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News

Spooktacular moved indoors


Due to rain, today's downtown Los Altos Halloween activities have been moved to the indoor courtyard of Play! at 170 State St. Enter from the back on the parking lot side to participate in crafts, games and fun. Activities continue until 4 p.m.

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Schools

Gardner Bullis School debuts new Grizzly Student Center

Gardner Bullis School debuts new Grizzly Student Center


Photo by Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Students line up to check books out of the library in the new Grizzly Student Center at Gardner Bullis School.

Gardner Bullis School opened its new Grizzly Student Center earlier this month, introducing a lea...

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Community

Home improvement workshop scheduled Wednesday (Oct. 29)

The County of Santa Clara is hosting a free informational workshop on 6:30 p.m. Wednesday at Los Altos Hills Town Hall, 26379 Fremont Road.

The workshop will offer ways single-family homeowners can increase their homes’ energy efficiency. Eligible i...

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Comment

Off the fence: TC recommends 'yes' on N

The Town Crier initially offered no position on the controversial $150 million Measure N bond on Tuesday’s ballot. But some of the reasons we gave in our Oct. 15 editorial were, on reflection, overly critical and based on inaccurate information.

We ...

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Special Sections

Long-term solutions emerge as water conservation goes mainstream

Long-term solutions emerge as water conservation goes mainstream


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Forrest Linebarger, right, installed greywater and rainwater harvesting systems at his Los Altos Hills home.

With more brown than green visible in her Los Altos backyard, Kacey Fitzpatrick admits that she’s a little e...

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Business

Local realtors scare up money for charity

Local realtors scare up money for charity


Photo courtesy of SILVAR
Realtors Gary Campi and Jordan Legge, from left, joined Nancy Domich, SILVAR President Dave Tonna and Joe Brown to raise funds for the Silicon Valley Realtors Charitable Foundation.

Los Altos and Mountain View realtors raise...

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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

DAVID S. NIVISON

DAVID S. NIVISON

David S. Nivison, 91 years old, and a resident of Los Altos, California since 1952, died Oct. 16, 2014 at home.  His neighbors had recently honored him as the “Mayor of Russell Ave., in recognition of 62 years of distinguished living” on that ...

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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

ECYS opens season Sunday

ECYS opens season Sunday


Ramya Krishna/Special to the Town Crier
The El Camino Youth Symphony rehearses for Sunday’s concert, above.

The El Camino Youth Symphony – under new conductor Jindong Cai – is scheduled to perform its season-opening concert 4 p.m....

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Spiritual Life

Christian Science Reading Room hosts webinar on prayer and healing

Christian Science practitioner and teacher Evan Mehlenbacher is scheduled to present a live Internet webinar lecture, “Prayer That Heals,” 7:30 p.m. Nov. 14 in the Christian Science Reading Room, 60 Main St., Los Altos.

Those interested ...

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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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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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