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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Letters to the Editor

New Safeway poses little competition

With the grand opening of and all the excitement for the new super Safeway in The Village at San Antonio Center in Mountain View, I needed to see for myself the likely impact it would have on downtown Los Altos.

Some doomsayers claimed that it would pull away many residents in north Los Altos to enjoy the ambience and wider selection at the new market.

Alas, my visit allayed any such concerns. The ambience is great, but the cavernous setting reminds me of why I really enjoy the charm and coziness of many of our downtown stores, including the grocery stores.

Next, I looked for certain high-quality products that our comparatively small Draeger’s Market carries in multiple varieties, but I either could not find them or the new store carried them only in a limited variety.

Finally, many of us may be just lazy enough that we really prefer not crossing El Camino Real unless there is a really good reason to do so. For me, the new Safeway is simply not a good enough reason.

Without doubt, the Safeway executives are very smart and needed to provide a competitive alternative in Mountain View to Costco and Walmart. And indeed it is a great alternative to those stores.

But for now, I’m sticking to Draeger’s and our Safeway, and hoping that when Safeway replaces its store on First Street downtown, it becomes a real competitor to Draeger’s, not just a mini version of the Safeway at San Antonio Center.

Ron Packard, former mayor

Los Altos and Mountain View

Civic center deserves renewed support

I was pleased to read that the Los Altos City Council plans to review the Civic Center Master Plan at a study session this summer (“Council revisits Civic Center Master Plan,” April 3).

Our city is in need of a unifying project that would improve the community and rally all generations to work toward a goal that could benefit all its residents.

Hopefully, the city staff suggestion, designated as option 2, will be selected. Replacing the rundown Hillview Community Center as the first and foremost need would send a positive message. While the police station and city hall may require some renovation and expansion, the primary focus should be building a new community center.

Public support for the bond measure took a downturn when it was revealed that the community center would not be started until after the police and city hall projects were completed. When I attended the first presentation by the consultants, the community center was the primary focus.

An honest and forthright picture of the new building, accompanied by an accurate timeline for completion, should renew residents’ attention. A reasonable budget projection for each of the projects would help clarify the need for the bond measure.

Los Altos needs a boost to regain its once-proud community spirit. Placing a high priority on the civic center may be just the stimulant the city needs to restore that spirit.

Janet Dobson

Los Altos

Resident warns of Redwood Grove hazard

I’m writing to report a fire hazard/nuisance issue that I now see repeatedly occurring at Redwood Grove, most recently two weekends ago.

My alarm regarding this issue is raised particularly because of my awareness that fire trucks can’t access this location within the park, as they would have to drive over a bridge that won’t support their weight.

It seems that people have been using this area of the park as a party spot, as is evident from the abundance of garbage – cigarette butts, burned matches, rolling papers, marijuana, etc. – left behind.

While I was able to photograph the larger garbage, unfortunately, my camera wasn’t able to take clear pictures of the smaller items.

My question: Can this misuse of the area be prevented, or must we remove the existing bridge and build a bigger one so that fire trucks are able to reach the area in time to prevent a potential tinder box from igniting?

Peggy Hennessee

Los Altos

Fallen Leaf Lane ill-suited for trail

The Stevens Creek Trail Joint Cities Feasibility Study Task Force is eyeing Los Altos streets to connect existing multiuse trail segments in Mountain View and Cupertino. Fallen Leaf Lane is one of several options.

While I support the goal of connecting the trail, I believe this street should be removed from consideration because it is ill-suited and unsafe for trail purposes.

Fallen Leaf Lane is a quiet, tree-lined street, representative of Los Altos neighborhoods. Residents have 50-plus years of investment in landscaping, flowers and more than 200 mature trees. These would need to be removed for the proposed bike lanes.

Even with “improvements,” safety is far from assured, as trail users would have to navigate 100 driveways and 11 side streets along this 1.1 mile route.

This task force – comprising Los Altos, Mountain View, Cupertino and Sunnyvale – wants to use the city’s right-of-way to remove up to 9 feet of our residents’ front yards on both sides of the street.

Los Altos officials have yet to protest this concept, which is in direct contradiction to our General Plan.

We cannot let outsiders repurpose our streets or our front yards. Please help us oppose this scheme by contacting the Los Altos City Council.

For more information, visit FallenLeafLane.org.

Michael Eiger

Los Altos

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