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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 council looks ahead: Goals include developing new community center plan


Town Crier File Photo
During their annual retreat, members of the Los Altos City Council committed to implementing short-term parking solutions for downtown Los Altos in 2014.

A plan that would lead to the funding and construction of a new community center is among a handful of goals on the Los Altos City’s Council’s to-do list for 2014.

Councilwoman Jeannie Bruins told the Town Crier that the development of an action plan to replace the aging Hillview Community Center was one in a “manageable set of goals” discussed by the council at its annual retreat Dec. 14 at the Jesuit Retreat Center.

Bruins noted that the city would spend the year exploring “what it will take” for a new center to become reality. She noted that the plan would likely cover several crucial components in detail, including funding strategies, design options and potential partnerships with other entities.

Mayor Megan Satterlee added that public feedback from a 2012 public survey showed a higher level of resident interest in replacing the aging community center as opposed to some other civic facilities. The survey was conducted at the time to gauge public interest in a bond measure to fund the first phase of the city’s Civic Center Master Plan, which called for the replacement of city hall, the Los Altos Police Department and the community center.

“What is different is that the feedback on the master plan has caused us to amend the phasing. Clearly the top priority is the community center,” said Satterlee, who described public interest as “high” for replacing Hillview.

Satterlee added that the task would include a 2014 public engagement process “around some options that look different from the master plan so that we can get to a design we think we can move forward with.”

Other priorities

Planning for a new community center wasn’t the only goal discussed during the daylong retreat.

Bruins said the city would continue to explore parking solutions for downtown Los Altos. Satterlee confirmed that the city would implement and follow up the short-term strategies outlined in the city’s Downtown Parking Management Plan.

Satterlee expressed interest in crafting a policy that would outline ways that developers could meet their projects’ parking demands by helping to fund the reconfiguration of public parking plazas. She cautioned, however, that “there has to be a meeting of the minds by the majority of the council in order for this policy to move forward.”

Satterlee pointed to transportation issues as another key discussion for the new year. She noted that the council would explore solutions in 2014 to the “barriers to success” that prevent some city transportation projects from moving forward at a more rapid rate. She said the issue could include looking at “making some modifications” to engage the public on projects earlier and more efficiently.

“The goal is to move faster when we start projects and to move more of them forward,” Bruins said.

The council also listed an ongoing effort to improve community engagement as a whole, which might include the appointment of an ad hoc committee to develop new strategies, Bruins noted. In addition, Bruins and Satterlee cited the continuation of managing the city’s finances in a prudent manner as a top priority for 2014.

Some items that could not be addressed in the daylong retreat, including discussions on council norms, the 2014 legislative calendar and potential adjustments to the city’s administrative approval process, are slated for discussion at a special meeting, scheduled Tuesday.

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