Wed10222014

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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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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