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News

First St. closure set for Saturday

First Street in downtown Los Altos will be closed Saturday (Nov. 22) between West Edith Avenue and Shasta Street for street paving. The closure is scheduled from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. In the event of poor weather, the work will be rescheduled for a later ...

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Schools

Scientists bring experiments into MV classrooms

Scientists bring experiments into MV classrooms


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
During a Science is Learning geology lesson, Theuerkauf Elementary School students learn about igneous rocks by observing how sugar changes form when heated.

Hundreds of local elementary students perform experiments w...

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Community

Local actors star in PYT's 'Oklahoma!'

Local actors star in PYT's 'Oklahoma!'


Courtesy of Peninsula Youth Theatre
PYT’s “Oklahoma!” features, from left, David Peters of Mountain View, Jenna Levere of Los Altos and Kai Wessel of Mountain View.

Time is running out to catch Peninsula Youth Theatre’s production of “Oklahoma!”...

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Sports

Eagles advance

Eagles advance


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Los Altos High’s Carmen Annevelink, left, and Kristen Liu put up a block against Mountain View. Annevelink totaled 20 kills.

Mountain View High’s out-of-the-gate energy could last for only so long against rival and he...

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Comment

Coping with addictions: Haugh About That?

Preparing to deal with my lifelong addiction, I stood in front of the mirror ready to confess the shame I’d been hiding. The first step to healing, I reminded myself, is to admit something is wrong.

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Special Sections

NASA, Google agreement preserves Hangar One

NASA, Google agreement preserves Hangar One


Bruce Barton/Town Crier
Hangar One, pictured here last January, will be restored under an agreement between Google and NASA.

NASA and Google Inc. forged an agreement last week that allows Google to lease a portion of NASA’s historic Moffett Fede...

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Business

State Street science center closing Nov. 30

State Street science center closing Nov. 30


Ellie Van Houtte/
Helix at 316 State St. is closing after the completion of a one-year grant from Passerelle Investment Co. The science center became a popular destination because of its various exhibits. Town Crier

A popular downtown destination...

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Books

Children's author signs books at Linden Tree

Children's author signs books at Linden Tree


Author Tiffany Papageorge is scheduled to sign copies of new her book 11 a.m. Dec. 6 at Linden Tree Books, 265 State St., Los Altos.

Papageorge’s “My Yellow Balloon” (Minoan Moon, 2014) is a Mom’s Choice “Gold” winner. In the book, the Los Gat...

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People

JAMES WINDELL SMITH

JAMES WINDELL SMITH

January 11, 1939 – November 6, 2014
Resident of Mountain View

James Windell Smith, a 40 year resident of Los Altos, passed away from complications after a post-surgery stroke November 6th, 2014 in Los Gatos, California.

Born on January 11, 1939 on...

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Travel

Olive Sonoma: There's more to the quaint town than wine

Olive Sonoma: There's more to the quaint town than wine


Eren Göknar/ Special to the Town Crier
While many day-trippers may think that Sonoma is all about the grapes, the region boasts other delights. Try a biplane ride over the patchwork landscape.

Sonoma, a scenic two-hour drive from Los Altos, boa...

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Stepping Out

LA Stage Company opens 'Fairway'

The Los Altos Stage Company production of Ken Ludwig’s new comedy “The Fox on the Fairway” is slated to run Thursday through Dec. 14 at Bus Barn Theater, 97 Hillview Ave.

A tribute to the English farces of the 1930s and 1940s, “Fox” is a romp that p...

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Spiritual Life

Author of Jewish historical novel slated at Congregation Beth Am

Author of Jewish historical novel slated at Congregation Beth Am


The Beth Am Women have scheduled “A Conversation with Author Maggie Anton” 7:30 p.m. Nov. 20 at Congregation Beth Am, 26790 Arastradero Road, Los Altos Hills.

Anton, winner of the 2012 National Jewish Book Award for Fiction, will discu...

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Magazine

Christmas At Our House home tour celebrates 26 years

Christmas At Our House home tour celebrates 26 years


Courtesy of Christopher Stark
Homes on the St. Francis High School Women’s Club’s Christmas at Our House Holiday Home Tour showcase a variety of architectural styles.

The days grow short on sunshine but long on nostalgia as the holidays approach...

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Traffic expert promotes roundabouts for Los Altos


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

Traffic expert Michael Wallwork extols the safety benefits of roundabouts in Los Altos at a May 15 forum.

A traffic expert deems roadway roundabouts an ideal solution that demands a second look from skeptical Los Altos residents.

“Even a bad roundabout works,” said Michael Wallwork, a transportation engineer whose mission is to take the traffic-calming mechanism mainstream.

Since constructing Melbourne, Australia’s first roundabout in the 1970s, Wallwork has designed 800 roundabouts across the globe. He said roundabouts are not only aesthetically pleasing, but also much safer than signalized intersections. Melbourne’s 4,000 roundabouts recorded 57 accidents during a four-year study, while its 2,500 signalized intersections reported 1,352 accidents during a similar period.

Wallwork appeared at the Los Altos Forward-sponsored forum “Picture This: Roundabouts in Los Altos?” May 15, weighing in on a proposed roundabout at the convergence of San Antonio Road, Main Street and West Edith Avenue.

“It’s an expanse of asphalt,” he said of the current condition of the busy three-way intersection. “Each movement is working on a different phase, making waits long.”

Installing an elliptical roundabout at the intersection would benefit both pedestrians and motorists, according to Wallwork. Instead of waiting at a signal, he added, drivers could seamlessly merge into a traffic circle, yielding to pedestrians as they cross San Antonio to and from downtown to the civic center area.

Assistant City Manager James Walgren said the city has studied installing a roundabout as part of the Civic Center Master Plan, an effort to make the intersection “safer, more visual.”

Walgren emphasized that the redesign of the intersection could not only shorten the pedestrian link, but also allow the creation of a more appealing gateway entrance to downtown. Although further study by a traffic engineer, public review and council approval are still needed, he added, the vision for a roundabout is one that could come to fruition if the city secures project funding.

A recent proposal for a roundabout at the intersection of Fremont Avenue and Fallen Leaf Lane met with opposition from neighborhood residents.

“The concerns people have are the same in every community,” Wallwork said.

Because the roundabout concept is new to many U.S. cities, Wallwork said he frequently meets with residents to dispel misinformation about pedestrian and cycling safety as well as fire truck and emergency personnel navigation through traffic circles. With pre-project education, he said, proposals move forward 90 percent of the time.

When a roundabout is well designed, safety and operations improve immediately, according to Wallwork. Although the initial expense for a roundabout may be higher than stop signs or traffic signals, he added, the reduction in accidents and fatalities justifies the cost.

“It’s up to the people whether they move forward or give up,” Wallwork said of roundabouts in Los Altos.

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