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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PrimeTime Project aims to resolve important issues in the community


Valentine Leborgne/Special to the Town Crier
Karen Duncan, director of the Los Altos Community Foundation’s PrimeTime Project, hopes to harness the wisdom and experience of seniors by engaging them in problem-solving in the community.

Los Altos boasts a strong community of retired seniors, and one local advocate aims to put them to work.

Karen Duncan, a Los Altos resident and retiree herself, has created a project that encourages older adults to contribute their skills and wisdom by volunteering to study issues deemed important to Los Altos – from library fees to Bullis Charter School – in hopes of resolving them.

Dubbed the PrimeTime Project, Duncan proposed the pilot program to the Los Altos Community Foundation in 2010. The foundation supported the project – assisting with reports and its website – which has now grown to 10 members.

Roy Lave, executive director of the foundation, said Duncan is the ideal leader for PrimeTime. Duncan spent her career in the health industry and in retirement works as a patient advocate focusing on quality-of-care reform for seniors.

“Karen is a great lady who knows a lot and has done analysis in her professional career,” Lave said. “She brought expertise to the project with the ability to analyze and write.”

Duncan, director of the project, hopes her knowledge can benefit the community through problem solving. She urges other residents to do the same by joining PrimeTime.

“We are looking for people who have a professional background that is of value to the issue we are studying at the time,” she said.

Ideal candidates include those who are healthy, active, open-minded, willing to set aside value judgments and know how to navigate the Internet.

While PrimeTime originally intended to leverage the life experiences of seniors, the program is now open to all age groups.

“We have loosened that requirement,” Duncan said. “Before, (the senior community) was an underutilized demographic in the community. We are looking for professional people that have the time and the interest and care passionately about the community and how it works.”

Duncan said she understands that even the greatest minds may not find solutions for the community’s most complex problems, but project members strive to provide the facts without using opinion, hyperbole, fear mongering and untruths.

“We are looking and analyzing factual information for the community,” she said. “We are defining problems and shedding light on them.”

Duncan added that she uses five criteria to determine whether PrimeTime will study an issue: It must be important, timely, controversial, have potential for high impact and amenable to fact finding.

Members published their first study, “Los Altos Informs: Implications of Library Operation,” online earlier this month. (To view the report, visit losaltoscf.org/LosAltosInformsLibraryOperation.) The analysis addresses the Santa Clara County Library District’s $80 fee for nonresidents who use the Los Altos Library. The study weighs library costs if it were city-operated instead of district-run. PrimeTime volunteers researched the pros and cons of the issue – including financial ramifications and impact on the community – allowing residents to draw their own conclusions.

Duncan said they next plan to tackle the issue of Bullis Charter School and its legal battle over facilities with the Los Altos School District.

Prospective PrimeTime members must attend “Joe Friday Training Day” – named after the “just-the-facts” police detective from the classic TV show “Dragnet” – to learn how to frame an issue, select resources, analyze information and present findings.

Those interested in joining may call Duncan at 949-5908 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

For more information, visit losaltoscf.org/primetime.

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