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News

Police stress need for low speed in school zones

Police stress need for low speed in school zones


Town Crier File Photo
After two recent accidents involving cyclists and motorists, police urge caution – on both sides.

After two recent incidents of vehicles striking student bicyclists, Los Altos Police urge residents to exercise caution whe...

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Schools

Gardner Bullis School debuts new Grizzly Student Center

Gardner Bullis School debuts new Grizzly Student Center


Photo by Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Students line up to check books out of the library in the new Grizzly Student Center at Gardner Bullis School.

Gardner Bullis School opened its new Grizzly Student Center earlier this month, introducing a lea...

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Community

Home improvement workshop scheduled Wednesday (Oct. 29)

The County of Santa Clara is hosting a free informational workshop on 6:30 p.m. Wednesday at Los Altos Hills Town Hall, 26379 Fremont Road.

The workshop will offer ways single-family homeowners can increase their homes’ energy efficiency. Eligible i...

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Comment

Off the fence: TC recommends 'yes' on N

The Town Crier initially offered no position on the controversial $150 million Measure N bond on Tuesday’s ballot. But some of the reasons we gave in our Oct. 15 editorial were, on reflection, overly critical and based on inaccurate information.

We ...

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Special Sections

Long-term solutions emerge as water conservation goes mainstream

Long-term solutions emerge as water conservation goes mainstream


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Forrest Linebarger, right, installed greywater and rainwater harvesting systems at his Los Altos Hills home.

With more brown than green visible in her Los Altos backyard, Kacey Fitzpatrick admits that she’s a little e...

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Business

Local realtors scare up money for charity

Local realtors scare up money for charity


Photo courtesy of SILVAR
Realtors Gary Campi and Jordan Legge, from left, joined Nancy Domich, SILVAR President Dave Tonna and Joe Brown to raise funds for the Silicon Valley Realtors Charitable Foundation.

Los Altos and Mountain View realtors raise...

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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

DAVID S. NIVISON

DAVID S. NIVISON

David S. Nivison, 91 years old, and a resident of Los Altos, California since 1952, died Oct. 16, 2014 at home.  His neighbors had recently honored him as the “Mayor of Russell Ave., in recognition of 62 years of distinguished living” on that ...

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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

ECYS opens season Sunday

ECYS opens season Sunday


Ramya Krishna/Special to the Town Crier
The El Camino Youth Symphony rehearses for Sunday’s concert, above.

The El Camino Youth Symphony – under new conductor Jindong Cai – is scheduled to perform its season-opening concert 4 p.m....

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Spiritual Life

Christian Science Reading Room hosts webinar on prayer and healing

Christian Science practitioner and teacher Evan Mehlenbacher is scheduled to present a live Internet webinar lecture, “Prayer That Heals,” 7:30 p.m. Nov. 14 in the Christian Science Reading Room, 60 Main St., Los Altos.

Those interested ...

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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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Childproof? Ha!: A Piece of My Mind

It happened just like they warn in the emergency care manuals.

We had been having houseguests with small children all summer. We had childproofed the main rooms with all the breakable gewgaws put away. We had taken the cleaning supplies out of the children’s bathroom. We had the toys in an easily accessible closet and locked the door to the attic.

But we had not hosted a 2-year-old in years.

It started just like they warned it would: “Where’s Joshua?” “I thought he was with you!”

Then the search began. He was not in the kitchen. Not upstairs. Not next door at Grandma’s. Not visible walking up or down the street. Finally, his dad found him – in the master bathroom. It had never occurred to me to make this part of the house off-limits, because no other visiting child had ever ventured into this part of the house without escort. There were about a dozen bright-red ibuprofen pills scattered, some smushed, on the bathroom floor.Never underestimate the tenacity of a 2-year-old.

An unopened box of ibuprofen pills, flaps still glued, had been shut away in a drawer. Joshua had opened the drawer, found the box and ripped it open.

Inside was a “childproof” bottle, the kind where you have to press on the sides at the same time as you turn the lid. No problem for Joshua: He bit down on the lid with his gleaming, white baby teeth and turned. Off came the lid.

The contents were kept fresh by a vacuum-glued, foil-lined seal. Many are the times I have sworn at these seals as I tried to pry them off with fingernails, toenail clippers or scissors. Again, no problem for Joshua. He gnawed through the seal like a roof rat gnawing through an orange.

Then, fortunately, he spilled half of the pills on the floor. His dad found him as he was trying to replace them in the bottle.

He told us that he had not eaten any of the pills. Maybe he was a little scared because he had spilled and smashed some and made a mess. Maybe he knew he was in trouble and told us that he had not eaten any so that the trouble would be less. We all watched him like a hawk for signs of drowsiness, stomach pain, nausea – nothing. Two-year-olds are tough.

There had been other close calls for toddlers in my experience. Once my little brother fell out of the car as it was going around a corner. He just opened the door and – poof! – he was gone. (This was before the days of seat belts and child safety seats.) Once my grandson slipped out of his flotation jacket in the swimming pool and was two feet down before I grabbed him. But these were accidents of poor design, not carelessness or lack of oversight. This time I felt responsible – I should have been more vigilant.

For the rest of the visit, “Where’s Joshua?” became my mantra. Even with my elevated level of surveillance, it was amazing how quickly the 2-year-old could be gone. Once he got as far as the end of the street, down by the unfenced creek. “Where were you going?” “I was just walking.”

Happily, Joshua survived the visit. His curiosity is no longer my immediate problem. But his visit left me with a lot less complacency about the safety of my home and the adequacy of my imagination in recognizing hazards. The next time I have miniature guests, I’ll invest in padlocks.

If the guest is Joshua, he will probably find bolt cutters in the garage.

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