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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Why I will happily vote for Measure A: Other Voices

It is no secret that I am an enthusiastic supporter of the Los Altos Library. In my mind, there is no service provided by our taxes that gives more value than the public library.

Nearly everyone is a recipient of library services, either personally or through members of the family. Children, seniors, mothers, grandparents, teens, nannies, retirees and the unemployed all take advantage of its availability.

On a hot day, the library is the cool place to go. To people with a few hours to spare, it is the alternative to a coffee shop. To babysitters, it is the best entertainment. It is one of the publicly provided services that people want to use (unlike police, fire, public health – which we want to have but hope not to use). I could go on, but let’s get to Measure A, an initiative that would renew the soon-to-expire 20-year-old Santa Clara County tax, scheduled for a special mail-in ballot that must be returned by 8 p.m. Aug. 27.

I am happy to support Measure A because I believe this year’s modest request – $33.66 per single-family home, approximately the price of one hardcover book – is a sign of the improving health of our library system. I am optimistic that when this Measure A renewal expires, we will not need to subsidize our library again.

The passage of Proposition 13 in 1978 decimated California library funding. All agencies funded by property taxes found their incomes slashed two-thirds – cities, schools, libraries, fire districts, counties, etc. The state passed legislation to ease the impact that lasted until 1990, when the state found itself short on funds.

In 1995, the Santa Clara County Library District followed the lead of Los Altos and Los Altos Hills and asked voters to approve a $33-per-parcel annual tax. That first $33 tax provided more than 40 percent of the library district’s budget. Eighteen years later, the library again is asking for just $33.66, but it will be less than 20 percent of the budget.

That’s a small price to pay to ensure that Los Altos maintains its two top-notch libraries with the books and materials local residents need. Even better, I believe that with the passage of Measure A, the Los Altos Library will ride out the next 20 years in good financial health, and we will leave our children a quality system that will no longer need to be subsidized. I will happily vote for that.

Elayne Dauber is a longtime member of Friends of the Library of Los Altos and Community.

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