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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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Hurdle remains for project on Third Street

A downtown mixed-use project looks to be one step away from final approval by the city.

The Los Altos Planning and Transportation Commission (PTC) Aug. 15 unanimously approved six of seven outstanding conditions for developer David Luedtke’s three-story condominium and office space project at 86 Third St.

The move comes after the Los Altos City Council unanimously voted in May to send the project back to the PTC for further review and approval, citing concerns that included the building’s parking management and below-market-rate (BMR) units. Prior to the council’s May review, the PTC in April recommended approval of the project – which calls for 20 condos and 5,500 square feet of first-floor office space.

Reached by the Town Crier, Los Altos Senior Planner Zach Dahl said the remaining hurdle is the building’s exterior look, noting that some PTC members weren’t “comfortable” with the materials proposed for the commercial side of the building.

“They basically requested a different material than the (scraped) limestone for that side of the building,” said Dahl, who added that Luedtke’s team is reviewing the use of other materials and is tentatively slated to return to the PTC in October.

Exterior aesthetics aside, the project met six other specific conditions outlined by the council – including a request to upgrade one two-bedroom BMR unit into a three-bedroom dwelling.

“I think they get great kudos for the affordable housing. … They went above and beyond in a way that’s extraordinary,” Commissioner Phoebe Bressack said, noting the building’s BMR offerings of a two-bedroom, one-bathroom unit and a three-bedroom, two-bathroom condo on the building’s ground floor.

In addition, the PTC approved a parking management plan that includes opening the building’s underground parking garage during business hours to those patronizing its offices. Other approved conditions included a plan to prewire 11 underground parking spaces for the future installation of electric-vehicle charging stations and a master sign program for the building.

Although the project remains in the city approval pipeline, Dahl said Luedtke has remained patient and willing to make adjustments throughout the process.

“He’s been very receptive to the changes,” Dahl said of the developer.

Prior to casting his vote in favor of the six conditions – as well as a separate vote in favor of continuing the PTC’s exterior materials review – Commissioner Jon Baer noted that he and his colleagues aimed to create the best project possible for the city and the developer.

“When you’re a chef and you make something bad, you eat your mistakes,” Baer said. “But when you build a building that doesn’t work, there’s not much you can do about it.”

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