Fri10242014

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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Climate Action Plan goes forward: Council directs staff to begin environmental review process


Town Crier File Photo
The Los Altos City Council plans to implement a Climate Action Plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The council previously approved installation of electric-vehicle charging stations, above.

A policy document that will serve as a guideline in making Los Altos more environmentally friendly recently entered a new phase.

The Los Altos City Council voted unanimously in favor of preparing a final draft of the city’s Climate Action Plan Sept. 24. In doing so, the council directed city staff to initiate an environmental review process, as required by the California Environmental Quality Act.

The council also approved $11,865 in additional funds to complete work on the plan, which outlines various measures the city can take to achieve a minimum greenhouse gas reduction target of 17 percent below the city’s 2005 level of 182,830 metric tons of carbon-dioxide equivalent.

The city’s Climate Action Plan complies with State Assembly Bill 32, known as the Global Warming Solutions Act. The bill, passed in 2006, established a statewide goal of decreasing greenhouse gas emissions to 1990 emission levels by 2020.

Prior to the vote, Los Altos resident Margaret Suozzo – representing local environmental group GreenTown Los Altos – told the council that the Climate Action Plan was “not perfect, but it’s an excellent start” and urged advancement of the proposal.

“We look forward to working with the city to implement the plan and reduce the carbon footprint of our community,” she said.

Gary Hedden – who serves as an Environmental Commissioner to the city but spoke on his own behalf – said the council should give measures outlined in the report the “highest possible priority” if the city aims to meet its reduction target by 2020.

Council reactions

Despite the unanimous vote to move forward, Councilwoman Megan Satterlee questioned whether the city had the manpower, time and resources available to meet the plan’s reduction goals. Specifically, Satterlee said that while she didn’t relish playing the spoiler role, she simply couldn’t foresee measures in the plan “happening by 2020.”

“I really sort of feel like we have to be a little more honest with ourselves,” Satterlee noted before voting in favor of the plan’s continued development. “We currently have a number of frozen positions on (city) staff, we have a backlog of CIP (Capital Improvement Program) projects (and) we have a backlog of council-requested items to come before us. You add this entire work plan on top of all that existing work and it ain’t all getting done.”

However, Mayor Jarrett Fishpaw noted that he’d like “to see us move forward,” while conceding that he also considered the backlog of work ahead for the city.

Councilwoman Jeannie Bruins praised the efforts of city staffers and consultants in their work while calling the plan a “roadmap” for the city to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions over the next several years.

“When I look at this, this really lends itself to this plan-do-check-act approach to things,” she said. “You plan something, you do it, you check it … and then we take it and act accordingly. I think it is structured to allow us to do that very successfully.”

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