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News

Street crack-sealing project begins Monday, May 4

The City of Los Altos is beginning a city-wide street crack-sealing project on Monday (May 4).

City officials said the traffic impact for this project will be minimal. No streets will be closed and vehicles can resume normal traffic flow shortly aft...

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Schools

Homestead students use projects  to solve environmental problems

Homestead students use projects to solve environmental problems


Alisha Parikh/Special to the Town Crier
Homestead High School junior Maya Dhar, a Los Altos resident, left, and classmate Carolyn MacDonald support the school’s AP Environmental Science classes at the Arbor Day Festival April 23.

As summer app...

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Community

CHAC appoints new leader

CHAC appoints new leader

Naomi Nakano-Matsumoto, LCSW, has been named the new executive director of the Community Health Awareness Council (CHAC). A seasoned nonprofit leader, Nakano-Matsumoto is scheduled to assume duties July 1. She takes over for outgoing executive direct...

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Sports

St. Francis swimmers shine

St. Francis swimmers shine


Megan V. Winslow/Town Crier
St. Francis High’s Benjamin Ho competes against Sacred Heart Cathedral Thursday. The junior swam on all three victorious relays at the home meet, which the Lancers won easily.

Flexing its power in the pool, host St....

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Comment

Halsey House deserves preservation: Other Voices

Halsey House deserves preservation: Other Voices


Many contributing supporters to the Friends of Historic Redwood Grove believe that the Halsey House, designated a historic landmark by the Los Altos City Council in 1981, deserves to be saved and renovated for adapted use by the community.

Set in ...

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Special Sections

Sneaky shots: A photographer’s guide to capturing the proposal

Sneaky shots: A photographer’s guide to capturing the proposal


Elliott Burr/Special to the Town Crier
A stealthy photographer scouts locations ahead of time to find not just a place to perch, but also the ideal position for the subjects.

It’s showtime.

You’re about to ask the person in front of...

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Business

Pharmaca celebrates grand opening over weekend

Pharmaca celebrates grand opening over weekend


Megan V. Winslow/Town Crier
Pharmaca is coming to 400 Main St. with a grand-opening celebration scheduled Saturday and Sunday.

If natural health and beauty products are your cup of tea, expect to find them – and hot tea – this weekend at the gran...

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Books

People

JANE BUTTERFIELD PRINGLE LYND

JANE BUTTERFIELD PRINGLE LYND

October 30, 1924 - April 8, 2015

Jane Butterfield Pringle Lynd, daughter to Liebert and Elise Butterfield of San Francisco, passed away quietly at her home in Palo Alto surrounded by her family, following a short illness. Jane was a proud third ge...

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Travel

Cuba libre: Local residents join mad rush of travelers

Cuba libre: Local residents join mad rush of travelers


Natalie Elefant/Special to the Town Crier
Los Altos resident Natalie Elefant noted the vibrant street performances as a traveler in Cuba.

The U.S. restored diplomatic relations with Cuba late last year, enabling Americans to import $100 worth of cig...

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Stepping Out

'Birds' landing in Mtn. View

'Birds' landing in Mtn. View


Ray Renati/Special to the Town Crier
The Pear Avenue Theatre production of Paul Braverman’s “Birds of a Feather” stars Troy Johnson as mafia boss Sean Kineen, left, and Diane Tasca as private eye Frankie Payne.

Pear Avenue Theatre’s world premi...

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Spiritual Life

Magazine

Practice prudent pruning: Maintaining manzanita, ceanothus and toyon

Practice prudent pruning: Maintaining manzanita, ceanothus and toyon


tanya kucak/Special to the Town Crier
Shrub manzanitas are known for their sinuous mahogany trunks and branches. If the foliage hides the bark, prune selectively to open the center so that the bark is visible year-round. This Montara manzanita is ...

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Inside Mountain View

Up to the challenge: Local leaders unite to help at-risk youth

Up to the challenge: Local leaders unite to help at-risk youth


Courtesy of Challenge Team
Jeanette Freiberg, bottom of pile, has fun with family members. The Challenge Team named Freiberg, a student at Mountain View High School, its 2015 Youth Champion.

There’s an ongoing joke among members of the Challenge...

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New wheels on local streets : Los Altos Police get updated look with 2013 patrol vehicle


Photo By: Ellie Van Houtte/ Town Crier
Photo Ellie Van Houtte/ Town Crier

The Los Altos Police Department’s new Interceptor Utility vehicle serves as a mobile incident command post.

The Los Altos Police Department last week rolled out the newest member of its agency – albeit one on four wheels instead of two feet.

The agency’s new 2013 Ford Police Interceptor Utility began patrolling Los Altos streets May 21. And if the department’s new patrol car looks slightly different to local residents, there’s reason for it.

According to Los Altos Police Chief Tuck Younis, Ford Motor Co. opted earlier this year to discontinue production of its trademark Crown Victoria police cruisers, which Younis called “legendary” vehicles commonly used by numerous law enforcement agencies across the United States.

“That Crown Victoria was a workhorse for years and years in our profession,” said Younis, whose department received two of its final Crown Victorias earlier this year – before being discontinued – and has a total of nine patrol vehicles in service.

The department opted to move forward with the Ford Police Interceptor Utility – built on the same platform as the Ford Taurus, but with the look of a Ford Explorer. Younis noted that the new utility vehicle is the same one chosen by the California Highway Patrol, which previously used V8 Crown Victorias as well.

Younis added that the new vehicle is the first of its kind for the department in more than cosmetic ways. The new V6 Interceptor Utility comes equipped with a “command package” that allows it to serve as the department’s first mobile incident command post.

The vehicle will also be used for larger in-progress criminal investigations and special events. Among other amenities, the vehicle contains special officer safety equipment and “less-lethal” weaponry, such as beanbag projectiles. The new Interceptor also includes more standard police performance features such as all-wheel drive and a heavy-duty braking system to “meet the demands of police work,” Younis noted.

“For this particular vehicle, it’s critical for us because of the command package we’ve added,” Younis said. “We previously didn’t have a mobile incident command post, so a lot of times the coordination during a multiagency response was done on the hood of someone’s patrol car. … This is really an extra benefit for our organization that we did not have before.”

Younis noted that by choosing the same vehicle as the CHP, the department was able to “piggyback” on the state’s negotiated bid price with Ford and purchase it for approximately $40,000.

“The equipment we put on it and the installation is a part of that (price),” he added.

With the Crown Victoria now a thing of the past, Younis said residents should see more of the new Interceptor Utility vehicles on the road in the coming years. Because of the continual use of its patrol vehicles, the department typically replaces three cars annually.

“These cars are used heavily day and night without much of a break,” Younis noted.

Younis said the department’s next batch of Interceptor Utility patrol vehicles in 2014 will include more standard features typically seen in patrol cars, such as screening partitions for prisoner transport.

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