuban Revolution, which began in 1953, crime bosses ruled the Caribbean nation and operated nightclubs like the Tropicana, where the rich and the famous came to wine and dine. The chamber tour will stop at the Tropicana for an evening of 1950s-era music and glamour. Shades of Ricky Ricardo on “I Love Lucy” reruns.

The Los Altos group will also visit a second UNESCO site, the Viñales Valley in the western province of Pinar del Río, a landscape of flat-top mountains, tobacco plantations, caves and rivers.

During a guided tour of the Francisco Donatien Cigar Factory, travelers can meet with factory workers and learn the history of fine Cuban cigars. The factory produces Cohiba and Monte Cristo cigars.

A subsequent stop at a traditional, family-owned tobacco farm and farmhouse offers cultivation, drying and cigar-rolling demonstrations. The family serves Cuban coffee in the rural setting, according to tour operators.

Other highlights:

• Plaza de la Revolución, where Castro rallied his people.

• Bocoy Rum Factory, established in 1878. Docents will discuss Cuba’s rum industry.

• Colon Cemetery, named for Christopher Columbus, established in 1876. The site includes elaborate memorials and 500 mausoleums and chapels.

• Museo de la Revolución, which holds artifacts from the revolution and the 1961 Bay of Pigs invasion.

• Museo de Guanabacoa of Santeria Orishas, which features exhibits on Santeria Afro-Cuban culture, a sugar-cane machine and an early-1900s Cadillac.

The U.S. government restricts tourists from traveling to Cuba but offers some groups and individuals government-sanctioned licenses that allow access. Those traveling to Cuba must be licensed by the U.S. Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control, which authorizes legal travel. The Cuban government requires visitors to keep logs listing their transactions and the places they’ve visited.

Tour operator Premier World Discovery/Chamber Explorations has accompanied 3,000 visitors to the communist country in the past year, said Los Altos Chamber of Commerce President Julie Rose.

Two years ago, the Los Altos Chamber sponsored a trip to China.

“Travel is a good source of fundraising for us, and we have a target audience,” she said.

According to Rose, people travel in guided groups to places they can’t easily go on their own. Last year, for example, the Chamber canceled a trip to Ireland due to lack of interest. Rose speculated that tourists can get there without a group.

“We initially were interested in Cuba because travelers can’t really go alone,” she said. “It’s forbidden fruit.”

Rose said a recent informational meeting on the Cuba trip drew at least 30 people, and most have signed up for the trip.

“I’ve been told by others who have been to Cuba that it’s a fabulous destination because of the scenery and music,” she said. “There’s also a lot of interaction with local people.”

Rose said she’s especially looking forward to the paladares, dinners held in Cubans’ homes. Cuban cuisine fuses African, Caribbean and Spanish culinary styles.

It’s also a great time to go “while it’s still the way it is” – uncommercialized, Rose said. Even in China, she added, the travelers saw Kentucky Fried Chicken and other American chains, which don’t exist in Cuba.

The trip costs $3,599 double occupancy; $450 single supplement. The cost includes round-trip airfare from Miami, hotels, meals, visa and travel insurance, tours, admissions and more.

To download a brochure, visit www.losaltoschamber.org/pdf/cuba-trip2013.pdf.

For more information, call Rose at 948-1455 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

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