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News

Street crack-sealing project begins Monday, May 4

The City of Los Altos is beginning a city-wide street crack-sealing project on Monday (May 4).

City officials said the traffic impact for this project will be minimal. No streets will be closed and vehicles can resume normal traffic flow shortly aft...

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Schools

Homestead students use projects  to solve environmental problems

Homestead students use projects to solve environmental problems


Alisha Parikh/Special to the Town Crier
Homestead High School junior Maya Dhar, a Los Altos resident, left, and classmate Carolyn MacDonald support the school’s AP Environmental Science classes at the Arbor Day Festival April 23.

As summer app...

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Community

CHAC appoints new leader

CHAC appoints new leader

Naomi Nakano-Matsumoto, LCSW, has been named the new executive director of the Community Health Awareness Council (CHAC). A seasoned nonprofit leader, Nakano-Matsumoto is scheduled to assume duties July 1. She takes over for outgoing executive direct...

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Sports

St. Francis swimmers shine

St. Francis swimmers shine


Megan V. Winslow/Town Crier
St. Francis High’s Benjamin Ho competes against Sacred Heart Cathedral Thursday. The junior swam on all three victorious relays at the home meet, which the Lancers won easily.

Flexing its power in the pool, host St....

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Comment

Halsey House deserves preservation: Other Voices

Halsey House deserves preservation: Other Voices


Many contributing supporters to the Friends of Historic Redwood Grove believe that the Halsey House, designated a historic landmark by the Los Altos City Council in 1981, deserves to be saved and renovated for adapted use by the community.

Set in ...

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Special Sections

Sneaky shots: A photographer’s guide to capturing the proposal

Sneaky shots: A photographer’s guide to capturing the proposal


Elliott Burr/Special to the Town Crier
A stealthy photographer scouts locations ahead of time to find not just a place to perch, but also the ideal position for the subjects.

It’s showtime.

You’re about to ask the person in front of...

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Business

Pharmaca celebrates grand opening over weekend

Pharmaca celebrates grand opening over weekend


Megan V. Winslow/Town Crier
Pharmaca is coming to 400 Main St. with a grand-opening celebration scheduled Saturday and Sunday.

If natural health and beauty products are your cup of tea, expect to find them – and hot tea – this weekend at the gran...

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Books

People

JANE BUTTERFIELD PRINGLE LYND

JANE BUTTERFIELD PRINGLE LYND

October 30, 1924 - April 8, 2015

Jane Butterfield Pringle Lynd, daughter to Liebert and Elise Butterfield of San Francisco, passed away quietly at her home in Palo Alto surrounded by her family, following a short illness. Jane was a proud third ge...

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Travel

Cuba libre: Local residents join mad rush of travelers

Cuba libre: Local residents join mad rush of travelers


Natalie Elefant/Special to the Town Crier
Los Altos resident Natalie Elefant noted the vibrant street performances as a traveler in Cuba.

The U.S. restored diplomatic relations with Cuba late last year, enabling Americans to import $100 worth of cig...

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Stepping Out

'Birds' landing in Mtn. View

'Birds' landing in Mtn. View


Ray Renati/Special to the Town Crier
The Pear Avenue Theatre production of Paul Braverman’s “Birds of a Feather” stars Troy Johnson as mafia boss Sean Kineen, left, and Diane Tasca as private eye Frankie Payne.

Pear Avenue Theatre’s world premi...

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Spiritual Life

Magazine

Practice prudent pruning: Maintaining manzanita, ceanothus and toyon

Practice prudent pruning: Maintaining manzanita, ceanothus and toyon


tanya kucak/Special to the Town Crier
Shrub manzanitas are known for their sinuous mahogany trunks and branches. If the foliage hides the bark, prune selectively to open the center so that the bark is visible year-round. This Montara manzanita is ...

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Inside Mountain View

Up to the challenge: Local leaders unite to help at-risk youth

Up to the challenge: Local leaders unite to help at-risk youth


Courtesy of Challenge Team
Jeanette Freiberg, bottom of pile, has fun with family members. The Challenge Team named Freiberg, a student at Mountain View High School, its 2015 Youth Champion.

There’s an ongoing joke among members of the Challenge...

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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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