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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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Sculpture shapes Los Altos’ public image


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
The installation of Mircea Paul Goreniuc’s “Space Dance for Peace” in Lincoln Park launched Los Altos’ public art program in 1986.

While driving or strolling through Los Altos, visitors will inevitably catch sight of a few sculptures. From the multicolored "ZooScapes" creatures outside the main library to the life-size "Olympic Wannabes" at Village Park, public art weaves its way through downtown, the civic center area and local parks.

Los Altos’ first sculpture appeared in 1986 when the Public Arts Commission inaugurated the sculpture project. The city selected Mircea Paul Goreniuc’s "Space Dance for Peace" as its first piece of public art. Nearly three decades after its installation, the sculpture still calls Lincoln Park home.

Although some artwork is on loan from the artists, the city now owns more than half of the 30 pieces in its collection, thanks to donations from local residents.

"We’re bringing art to the city in the least costly way," said Faye Chapman, chairwoman of the Public Arts Commission. "Art really adds a lot and shows that the city really cares."

Members of the Public Arts Commission handpick and review the sculptures. When selecting works for display, members take into consideration the artistic talent invested, visual appeal and compatibility with the environment.

Artists often loan their pieces to the city for two years at a time and in return gain media exposure, public recognition and the opportunity to sell their work to local art lovers. When the two-year period expires, the artist may choose to donate the piece, take it back or renew the contract.

To find new sculptures, the commission releases a call for art and contacts more than 300 artists to find suitable additions to the growing collection. After selecting a sculpture, it takes approximately a year before it reaches public display. Commission members compare their search for the right sculptures to finding a needle in a haystack.

"We need something that won’t be a safety hazard and fits in with its surroundings," said Chapman of the commission’s criteria. "I see some sculptures and I can just imagine someone climbing all over it, or kids getting their fingers stuck in the cracks."

Chapman noted that sculptures may only be placed on land owned by the city, the primary reason so many are located at Lincoln and Shoup parks. Narrow sidewalks and limited public space downtown constrict the number of sculptures the city can display.

A number of sculptures await installation, including "The Guardian," a life-size bronze work in the shape of a fairy by New Orleans artist Karen Cauvin Eustis. "The Guardian" will stand watch in the open space near the Costume Bank at the corner of State and Third streets.

Santa Rosa artist Riis Burwell’s "Bird" - an 11-foot-tall bronze and stainless-steel abstract tribute to the late jazz musician Charlie Parker - is slated to land in Lincoln Park soon.

Once construction on First Street is completed, Chapman said an additional three sculptures will decorate the landscape.

In addition to the city’s sculpture collection, the Public Arts Commission plans to introduce other forms of public art - bike racks, murals and more - with support from the city council.

For more information, visit losaltosca.gov/publicartscommission/page/public-sculpture. n


Sculptures in Los Altos - Photos By Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier

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