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

Morning Forum speaker notes positive signs in Afghanistan

Morning Forum speaker notes positive signs in Afghanistan


Eikenberry

U.S. Army Lt. Gen. Karl Eikenberry, former ambassador to Afghanistan, expressed optimism in his presentation on “The End of America’s Long War in Afghanistan and Pakistan: Challenges and Opportunities” at the Morning Forum of Los Alto...

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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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Fallen Leaf neighbors want to be left alone: Other Voices

The Stevens Creek Trail has become a touchy subject among many South Los Altos property owners.

A 2008 feasibility study determined that the best route for continuing the trail from Mountain View was via Fremont Avenue to Grant Road and Foothill Expressway. Somehow this has morphed into a possible route down Fallen Leaf Lane. It sounds innocent until you discover that one of the city’s options is to use the easement (approximately 9 feet) for sidewalks and bike lanes from each side of the street.

The city easement contains tall oak, redwood and pine trees that were planted decades ago. Rose bushes, flowers, irrigation and more have been lovingly maintained and improved to enhance the rural look of the neighborhood. Can you imagine your easement turned into a sidewalk?

Sidewalks? Whoa there, city officials! The founders of Los Altos wanted to keep the rural feel of the town. Mind you, when my family moved into our current home on Fallen Leaf Lane in January 1960, there was an orchard across the street, Fremont had no median, there was a railroad track where Foothill Expressway is and we rode cardboard sleds on the summer oat grass down the hill from the top of Arboretum Driven to the bottom, where Interstate 280 is now.

Fast forward to the meeting at Grant Park June 18. I stopped to ask an elderly couple if they needed help with their walkers. “No, thank you, we can manage. We had to come – how could the city do this?” was their reply. These are stewards of yesteryear and their successors, the young families with the same mindset that were drawn to this neighborhood because it is not a cookie-cutter master plan of tract homes, sidewalks and bright streetlights.

At the meeting, Los Altos City Councilwoman Jeannie Bruins said the proposed 60-foot widening for sidewalks and bike lanes on Fallen Leaf Lane was no longer under consideration. However, green-painted bike lanes, narrowed intersections with sidewalks and plantings and other designs are still under consideration – just to accommodate thousands of cyclists and pedestrians who would potentially use the trail.

I spoke with a Sunnyvale resident after the meeting and asked what Sunnyvale residents thought of the trail. After several promptings, he admitted that even though they have sidewalks, they don’t want bike lanes or the loss of street parking.

From the proposal for a roundabout at Fallen Leaf Lane and Fremont Avenue to the Stevens Creek Trail, the city’s lack of timely communication with residents begs the questions: What has happened to the Los Altos we fell in love with? Doesn’t our beleaguered neighborhood deserve a break?

Bonnie Osborne is a Fallen Leaf Lane resident.

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