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News

E. coli found in Los Altos water indicated breach, but only low risk

E. coli found in Los Altos water indicated breach, but only low risk


Courtesy of Microbe World
Colorized low-temperature electron micrograph of a cluster of E. coli bacteria

When E. coli and other bacteria were discovered in some Los Altos water last week, officials from the local water supplier, California Water...

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Schools

BCS hosts Stretch to Kindergarten program for underserved youth

BCS hosts Stretch to Kindergarten program for underserved youth


Traci Newell/Town Crier
The six-week, tuition-free Stretch to Kindergarten program, hosted at Bullis Charter School, serves children who have not attended preschool. A teacher leads children in singing about the parts of a butterfly, above.

Local un...

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Community

Google car painting project calls on artists

Google car painting project calls on artists


Google self-driving car

Already known as an innovator in the tech field, Google Inc. is now moving in on the art world.

The Mountain View-based company July 11 launched the “Paint the Town” contest, a “moving art experiment” that invites Califo...

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Sports

Pedaling with a purpose

Pedaling with a purpose


courtesy of
Rishi Bommannan Rishi Bommannan cycled from Bates College in Maine to his home in Los Altos Hills, taking several selfies along the way. He also raised nearly $13,000 for the Livestrong Foundation, which supports cancer patients.

When R...

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Comment

The truth about coyotes: Other Voices

The Town Crier’s recent article on coyotes venturing down from the foothills in search of sustenance referenced the organization Project Coyote (“Recent coyote attacks keep residents on edge,” July 1). Do not waste your time contac...

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Special Sections

Grant Park senior program made permanent

Grant Park senior program made permanent


Photos by Alicia Castro/Town Crier
Local residents participate in an exercise class at the Grant Park Senior Center, above. Betsy Reeves, below left with Gail Enenstein, lobbied for senior programming in south Los Altos.

It all began when Betsy Reev...

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Business

New State Street rug retailer has downtown Los Altos covered

New State Street rug retailer has downtown Los Altos covered


Alicia Castro/Town Crier
Los Altos Rug Gallery owner Fahim Karimi stocks his State Street store with a wall-to-wall array of floor coverings.

A new downtown business owner plans to roll out the red carpet – along with rugs of every other color –...

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Books

Book Signings

• Fritz and Nomi Trapnell have scheduled a book-signing party 4-6 p.m. Aug. 1 at their home, 648 University Ave., Los Altos.

Fritz and his daughter, Dana Tibbitts, co-authored “Harnessing the Sky: Frederick ‘Trap’ Trapnell, ...

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People

GRACE WILSON FRANKS

GRACE WILSON FRANKS

Resident of Los Altos

Grace Wilson Franks, our beloved mother and grandmother, left us peacefully on July 16, 2015 just a few weeks short of her 92nd birthday. She was born to Ross and Florence (Cruzan) Wilson in rural Tulare, California on Septem...

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Travel

Gearing up: Make travel more civilized with accessories

Gearing up: Make travel more civilized with accessories


Eren Göknar/Special to the Town Crier
San Francisco-based humangear Inc. sells totes, tubes and tubs for traveling.

In travel, as in romance, it’s the little things that count.

Beyond the glossy brochures lie the travel discomforts too mun...

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Stepping Out

Going out with a 'Bang'

Going out with a 'Bang'


Richard Mayer/Special to the Town Crier
“Chitty Chitty Bang Bang” stars, clockwise from top left, Alexander Sanchez, Sophia Sturiale, Deborah Rosengaus and Danny Martin.

Los Altos Stage Company and Los Altos Youth Theatre’s joint production of t...

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Spiritual Life

Build a 'light' house and get out of that dark place

Most of us have a place inside our hearts and minds that occasionally causes us trouble. For some, it is sadness, depression or despair. For others, it may be fear, anger, resentment or myriad other emotional “dark places” that at times seem to hij...

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Magazine

Inside Mountain View

Residents gather at NASA Ames for Pluto Flyby event

Residents gather at NASA Ames for Pluto Flyby event


Megan V. Winslow/Town Crier
NASA Ames’ Pluto Flyover event kindles the imaginations of young attendees.

Sue Moore watched the July 20, 1969, moon landing beside patients and staff members of the San Francisco hospital where she worked as a nurse...

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Local resident MacVicar intensifies effort to support returning veterans


Photo By:
MacVicar

Los Altos resident Duncan MacVicar, a West Point graduate who served in Vietnam, has supported veterans’ and their causes for years. Following his retirement from the high-tech industry, MacVicar has advocated on behalf of veterans in areas ranging from counseling to lobbying legislators.

“I was in the process of retiring from a high-tech career, and it was an easy decision for me to devote my time to veterans’ issues as much as possible,” MacVicar said.

Many of today’s returning veterans suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder, which can lead to impaired memory, language difficulties and psychiatric disorders resulting from head injuries suffered on and off the battlefield.

A supporter of court-supervised therapy in lieu of jail sentences for mentally ill veterans, MacVicar lobbied for an amendment to state law that allows for treatment rather than jail. The bill passed unanimously and was signed into law in 2011.

“Today, mental issues are two to three times greater than those for Vietnam veterans – and Vietnam was bad,” MacVicar said. “More soldiers are surviving due to better body armor and equipment, and the ratio of wounded to killed is higher today than in Vietnam. Traumatic brain injury is a signature mood of these conflicts.”

According to MacVicar, damage from the use of improvised explosive devices in the long-running conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan, coupled with multiple tours of duty, have caused service members major psychological and neurological trauma.

In addition to the physical and mental challenges they confront, once veterans return from deployment and re-enter civilian life, another difficulty awaits: finding employment. Many vets enlist in the U.S. Armed Forces directly out of high school. And while serving their country, few vets are able to accumulate college credits or vocational skills to help in the challenging job market.

MacVicar volunteers at Foothill College’s Veterans Resource Center, a nonprofit organization attempting to address veterans’ job prospects. MacVicar holds workshops at the center, which offers career counseling and academic support for vets returning to college. The Rotary Club of Los Altos donated funds to purchase each veteran at the center a Smartpen, a ballpoint pen with an embedded computer that records a class instructor’s voice and synchronizes the lecture with notes that users write in a designated notebook. A form of assistive technology, the Smartpen is especially helpful to those suffering from PTSD.

MacVicar is a longtime volunteer for a variety of local agencies, including the Methodist Church, the American Cancer Society, El Camino Hospital, the Craigs- list Foundation, the Career Action Center and the Community Services Agency, which last year honored him as a “Hometown Hero.” He co-founded the North County Homeless Housing Coalition and the California Veterans Legal Task Force.

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