Fri10242014

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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Los Altos bank robber pleads guilty, gets seven years


The Los Altos man arrested for a string of armed robberies in the city earlier this year is heading to prison for up to seven years.

Thomas Andrew Cronin, 26, pleaded guilty as charged “right out of the gate” last week to eight counts of armed robbery in Los Altos and two in Mountain View, according to Cindy Hendrickson, Santa Clara County Supervising Deputy District Attorney in the Palo Alto Branch Office. Cronin will be ordered to pay approximately $7,000 in restitution to the victims of his crimes, she added.

“It’s a testament to how strong the case was,” Hendrickson said of Cronin’s guilty plea Aug. 7.

Los Altos police arrested Cronin May 29 after he robbed the U.S. Bank at 1001 Fremont Ave. earlier in the day. He was later charged with twice robbing both Comerica Bank on Third Street and Standard Liquor on First Street and with once robbing Bank of the West on Main Street.

Cronin was also charged with single counts of robbing the Shell Gas & Service Station at 929 Fremont Ave. and Round Table Pizza at 399 First St. in mid-May. Among the details revealed by prosecutors after his arrest was that Cronin used a black Airsoft BB gun – with its customary red tip colored in black – to commit the crimes.

Hendrickson noted that Cronin pleaded guilty before preliminary examinations began and will be sentenced in early October. He initially faced the possibility of serving a maximum of 14 years in prison if found guilty on all charges, she added, but the prosecution offered to cut the sentence in half if he pleaded guilty before trial.

“It’s common and reasonable for someone to serve less time when they accept early responsibility,” said Hendrickson, who credited Cronin’s attorneys for expediting the outcome of the case.

Hendrickson noted that Cronin’s early guilty plea produced another positive result in addition to saving taxpayer money – it spared his victims from a potentially drawn-out trial.

“This (outcome) saved all of the victims from having to testify,” she said, adding that Cronin will remain in the Santa Clara County Main Jail until sentencing. “They don’t have to come and face him in court now.”

Hendrickson said Cronin – a former student at both Los Altos and St. Francis high schools – must serve at least 85 percent of his seven years because of the nature of his crimes.

“That isn’t anything that can be bargained away – that (sentence) is attached to the charge,” Hendrickson said of the 85 percent threshold, which equates to a minimum time served of approximately six years.

She said Cronin would likely begin his sentence with a 90-day evaluation period at San Quentin State Prison before being assigned to another state prison for the remainder.

“This is a guy who has never been to prison,” she said. “To have someone be able to wrap their mind around going to prison for such a long time is something. In this case, however, he deserved it.”

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