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News

Police stress need for low speed in school zones

Police stress need for low speed in school zones


Town Crier File Photo
After two recent accidents involving cyclists and motorists, police urge caution – on both sides.

After two recent incidents of vehicles striking student bicyclists, Los Altos Police urge residents to exercise caution whe...

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Schools

Gardner Bullis School debuts new Grizzly Student Center

Gardner Bullis School debuts new Grizzly Student Center


Photo by Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Students line up to check books out of the library in the new Grizzly Student Center at Gardner Bullis School.

Gardner Bullis School opened its new Grizzly Student Center earlier this month, introducing a lea...

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Community

Home improvement workshop scheduled Wednesday (Oct. 29)

The County of Santa Clara is hosting a free informational workshop on 6:30 p.m. Wednesday at Los Altos Hills Town Hall, 26379 Fremont Road.

The workshop will offer ways single-family homeowners can increase their homes’ energy efficiency. Eligible i...

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Comment

Off the fence: TC recommends 'yes' on N

The Town Crier initially offered no position on the controversial $150 million Measure N bond on Tuesday’s ballot. But some of the reasons we gave in our Oct. 15 editorial were, on reflection, overly critical and based on inaccurate information.

We ...

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Special Sections

Long-term solutions emerge as water conservation goes mainstream

Long-term solutions emerge as water conservation goes mainstream


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Forrest Linebarger, right, installed greywater and rainwater harvesting systems at his Los Altos Hills home.

With more brown than green visible in her Los Altos backyard, Kacey Fitzpatrick admits that she’s a little e...

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Business

Local realtors scare up money for charity

Local realtors scare up money for charity


Photo courtesy of SILVAR
Realtors Gary Campi and Jordan Legge, from left, joined Nancy Domich, SILVAR President Dave Tonna and Joe Brown to raise funds for the Silicon Valley Realtors Charitable Foundation.

Los Altos and Mountain View realtors raise...

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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

DAVID S. NIVISON

DAVID S. NIVISON

David S. Nivison, 91 years old, and a resident of Los Altos, California since 1952, died Oct. 16, 2014 at home.  His neighbors had recently honored him as the “Mayor of Russell Ave., in recognition of 62 years of distinguished living” on that ...

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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

ECYS opens season Sunday

ECYS opens season Sunday


Ramya Krishna/Special to the Town Crier
The El Camino Youth Symphony rehearses for Sunday’s concert, above.

The El Camino Youth Symphony – under new conductor Jindong Cai – is scheduled to perform its season-opening concert 4 p.m....

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Spiritual Life

Christian Science Reading Room hosts webinar on prayer and healing

Christian Science practitioner and teacher Evan Mehlenbacher is scheduled to present a live Internet webinar lecture, “Prayer That Heals,” 7:30 p.m. Nov. 14 in the Christian Science Reading Room, 60 Main St., Los Altos.

Those interested ...

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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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Pasadena offers more than roses


Traci Newell/Town Crier
Pasadena’s Huntington Library, Art Collections and Botanical Gardens boasts the scenic Japanese Garden.

Like many destinations in Southern California, Pasadena boasts some eccentricities, but the delights of its Old Town Historic District entertain and amuse visitors.

Old Town comes alive after dark with its fine-dining establishments and assortment of shops along Colorado Boulevard. That’s the same Colorado Boulevard that the Little Old Lady terrorized in the eponymous Beach Boys song.

Most people know Pasadena courtesy of the Tournament of Roses Parade, held annually on New Year’s Day. The tradition began in 1890 to draw attention to the city filled with roses – even on chilly Jan. 1.

But there’s more to the city than just roses.

What to do

• Vroman’s Bookstore, 695 E. Colorado Blvd. – the end of the main drag, has sold books since original proprietor Adam Vroman opened his doors in 1894. Vroman, who hailed from LaSalle, Ill., also sold photographic supplies. His passion for photography and his shots of the Wild West and Native Americans influenced Ansel Adams’ work.

The store carries an extensive selection of fine-writing tools and stationery as well.

If you visit, stock up on magazines you won’t find elsewhere. I spent $90 on everything from French Vogue to British photography publications.

• The Huntington Library, Art Collections and Botanical Gardens, 1151 Oxford Road in nearby San Marino, are worth at least a day trip. Founded by Henry E. Huntington and his wife, Arabella, the grounds became a nonprofit institution in 1919.

Huntington’s backstory included an apprenticeship under his uncle in the Southern Pacific railroad business. He had four children with his first wife, and then, at the age of 60, he married his uncle’s widow, Arabella, a wealthy woman who loved collecting art. Together, they grew the collection visitors see today.

The library is currently closed for remodeling, but there’s so much else to see that you won’t miss it much. For future reference, though, the library’s rare-book collection includes a Gutenberg Bible and early editions of Shakespeare’s works. Scholars from around the world visit to do research.

The surrounding 207-acre gardens are divided into 12 themes: Children’s, Australian, Camellia, Japanese, Shakespeare, Chinese, Subtropical, Desert, Rose, Herb, Palm and Lily Pond. There’s also a conservatory with orchids and jungle flowers.

Despite the hot day, we toured the Desert gardens, full of cacti from several different lands, and the humid conservatory of flowers. An exhibit of orchids mesmerized us. The Children’s Garden, with its sparkly cacti dotting the fences and arching gates, delighted youngsters going in and out.

We also entered the museum to browse the Huntington’s art collection, which includes Thomas Gainsborough’s “The Blue Boy,” Mary Cassatt’s “Breakfast in Bed” and Frederic Remington’s bronze sculpture “Bronco Buster.”

Summer hours are 10:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. daily, except Tuesdays. Admission is $20-$23 adults, $15-$18 seniors, $12-$13 students, $8 youth and free for children under 5. Parking is free.

For more information, visit www.huntington.org.

Where to stay

Check into the Courtyard Los Angeles Pasadena/Old Town Marriott, 180 N. Fair Oaks Ave., downtown for a family-friendly stay. Valet parking is expensive at $22 daily, but street parking is tough to find. Rooms are comfortable – ours had a king bed and sofa, a refrigerator to store snacks, plenty of drawer and closet space and a large bathroom. Outdoor amenities include a pool and whirlpool.

Rates start at $179 for a king, not including breakfast. Groupon offers discounts.

For reservations, call (888) 236-2427.

Where to eat

• For a hearty first meal of the day, I recommend the Zagat-rated Russell’s cafe, 30 N. Fair Oaks Ave. Just take a left turn after exiting the front door of the Marriott and walk two blocks or so.

The decor is rich, with heavy crystal chandeliers and Modigliani and Van Gogh prints on the walls.

I tried the cheese omelet and my companion had corned-beef hash. Portions were large and not greasy. It’s definitely a good breakfast stop, with moderate prices.

• We enjoyed a late dinner at Louise’s Trattoria, 2 E. Colorado Blvd., serving traditional handmade Italian fare.

• We followed dinner with a nightcap at The Melting Pot fondue restaurant and bar, 88 W. Colorado Blvd. The Melting Pot serves fondue on electric plates built into the bar, or you can eat at a booth. Dessert fondues start at $7.95.

For more information, visit oldpasadena.org.

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