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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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Letters to the Editor

Resident supports bond because of charter school

After following the continuing disputes between the Los Altos School District and Bullis Charter School, culminating in children being locked out of school, I must speak for hundreds who are tired of this soap opera.

Being affiliated with neither, my personal observation is that Bullis Charter School is one of the most successful charter schools in history.

We are incredibly fortunate to have this dynamic, creative educational force in our midst. Because a well-educated society is a benefit to all, I would have absolutely zero problems supporting a bond to benefit the charter school.

District officials demonstrate brazen impudence in attempting to impose policy on the charter school under the guise of facilities negotiations. That is blackmail.

Time and again, the district has fallen on its face in court. This circus has to stop. Kudos to Los Altos Hills Mayor Gary Waldeck for bringing sanity to this discussion.

It would behoove the district board to show some humility and learn a thing or two from the charter school, which, frankly, has done a far better job of educating children.

Rajiv Bhateja

Los Altos Hills

Local tap water isn’t safe for everyone

I must respond to the advice given by a Palo Alto Medical Foundation physician, Dr. Amy E. Gilliam (“Getting the red out: How to manage your child’s eczema,” Sept. 18), who recommended various medications and treatments.

Those of us who are made sick by our tap water recommend first trying spring water.

I recall some years ago the Town Crier had a front-page article with a photo of a young man with debilitating eczema living in Los Altos Hills. The article mentioned a group, Citizens Concerned About Chloramine, which had formed because others in the area had gotten eczema from the local tap water after chloramine was added. Others had asthma attacks if they took a shower. Some people have gastrointestinal problems if they drink or cook with tap water. Some must avoid swimming pools.

Before starting medicines, for a month try drinking, bathing and handwashing only with bottled water, which is spring water without chloramine. Note that not all bottled water is without chloramine. I do not know which brands to recommend, except I know that Arrowhead Springs, Crystal Geyser and Calaveras Springs work for me.

For bathing, I add vitamin C to my hot tub water and have devised an outdoor shower using that. Dining out, I ask for lemon to squeeze into my glass of water, and I avoid soup, rice, pasta and steamed or boiled vegetables, which absorb the chloramine of the cooking water. At home, I cook with and drink only water that has no chloramine.

All this involves some effort, but it is far less trouble than having asthma, eczema and gastrointestinal problems.

It is hard to believe that public tap water is toxic in the U.S. We hear from Cal Water of Los Altos and San Francisco’s Hetch Hetchy water sellers to Los Altos Hills that our tap water is fine for people. But there have been no scientific studies proving that chloramine is safe to add to public water.

For more information, call the president of Citizens Concerned About Chloramine, Denise Johnson-Kula, at (408) 227-5767; email me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. ; or visit chloramine.org.

Marjorie Rauch

Los Altos

A call for a carbon tax

Last Friday, the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released its Fifth Assessment Report, further solidifying the science of climate change and calling for action.

“The scientific evidence for anthropogenic climate change has strengthened year by year, leaving fewer uncertainties about the serious consequences of inaction,” according to the report.

While it may seem like a global or national issue beyond the scope of Los Altos, consider that the Los Altos City Council is actively working to complete the city’s Climate Action Plan. The council and most residents understand the global impacts of our local decisions.

Most people recognize the seriousness of the problem and do what they can in their own lives but worry that there is no good way to tackle the global issue.

Fortunately, there is a simple suggestion being proposed that really could help: a carbon tax. If we add a fee at the point where carbon-based fuels come out of the ground (or enter the country) that reflects the true cost of burning those fuels (environmental damage, health effects, etc.), then everyone downstream will make choices that move us toward a sustainable energy economy and prevent the full ravages of climate change. The time to enact this is now.

Karl Danz

Los Altos

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