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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Roy and Penny Lave reminisce about 50 years in Los Altos


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Penny and Roy Lave share a laugh recently outside the Los Altos Community Foundation’s office on Hillview Avenue.

By Paul Nyberg

Town Crier Publisher


Roy and Penny Lave, Los Altos residents since 1964, have the rare distinction of both serving as mayors of the city. Roy’s recent retirement from the Los Altos Community Foundation, which he co-founded in 1991, and the couple’s nearly half-century of service prompted the following “e-terview,” the first in a series.

    TC: In the early 1990s, Roy, you teamed up with some others in town to form Los Altos Tomorrow, the upstart of what later became the Los Altos Community Foundation. What was the mission of the organization?
    Roy:The mission of the Los Altos Community Foundation has been all these years to build community in Los Altos, Los Altos Hills and the surrounding areas. Because the term “building community” is not obvious on its face, we adopted the writings of Dr. John W. Gardner as our guide. Gardner participated in several of our events and became an honorary founder.
    Four activities support the community-building mission: sponsorship of public benefit programs; grant making to local nonprofits and scholarships to college-bound, first-in-family-to-attend-college teens; management of philanthropic funds for individuals, families and organizations; and convening the community to address opportunities and issues.
    TC: What is the foundation’s proudest achievement these past 20 years? Biggest disappointment?
    Roy: I think survival for 22 years – made possible by many regular supporters, hundreds of volunteers and talented staff members – is the proudest achievement. Many of our programs have made a difference, but maybe my favorite is E3 Youth Philanthropy, which gives teenagers training and experience in philanthropy. The most visible accomplishment is the two houses saved – the Community House and Neutra House.
    I am disappointed that I have been able to convince only approximately 600 families that the Los Altos Community Foundation is an essential ingredient in the community. I’d like it to be 6,000.

    (Note: Joe Eyre has succeeded Roy as executive director of the Los Altos Community Foundation, an appointment that meets with Roy’s hearty endorsement. Look for further comment on the transition in next week’s issue.)
    TC: You both got your start in life in the Midwest. What brought you to California, and when did you arrive?
    Penny: I grew up in Lansing, Mich., where my mother’s family lived for many generations. I attended public schools and went to Wellesley College near Boston for my freshman year, then transferred to the University of Michigan and graduated from there in 1959. I met Roy at a Big Ten student conference in Ann Arbor my junior year.
    Roy: I grew up in Homewood, Ill., a small Chicago suburb of 5,000, and attended high school five miles away in another suburb. I thought high school was terrific. When thinking about college began, my dad told me that I was getting an engineering degree followed by a master’s in business. And I did. I picked Michigan because it was close, inexpensive and had a combined engineering and business program.
    Penny: Stanford University offered Roy a fellowship for graduate work. He was still in Ann Arbor and I was living with my parents in East Lansing. Sounded good to me. We were married in June, spent our entire $6,000 of savings on a honeymoon trip and a Porsche, which we drove for 10,000 miles through Europe. We returned to the Midwest and drove an old station wagon to California in September for the start of the school year.
    Roy: California held a fascination for as long as I can remember. My mother had told me that perhaps I could go to college there. That did happen finally, thanks to Stanford and a willing spouse.
    TC: Roy, you have always been rather modest about having a doctorate from Stanford University. Why is that?
    Roy: A Ph.D. has been called the credential for teaching and research at the university level. When I was teaching and later doing contract research, the credential was relevant. It isn’t relevant for community work. I do, however, insist that my daughter and son address me as Dr. Dad.
    TC: Meanwhile, Penny was raising your two children and keeping busy in city activities. Which years did you each serve on the city council and as mayor?
    Roy: My council term was 1974 to 1982, and I served as mayor for two terms from 1976 to 1978, the last mayor before the adoption of, and perhaps the cause of, the annual rotation policy.
    Penny: I was on the city council 1985 through 1993. I served as mayor in 1989 and 1993. After both our children were in school all day, I joined the Palo Alto Junior League and became more involved. The year of the Bicentennial, Roy was the Los Altos mayor and I was Junior League president. It was a hectic but fun year.
    While the children cycled through Ford Country Day School, Covington, Egan Junior High and Los Altos High, I volunteered for school activities like the PTA. My favorite high school activity was always Grad Night, which I chaired in 1984. The children graduated in 1982 and 1984, and we found ourselves empty-nesters.
    I always enjoyed Roy’s work with the city vicariously, and after he finished his second term, I applied for the Planning Commission. I was appointed, but after several years, some folks recruited me to run for the city council and I did in 1985.
    TC: What motivated you to run for city council, Roy?
    Roy: I held elected offices in high school and at Michigan, but I had no aspirations for council membership.
    In the early 1970s, our neighborhood was activated by a proposal for development for much of the Jesuit retreat lands, and we fought the proposed development. The eventual development of townhouses rather the single-family houses was ultimately approved with the permanent dedication of a good deal of open space. A number of environmentalists then recruited me to run for the council.

    Look for part 2 of the Town Crier’s e-terview with the Laves next week, focusing on the recent changes in downtown Los Altos.


Roy and Penny Lave

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