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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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City prepares mobile food vendor ordinance


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
The Los Altos City Council directed staff to draft an ordinance that would restrict food trucks in residential areas, including the Los Altos High School neighborhood.

Los Altos High students may soon need to find a new way to get their fill of food-truck menu items.

The Los Altos City Council last week directed City Attorney Jolie Houston to research and prepare a draft ordinance that would limit the presence of mobile food vendors in residential areas of the city. The move comes after the Mountain View Los Altos Union High School District (MVLA) and some residents sought the city’s assistance in limiting the presence of mobile food vendors at lunch near Los Altos High.

As previously reported by the Town Crier, MVLA Superintendent Barry Groves outlined his request in an email, telling the council that the vendors offer Los Altos High students unhealthful menu items compared to the offerings found at the school cafeteria.

At the time, Groves said the district stands to lose approximately $40,000 in food sales annually because of the food trucks. He added that the city of Mountain View passed an ordinance last year banning food trucks on the public right-of-way within 100 feet from schools.

MVLA Associate Superintendent Laura Stefanski told the council last week that the food trucks near Los Altos High School offer foods not available on campus since the passage of California Senate Bill 12 in 2005. The bill set limits on the amount of fat, saturated fat, sugar and calories in foods sold by state K-12 public schools. Instead of patronizing the trucks, she suggested, students should seek food alternatives near campus.

“For those students desiring to leave campus for lunch, our downtown here in Los Altos is within walking distance, and there are many eateries which do provide nourishing and healthy foods,” said Stefanski, who noted that the district is aiming to combat childhood obesity with the ban as well.

Several residents near Los Altos High told the council that the presence of the food vendors can lead to pollution and noise problems in their neighborhood. Among them was Jardin Drive resident John Wagner, who informed the council that students line up daily to get their “quota of grease” near his home. Often, he added, students will leave trash behind on the street and in residents’ yards.

“We have problems here – this is a residential neighborhood,” he said. “Things zoned residential should not allow commercial operations – be they fixed or on wheels.”

Prior to the council’s direction to draft the ordinance, Councilwoman Val Carpenter said she was sensitive to the residents’ concerns. Still, she questioned the effectiveness of any ordinance that prohibits mobile vendors within a certain distance from a school.

“If our students are capable of walking whatever it is – half a mile or a mile – to downtown, they’re probably capable of walking in a different direction to find where the mobile food truck is,” she noted, while adding that the ordinance should apply to all of the city’s schools.

With other pressing city issues to tackle, Houston told the council that the ordinance would likely take two to three months to research and prepare. She added that it would require initial review from the Planning and Transportation Commission, as well as the Los Altos Police Department, before returning to the council for final approval.

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