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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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Friendly rivals expect to vie for 3rd at CCS

Los Altos and Mountain View highs are fierce rivals in many sports, but not gymnastics.

The Eagles and Spartans train together at Los Altos under coach Shannon Thoke, who said, “The teams get along well.”

Well enough that when Mountain View edged Los Altos at the third meet of the season, the Eagles reacted with joy rather than disappointment.

“Los Altos was very happy Mountain View won,” Thoke said, “and Mountain View was very surprised (to win).”

That’s because the Spartans had never won a gymnastics meet. This is the first year Mountain View has had enough gymnasts (four) to compete as a team. And that April 15 win – in which the Spartans earned a score of 141.30, Los Altos a 140.30 and Mercy a 132.40 – marked the first time they had all four gymnasts competing at the same meet.

Elaine Silverman led Mountain View by posting an all-around score of 37.20, good enough for second place.

The freshman finished first on the uneven bars (9.60), second on the vault (9.20) and third on the balance beam (9.30).

“She should be competing for the top spot in CCS,” Thoke said. “She’s placed first or second (all-around) in every meet.”

Putting Silverman and another talented freshman, Elizabeth Murray, on a team that already included senior standout Emilia Mancilla – who qualified for the Central Coast Section championships as an individual last year – makes the Spartans a contender, according to Thoke.

“Elaine has a tremendous amount of skills, Emilia scores very highly, too, and Elizabeth is quite good – especially on beam,” the coach said. “They have a lot of talent on the team and should be just as competitive as Los Altos.”

While the Spartans may have more skill, Thoke noted the Eagles have the advantage when it comes to depth. Los Altos has eight gymnasts on varsity.

“Los Altos is deeper, but not all the girls compete in every event,” she said. “The Mountain View girls must do all of them (to produce a team score).”

The Eagles, who won their opening meet of the season against Half Moon Bay and Mountain View last month, have seven former club gymnasts on the roster. That includes senior captain Kelli Yamaguma, who placed eighth at CCS last year.

“She’s great all-around,” said Thoke, who added that Yamaguma’s best events are bars and beam.

Freshman Megan Schmiesing has flourished on floor, according to the coach, while senior Erin Woolley has made a strong comeback after missing the past two seasons due to injury.

“Erin has been solid all around,” Thoke said.

Emma Orner – who placed 14th at CCS last year – is on the comeback trail as well. Thoke said the junior missed the first two meets of the season with a back injury.

“I hope she can handle it the rest of the year,” the coach said. “I doubt she will compete all-around, but we hope she can do beam and bars.”

The Eagles and Spartans have two meets remaining before the Santa Clara Valley Athletic League South Division Finals, scheduled 5 p.m. May 8 at Los Altos. The CCS meet follows, slated 4:30 p.m. May 15 at Twisters Sports Center in Mountain View.

Both teams have already qualified for the CCS meet (which takes a score of at least 128), at which 13-time defending champ St. Francis is seen as the favorite. The three squads squared off Friday, with the Lancers producing a score of 148.85 to convincingly beat the host Eagles (140) and Spartans (139).

St. Francis gymnasts occupied the top three spots in the all-around: Abby Purnell (37.55), Melissa Seaman (37.45) and Tessa Divita (37.30). Mountain View’s Silverman (36.60) placed fourth.

Although Thoke conceded that St. Francis is “the team to beat” at CCS – with Lowell a close second – she is confident the Eagles and Spartans will be in medal contention.

“Both teams have a very good chance at third,” she said. “Los Altos and Mountain View are very even.”

The Eagles may be even better a year from now. Thoke believes the JV squad – led by junior Estefani Gomez – has a legitimate shot at winning the league title this season.

“A couple of the girls have the skills to move up (to varsity),” she said. “And there are three girls at Los Altos who didn’t join the team who were top-level gymnasts (in club) that we hope will join us next year.”

The Eagles’ and Spartans’ next meet is scheduled 6 p.m. Friday at Gymtowne in Moss Beach against Cupertino and Half Moon Bay.

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