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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City Briefs


Photos by Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Construction at Foothill Crossing Shopping Center aims to boost traffic flow and safety at the center’s busy intersection, left.

Project aims to install more reflective street signs

A new five-year project is underway to install new, more reflective street signs that are easier for motorists to spot at night.

The project – which has earmarked $25,000 per year for traffic sign replacement – seeks to replace 8,000 of the city’s nonreflective traffic signs, according to Los Altos Transportation Projects Manager Cedric Novenario. That includes approximately 2,000 “noncompliant” stop and speed-limit signs, which the city plans to replace ahead of other signage, he added.

“We’re prioritizing the level of importance for regulatory signs,” said Novenario, who noted that each sign costs the city between $100 and $200. “Stop signs are important, yield signs are important and speed-limit signs are important.”

Novenario added that the five-year project is necessary because of California Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD) requirements that established new “retroflectivity standards” – or minimum levels of visibility – for regulatory signs in cities in 2009.

“A lot of signs get dull (less reflective) pretty fast. … Some of the older ones don’t have any reflectivity at all,” said Novenario, who added that the city’s maintenance department has been tasked with replacing signs “when they have the staffing and resources to do it.”

The project will eventually replace green “guide” signs, street-name signs and yellow warning signs throughout Los Altos as well, Novenario said.

The city’s regulatory, warning and ground-mounted guide signs must be in full compliance with the MUTCD regulation by January 2015. The city’s overhead guide signs and street-name signs must be in full compliance by January 2018.

Homestead project eyes November finish

The Homestead Road Safety Improvements project will likely be completed on time, according to a city official.

Public Works Director Jim Gustafson said one of the $1.5 million project’s major components – the installation of a traffic signal and a crosswalk at the entrance of Foothill Crossing Shopping Center – is complete. The city, he added, is waiting on a work order to allow PG&E to power the signal’s controller box.

Traffic signal aside, Gustafson noted that the city’s contractor must still complete landscaping and remove large dirt piles from the new median strips constructed as part of the project. Project work also included new storm drainage improvements and the construction of a Class I bike and pedestrian path on the north side of Homestead Road. Overall, Gustafson said, the project is shaping up for a timely finish.

“We still anticipate wrapping this up at the end of November,” he said. “If it’s not on schedule, then it’s very, very close.”

– Diego Abeloos

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