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News

E. coli found in Los Altos water indicated breach, but only low risk

E. coli found in Los Altos water indicated breach, but only low risk


Courtesy of Microbe World
Colorized low-temperature electron micrograph of a cluster of E. coli bacteria

When E. coli and other bacteria were discovered in some Los Altos water last week, officials from the local water supplier, California Water...

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Schools

BCS hosts Stretch to Kindergarten program for underserved youth

BCS hosts Stretch to Kindergarten program for underserved youth


Traci Newell/Town Crier
The six-week, tuition-free Stretch to Kindergarten program, hosted at Bullis Charter School, serves children who have not attended preschool. A teacher leads children in singing about the parts of a butterfly, above.

Local un...

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Community

Google car painting project calls on artists

Google car painting project calls on artists


Google self-driving car

Already known as an innovator in the tech field, Google Inc. is now moving in on the art world.

The Mountain View-based company July 11 launched the “Paint the Town” contest, a “moving art experiment” that invites Califo...

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Sports

Pedaling with a purpose

Pedaling with a purpose


courtesy of
Rishi Bommannan Rishi Bommannan cycled from Bates College in Maine to his home in Los Altos Hills, taking several selfies along the way. He also raised nearly $13,000 for the Livestrong Foundation, which supports cancer patients.

When R...

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Comment

The truth about coyotes: Other Voices

The Town Crier’s recent article on coyotes venturing down from the foothills in search of sustenance referenced the organization Project Coyote (“Recent coyote attacks keep residents on edge,” July 1). Do not waste your time contac...

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Special Sections

Grant Park senior program made permanent

Grant Park senior program made permanent


Photos by Alicia Castro/Town Crier
Local residents participate in an exercise class at the Grant Park Senior Center, above. Betsy Reeves, below left with Gail Enenstein, lobbied for senior programming in south Los Altos.

It all began when Betsy Reev...

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Business

New State Street rug retailer has downtown Los Altos covered

New State Street rug retailer has downtown Los Altos covered


Alicia Castro/Town Crier
Los Altos Rug Gallery owner Fahim Karimi stocks his State Street store with a wall-to-wall array of floor coverings.

A new downtown business owner plans to roll out the red carpet – along with rugs of every other color –...

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Books

Book Signings

• Fritz and Nomi Trapnell have scheduled a book-signing party 4-6 p.m. Aug. 1 at their home, 648 University Ave., Los Altos.

Fritz and his daughter, Dana Tibbitts, co-authored “Harnessing the Sky: Frederick ‘Trap’ Trapnell, ...

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People

GRACE WILSON FRANKS

GRACE WILSON FRANKS

Resident of Los Altos

Grace Wilson Franks, our beloved mother and grandmother, left us peacefully on July 16, 2015 just a few weeks short of her 92nd birthday. She was born to Ross and Florence (Cruzan) Wilson in rural Tulare, California on Septem...

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Travel

Gearing up: Make travel more civilized with accessories

Gearing up: Make travel more civilized with accessories


Eren Göknar/Special to the Town Crier
San Francisco-based humangear Inc. sells totes, tubes and tubs for traveling.

In travel, as in romance, it’s the little things that count.

Beyond the glossy brochures lie the travel discomforts too mun...

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Stepping Out

Going out with a 'Bang'

Going out with a 'Bang'


Richard Mayer/Special to the Town Crier
“Chitty Chitty Bang Bang” stars, clockwise from top left, Alexander Sanchez, Sophia Sturiale, Deborah Rosengaus and Danny Martin.

Los Altos Stage Company and Los Altos Youth Theatre’s joint production of t...

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Spiritual Life

Build a 'light' house and get out of that dark place

Most of us have a place inside our hearts and minds that occasionally causes us trouble. For some, it is sadness, depression or despair. For others, it may be fear, anger, resentment or myriad other emotional “dark places” that at times seem to hij...

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Magazine

Inside Mountain View

Residents gather at NASA Ames for Pluto Flyby event

Residents gather at NASA Ames for Pluto Flyby event


Megan V. Winslow/Town Crier
NASA Ames’ Pluto Flyover event kindles the imaginations of young attendees.

Sue Moore watched the July 20, 1969, moon landing beside patients and staff members of the San Francisco hospital where she worked as a nurse...

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Los Altos all aglow


Photos by Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Carter Newhauser, 3, of Redwood City finds satisfaction in the sweet treats of the 37th annual Los Altos Festival of Lights Parade Sunday.

A gleamingly new icy Snow Queen anchored the 37th annual Festival of Lights Parade Sunday, the most austerely royal of 60 entries parading through downtown Los Altos like visions from a childhood dream.

Penguins toasted marshmallows, a wolf chased a shrieking Red Riding Hood and dogs pulled a light-bedecked sleigh. The modern day dissolved into an imagined past as Police Chief Tuck Younis cruised through on a bicycle, followed minutes later by a restored Ford Customline Police Car that could have driven straight out of 1953.

Groups of all sizes packed the sidewalks and curbs of downtown Los Altos, gathering hours in advance to set up folding tables covered with snacks and relax with children and pets. Warm weather may have proved particularly inviting for local families, according to Nancy Schneider, one of the volunteers who organizes the event each year through the Festival of Lights Parade Association.

– story continues below –

37thAnnualFestivalofLightsParadeKym Le’s 10-month-old son Carter waited in the gathering twilight while his sister Kaleia wielded a flashlight – a parade veteran this year at 3 years old.

“Everything from the marching bands to all the different floats to real people waving at her to Santa at the end – I don’t think Kaleia has a favorite,” Le said. “Everything was fantastic.”

Volunteers renovate the character’s costumes on a rolling basis – this year’s glittering silver Snow Queen gown, studded with beads, sequins, jewels and a raised fur-lined collar, took Catharine Kristian more than 100 hours of sewing.

“She’s made a lot of our costumes, and this was just really spectacular,” Schneider said of the debut. The previous dress had garbed Los Altos’ queen for 25 years. One former occupant of the throne watched from a new perspective this year.

Megan Mead Germack and her daughter Greta, 19 months, cozied up on a State Street sidewalk surrounded by more than a dozen friends and family. Germack grew up playing characters in the parade as her mother sewed costumes – culminating in a turn as the Snow Queen.

“I love watching the kids watch it – (Greta) was here last year, but I think this is the first year that she’ll really get it,” Germack said.

Charlotte Arrouye, one of the ballgown-clad princesses who hailed from the Assisteens, shared royal lore known only by the volunteer teens of the Costume Bank.

“Definitely glitter’s a big thing, and lights, and walking in heels the whole way – knowing to hold up the dresses,” she said. The role included some method acting, as she laughingly anticipated hobbling home by the end of the night.

“Just like Cinderella, trying to make it home with the blisters,” Charlotte said. “But it’s worth it.”


37th annual Los Altos Festival of Lights Parade - Photos by Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier

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