Tue08042015

News

E. coli found in Los Altos water indicated breach, but only low risk

E. coli found in Los Altos water indicated breach, but only low risk


Courtesy of Microbe World
Colorized low-temperature electron micrograph of a cluster of E. coli bacteria

When E. coli and other bacteria were discovered in some Los Altos water last week, officials from the local water supplier, California Water...

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Schools

BCS hosts Stretch to Kindergarten program for underserved youth

BCS hosts Stretch to Kindergarten program for underserved youth


Traci Newell/Town Crier
The six-week, tuition-free Stretch to Kindergarten program, hosted at Bullis Charter School, serves children who have not attended preschool. A teacher leads children in singing about the parts of a butterfly, above.

Local un...

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Community

Google car painting project calls on artists

Google car painting project calls on artists


Google self-driving car

Already known as an innovator in the tech field, Google Inc. is now moving in on the art world.

The Mountain View-based company July 11 launched the “Paint the Town” contest, a “moving art experiment” that invites Califo...

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Sports

Pedaling with a purpose

Pedaling with a purpose


courtesy of
Rishi Bommannan Rishi Bommannan cycled from Bates College in Maine to his home in Los Altos Hills, taking several selfies along the way. He also raised nearly $13,000 for the Livestrong Foundation, which supports cancer patients.

When R...

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Comment

The truth about coyotes: Other Voices

The Town Crier’s recent article on coyotes venturing down from the foothills in search of sustenance referenced the organization Project Coyote (“Recent coyote attacks keep residents on edge,” July 1). Do not waste your time contac...

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Special Sections

Grant Park senior program made permanent

Grant Park senior program made permanent


Photos by Alicia Castro/Town Crier
Local residents participate in an exercise class at the Grant Park Senior Center, above. Betsy Reeves, below left with Gail Enenstein, lobbied for senior programming in south Los Altos.

It all began when Betsy Reev...

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Business

New State Street rug retailer has downtown Los Altos covered

New State Street rug retailer has downtown Los Altos covered


Alicia Castro/Town Crier
Los Altos Rug Gallery owner Fahim Karimi stocks his State Street store with a wall-to-wall array of floor coverings.

A new downtown business owner plans to roll out the red carpet – along with rugs of every other color –...

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Books

Book Signings

• Fritz and Nomi Trapnell have scheduled a book-signing party 4-6 p.m. Aug. 1 at their home, 648 University Ave., Los Altos.

Fritz and his daughter, Dana Tibbitts, co-authored “Harnessing the Sky: Frederick ‘Trap’ Trapnell, ...

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People

GRACE WILSON FRANKS

GRACE WILSON FRANKS

Resident of Los Altos

Grace Wilson Franks, our beloved mother and grandmother, left us peacefully on July 16, 2015 just a few weeks short of her 92nd birthday. She was born to Ross and Florence (Cruzan) Wilson in rural Tulare, California on Septem...

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Travel

Gearing up: Make travel more civilized with accessories

Gearing up: Make travel more civilized with accessories


Eren Göknar/Special to the Town Crier
San Francisco-based humangear Inc. sells totes, tubes and tubs for traveling.

In travel, as in romance, it’s the little things that count.

Beyond the glossy brochures lie the travel discomforts too mun...

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Stepping Out

Going out with a 'Bang'

Going out with a 'Bang'


Richard Mayer/Special to the Town Crier
“Chitty Chitty Bang Bang” stars, clockwise from top left, Alexander Sanchez, Sophia Sturiale, Deborah Rosengaus and Danny Martin.

Los Altos Stage Company and Los Altos Youth Theatre’s joint production of t...

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Spiritual Life

Build a 'light' house and get out of that dark place

Most of us have a place inside our hearts and minds that occasionally causes us trouble. For some, it is sadness, depression or despair. For others, it may be fear, anger, resentment or myriad other emotional “dark places” that at times seem to hij...

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Magazine

Inside Mountain View

Residents gather at NASA Ames for Pluto Flyby event

Residents gather at NASA Ames for Pluto Flyby event


Megan V. Winslow/Town Crier
NASA Ames’ Pluto Flyover event kindles the imaginations of young attendees.

Sue Moore watched the July 20, 1969, moon landing beside patients and staff members of the San Francisco hospital where she worked as a nurse...

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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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