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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Construction at Blach continues as BCS prepares for new facilities


Ellie Van Houtte/ Town Crier
Construction continues at Blach Intermediate School in Los Altos as Bullis Charter School officials formulate a plan to use their portion of the allocated space.

As summer continues, so does the placement of new portables for Bullis Charter School on the Blach Intermediate School campus.

According to Marlene Shafran, maintenance and operations director for the Los Altos School District, construction at Blach is on schedule for completion by Aug. 1.

Each year the district is required to provide Bullis Charter School with facilities. The charter school, in an effort to meet growing demand, has added a number of new classes, resulting in accelerated growth and the need for additional facilities. Beginning this fall, the charter school’s facilities will be split between Blach and Egan Junior High School.

The charter school has been offered portable facilities at Blach before, but this fall will mark the first year the charter school has active plans to use the space.

The district designed the Blach facilities offer to serve 129 in-district charter school students, anticipating that the charter school would house its sixth- through eighth-grade students on the Blach campus.

Bullis Charter School Superintendent Wanny Hersey said the school plans to use the Blach facilities to serve different grade levels at different times.

“We plan to use the space in a way that fully utilizes the resources at the Blach campus, and that will include different grade levels over there at different times,” Hersey confirmed in an email to the Town Crier. “Our teachers will be looking at units of study throughout the year and will decide what makes the most sense in terms of resources and location.”

Restricted use

While the portable space at Blach designated for the charter school has no restrictions as to which charter school students attend, the shared specialized teaching space (such as science labs, the gym, etc.) are restricted to sixth- through eighth-grade charter school students only.

Doug Smith, president of the district board of trustees, said the district made no accommodations for safety requirements for K-3 students on the Blach campus – such accommodations are available at the portions of the Egan Junior High School site assigned to the charter school.

According to charter school officials, they plan to house the FabLab, a fabrication laboratory, on the Blach campus. The FabLab features age-appropriate tools and materials that promote scientific modeling and simulations for robotics, sensing and digital fabrication. Hersey declined to disclose whether all grade levels would use the FabLab.

She said decisions related to details affecting room setup would be made once staff reports for training Aug. 5.

“Every summer since our school began, there have been last-minute changes made regarding our facilities, so we never finalize specific details like room assignments and room setup until closer to the start of the year,” Hersey said.

When asked specifically how the charter school plans to use the portables at Blach, Hersey said they expect to house project-based learning and design-thinking units there. Such cross-discipline methodologies are built into the charter school’s curriculum in all grades.

“We have more than 20 staff members participating in a Design Thinking professional development course this week to look for even more creative, innovative ways to use the resources we have next year,” she added. “In terms of how specifically we will use each site, we are still mapping out the logistics, and we look forward to sharing that with everyone once those decisions have been finalized.”

Another unique characteristic of the facilities offer for the charter school next year is a constraint on the number of students allowed on each campus. In accordance with California Environmental Quality Act regulations, the charter school may house no more than 469 students on the Egan campus and no more than 149 students on the Blach campus. The capacity limits prevent the charter school from housing its entire program on one campus, but schoolwide assemblies are permissible at specified times.

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