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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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Food fight ahead?: City council asked to consider ban on mobile vendors near Los Altos High


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Students line up at a food truck parked on the back side of Los Altos High School last week.

Mountain View Los Altos Union High School District Superintendent Barry Groves is seeking the city’s assistance in changing the dietary choices made by some of his students.

Groves is asking the Los Altos City Council to consider creating a city ordinance that would ban mobile food vendors on the city’s residential streets. The council was slated to discuss the matter at its Tuesday meeting – past the Town Crier’s press deadline.

Groves outlined a request to discuss the matter in an email to the council last week, noting that some food trucks parked near Los Altos High School serve unhealthful menu items at lunch.

“Currently, our students are eating food from these vendors that cannot be served on our campus because it is unhealthy – high in sugar, fat and salt, all contributors to childhood obesity,” said Groves, noting that his concern was shared by some residents living near Los Altos High.

Restrictions for food trucks?

Groves told the Town Crier that food trucks can be found daily near the school’s tennis court along Jardin Drive. He added that mobile food vendors’ presence near the campus increased when the school boosted its healthful food options.

However, unlike the popular gourmet food truck trend often seen in metropolitan areas, the mobile vendors near the high school sell items to students that can’t be found on campus – candy bars, sugary sodas, quesadillas and more. Groves said he would rather see students who leave campus for lunch patronize downtown businesses.

NEWS FoodTrucksLAHS MB2A6108
Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Healthy or not?  Scool district administrators think that food truck items like quesadillas are unhealthy.

“Some of the choices within walking distance (downtown) offer healthier choices, whereas the mobile food vendors offer none,” he said, adding that the district stands to lose approximately $40,000 in school lunch revenue annually because of the mobile food vendors’ presence near campus.

Groves said he hopes the city will consider an ordinance similar to one passed earlier this year by the city of Mountain View. The Mountain View ordinance prohibits mobile vendors on certain roadways, including portions of Castro and Dana streets. The ordinance also contains a distance restriction requiring mobile vendors on the public right-of-way to stay 100 feet from school boundaries.

Stemming the rise in obesity

Groves added that school districts throughout California are now offering healthful food items as a means to quell a rise in childhood obesity.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the percentage of obese adolescents ages 12-19 in the U.S. more than tripled – from 5 to 18 percent – between 1980 and 2010. In addition, a 2011 national Youth Risk Behavior study found that 13 percent of high school students nationwide were considered obese by CDC standards.

“One thing we do know is that if students are overweight and make bad (dietary) choices during their formative years, they’ll continue to make those same choices later in life,” said Groves, who conceded that convincing students to adopt healthier eating habits can be an uphill battle at times.

Still, Groves said vending machines on the Los Altos High campus no longer contain sodas and offer food items like baked potato chips as alternatives. While the campus does serve more teen-friendly items such as pizza, all foods sold on campus must meet or exceed federal and state nutrition standards, he added.

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