Fri10242014

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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The fondest farewell follows a tentative welcome

People around me know my devotion to my dog, Parker. And by devotion, they would mean being a responsible pet owner by spoiling Parker rotten and everything in between. All of it is true. And while I made some mistakes – I never should have allowed Parker to assume that he’s entitled to sample everything we eat – I must point out that I had not wanted a dog much to begin with and that Parker was my first (mammalian) pet. Therefore, it was a fairly steep learning curve for me to figure out how to handle him once he arrived in our home.

I did read books on dog care ahead of time, of course. Amusingly, this is exactly how I had tried to prepare for the birth of my first child under similar ignorant circumstances: zero exposure to infants once I was past age 10, and absolutely no babysitting experience at any age. No surprise that the research I did in both instances yielded similar results. Books never hurt, but nothing really prepares you for the hands-on, maddeningly unpredictable reality of a living, breathing, sentient and idiosyncratic creature entering your world.

I have spent the past 15 years trying to understand life from Parker’s point of view so that I could better manage his behavior, his physical well-being, his emotional life and his relationship with other people and animals. That’s a long way of saying that I spent a lot of time focused on health and balance in a dog’s life.

I wasn’t productive on all fronts: Parker was the least happy-go-lucky Labrador Retriever I’ve ever met, and he hated cats with a passion. To his credit, however, he was just smart enough to recognize that he needed humans for survival, so he was obedient and submissive. He understood that his sworn feline enemies were quicker, smarter and more deadly than he. He knew better than to actually mess with one.

But at the end of the day, literally and figuratively, Parker was a deeply comforting presence in my life. I don’t have the space here to disentangle and describe his particular threads in the fabric of these past 15 years, but he’s woven solidly in there. However, I will say that he brought out the best in me – communication through the heart rather than through vocal chords, observation from a truly different set of eyes and, above all, laughter and joy while experiencing all the small, inconsequential things.

When he died last month, Parker’s vet, who assisted him, told me with sincerity that Parker was a patient he would remember the rest of his life. In part because given his fragile health, Parker lived well past anyone’s expectations. But I’d like to think that it was also because of Parker’s personal charm – a weird mix of suspicious, tentative optimism and naive incredulity. He never operated on pure faith, but he was always surprised when things didn’t quite work out to his particular liking. I loved that about him. It made him seem so human.

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