Sat10252014

News

Election flyer mimics newspaper coverage

Election flyer mimics newspaper coverage

A flyer is being distributed across Los Altos that looks like it is from the Los Altos Town Crier but was neither created nor distributed by the community’s weekly newspaper. The flyer, pictured at right, is being distributed by workers from Pyrami...

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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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City of Los Altos debuts new website


City Of Los Altos screenshot
The city of Los Altos introduced a revamped website Friday that includes a plethora of additional features and capabilities.

The city of Los Altos unveiled a new website Friday that city officials say will boost their ability to disseminate information to the public.

The new website’s debut comes after nearly a year of research and development that involved every department in the city, according to City Manager Marcia Somers.

Somers noted that the new site includes an emphasis on user-friendly features – such as the ability for users to more easily access content and keep abreast of city events. She added that the website, initially unveiled in beta form at an Aug. 13 Los Altos City Council study session, “provides the flavor and feel of what Los Altos is all about.”

The city’s process in developing the new site included the use of focus groups to gather specific feedback on the website’s aesthetics – including the home-page design – as well as various other aspects. Somers said the city also examined several other municipalities’ websites to gain a better understanding of the content and features needed for the new Los Altos site.

“We probably looked at over 100 websites from other cities to see what worked for them,” said Somers, who added that the new site now allows each city department to manage its own content, versus the centralized internal process previously required.

“It’s one of those things you want to get right the first time,” she continued.

Among a host of new features on the website is an interactive map that pinpoints the locations of current city projects and outlines various details, such as project descriptions, costs and timelines. The site also includes another new feature – a directory that lists the email address and direct phone number of each city staff member.

In addition, Somers noted that residents would be able to submit maintenance service requests and police reports as well as file traffic complaints online. Residents can stay informed about city events by signing up for email notifications – which Somers called “essential” in the city’s ability to communicate about upcoming events “in a more timely manner.”

“It also reduces the staff’s time in terms of, ‘Who needed this, and who needed that?’” Somers said. “That’s something we were doing manually before.”

Somers said the site will continue other features, such as posting the agendas, minutes and audio and video recordings of city council and some commission meetings.

To access the new site, visit losaltosca.gov.

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