Wed10222014

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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State senator seeks to return money to Los Altos Hills

A bill sponsored by State Sen. Jim Beall (D-15th District) would return money to Los Altos Hills and other Silicon Valley communities.

On a recent visit with the Silicon Valley Association of Realtors (SILVAR), Beall explained Senate Bill 629, tax-equity allocation legislation that would require the county to redirect approximately $2.1 million in property taxes to the cities of Los Altos Hills, Cupertino, Monte Sereno and Saratoga beginning in the 2014-2015 fiscal year.

Because of the current tax formula, the cities receive less property-tax revenue (approximately 4 percent) than other cities in the state (7 percent). Beall said he is working to correct the inequity by requiring the Santa Clara County auditor to revise property-tax allocation formulas and reimburse the cities.

Beall said the matter is a question of fairness, because the loss in revenue has limited the ability of some cities to maintain library hours and provide adequate road repairs and parks and recreation services.

“We’re trying to correct that and working to have their property taxes returned to them,” he said of the affected cities. “Let’s work on that together.”

Beall also shared a bit of good news during his SILVAR appearance. After years of deficits, he said, California’s budget is healthy, with projections of a $2 billion surplus for 2014. Beall noted that this time around, the state needs to set aside much of that money as reserves.

“We need to avoid the tendency to overspend and keep a rainy-day fund,” he said.

Beall is also sponsoring SB 628, a bill on infrastructure financing around transit stations. The measure would require municipalities that use infrastructure-financing district bonds for transit projects to designate a portion of property-tax revenue to increase and improve lower- and moderate-income housing in the district.

During his chat with realtors, Beall outlined additional priorities, including advocating a good state drug and mental-health policy. Specifically, Beall noted that the state should focus on recidivism, as 70 percent of offenders released return to state prison after only a couple of years. A good drug and mental-health policy would not only help offenders, but also communities as a whole, he added.

Beall said money spent on incarceration continues to rise at the expense of education, leading to state tuition increases for public colleges and universities, forcing students to shoulder a heavier loan debt.

“Many families have these problems, and that’s bad for the economy,” Beall said. “For me, making policy to fund higher education and limit tuition increases is good for real estate.”

The Silicon Valley Association of Realtors provided information for this article. For more information, email Rose Meily at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

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