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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More trouble for suspected bank robber


The man believed to be responsible for a string of Los Altos robberies earlier this year has now been charged with an identical crime in neighboring Mountain View.

According to Cindy Hendrickson, Santa Clara County supervising deputy district attorney, 26-year-old Thomas Andrew Cronin was arraigned July 10 for the May 22 robbery of a Wells Fargo Bank branch at Cuesta Drive and Miramonte Avenue in Mountain View.

Los Altos police arrested Cronin seven days later, the same day he allegedly robbed the U.S. Bank at 1001 Fremont Ave. The additional Mountain View charge comes after Cronin’s May 31 arraignment for allegedly committing eight robberies in Los Altos, beginning in February. He is accused of twice targeting Standard Liquors on First Street and Co- merica Bank on Third Street.

Hendrickson said they were not able to charge Cronin for a second Mountain View robbery that occurred several days before the Wells Fargo incident – May 11 at China Café. The restaurant is located in the same shopping center as the bank.

“There just isn’t enough evidence at this point to be able to prove it beyond a reasonable doubt,” she said of the restaurant robbery.

The ninth robbery charge for the Wells Fargo heist, Hendrickson said, means Cronin now faces a maximum of 13 years in state prison. He would have to serve at least 85 percent of that sentence if convicted, according to Hendrickson.

She added that Cronin – who remains jailed in lieu of $800,000 bail – would not be eligible to serve time in county jail as part of the state’s prison realignment efforts. Hendrickson noted that Cronin could possibly receive a lesser sentence if he chooses to settle his case without a trial.

“Generally, a defendant who resolves the case before trial usually serves less than the maximum sentence,” she said.

Suspect doctors fake gun

Hendrickson told the Town Crier that a search of Cronin’s home turned up an Airsoft BB gun that police and prosecutors believe he used in some of the robberies. She said that while Airsoft guns typically include a red tip to differ from actual guns, Cronin went to extra lengths to ensure that his nonlethal gun looked like a Glock pistol.

“It had the red tip colored (black) so that it looked like a real gun,” said Hendrickson, who has prosecuted cases involving robbery suspects using BB guns. “Everyone who saw it thought it was a real gun.”

But Hendrickson said Cronin would not face an enhanced weapons charge, which carries an additional 10-year sentence under California law, because he used a nonlethal weapon to commit the crimes.

Hendrickson added that the case remains in the discovery phase – which includes the introduction and exchange of evidence between sides – and that Cronin likely won’t enter a plea “for some time.” His next court appearance is scheduled Aug. 7.

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