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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Police unveil new resident alert service


Town Crier screenshot
The Los Altos Police Department recently began using Nixle as a supplemental emergency notification system.

The Los Altos Police Department has a new tool to keep residents informed on anything from road closures to local disasters.

According to Los Altos Police Chief Tuck Younis, the department recently began using Nixle, a notification system designed specifically for law enforcement and other government agencies. The department unveiled the new system during the July 13-14 Arts & Wine Festival in downtown Los Altos.

Younis told the Town Crier that the city opted to purchase the system – at a cost of approximately $4,000 annually – after attending the Social Media, the Internet and Law Enforcement Conference earlier this year.

“It’s a wonderful investment in order to get word out to our community for all sorts of needs,” Younis said of the service free to residents, which he noted was “an enhancement to” and not a replacement for Santa Clara County’s AlertSCC system.

The AlertSCC system, like Nixle, distributes emergency alerts to users via mobile devices and email, but also landlines.

Younis said the Nixle system allows law enforcement agencies to disseminate information quickly and easily across multiple platforms. Residents who sign up for the service receive notifications via email, text message or by downloading the Nixle app to their smartphones. He noted that the system is integrated with the Los Altos Police Department’s Twitter feed and Facebook page.

According to the company’s website, the Nixle system publishes messages released by law enforcement agencies, which can also assign levels of urgency. The messages are then disseminated to users located in the affected geographic regions.

The system includes the ability to view maps and pinpoint the location of specific incidents. Residents can expand the notification by adding specified regions. More than 4,000 public agencies across the country use Nixle as a community notification system, according to the privately held company. Other Bay Area agencies currently using Nixle include the Mountain View, Oakland and Fremont police departments and the Alameda County Sheriff’s Office.

For Los Altos Police Department purposes, Younis said messages to participating residents would range from everyday housekeeping items such as road closures to alerts about missing persons, natural disaster emergencies and other community advisories.

“Clearly we have a need and an expectation from the public to send out timely messages,” said Younis, who added that he’s encouraging residents to sign up for both the Nixle and AlertSCC services. “This is a reliable tool that provides yet another platform for communication between residents and law enforcement.”

For more information, visit nixle.com/los-altos-police-department.

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