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News

LA council votes to delay community center update

LA council votes to delay community center update


Ellie Van Houtte/ Town Crier
The Los Altos City Council voted to delay adoption of a community center conceptual design plan last week. The plan includes elements from a design charette held earlier this fall, left.

The Los Altos City Council last...

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Schools

Scientists bring experiments into MV classrooms

Scientists bring experiments into MV classrooms


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
During a Science is Learning geology lesson, Theuerkauf Elementary School students learn about igneous rocks by observing how sugar changes form when heated.

Hundreds of local elementary students perform experiments w...

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Community

Local actors star in PYT's 'Oklahoma!'

Local actors star in PYT's 'Oklahoma!'


Courtesy of Peninsula Youth Theatre
PYT’s “Oklahoma!” features, from left, David Peters of Mountain View, Jenna Levere of Los Altos and Kai Wessel of Mountain View.

Time is running out to catch Peninsula Youth Theatre’s production of “Oklahoma!”...

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Sports

Eagles advance

Eagles advance


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Los Altos High’s Carmen Annevelink, left, and Kristen Liu put up a block against Mountain View. Annevelink totaled 20 kills.

Mountain View High’s out-of-the-gate energy could last for only so long against rival and he...

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Comment

Coping with addictions: Haugh About That?

Preparing to deal with my lifelong addiction, I stood in front of the mirror ready to confess the shame I’d been hiding. The first step to healing, I reminded myself, is to admit something is wrong.

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Special Sections

NASA, Google agreement preserves Hangar One

NASA, Google agreement preserves Hangar One


Bruce Barton/Town Crier
Hangar One, pictured here last January, will be restored under an agreement between Google and NASA.

NASA and Google Inc. forged an agreement last week that allows Google to lease a portion of NASA’s historic Moffett Fede...

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Business

State Street science center closing Nov. 30

State Street science center closing Nov. 30


Ellie Van Houtte/
Helix at 316 State St. is closing after the completion of a one-year grant from Passerelle Investment Co. The science center became a popular destination because of its various exhibits. Town Crier

A popular downtown destination...

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Books

Children's author signs books at Linden Tree

Children's author signs books at Linden Tree


Author Tiffany Papageorge is scheduled to sign copies of new her book 11 a.m. Dec. 6 at Linden Tree Books, 265 State St., Los Altos.

Papageorge’s “My Yellow Balloon” (Minoan Moon, 2014) is a Mom’s Choice “Gold” winner. In the book, the Los Gat...

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People

JAMES WINDELL SMITH

JAMES WINDELL SMITH

January 11, 1939 – November 6, 2014
Resident of Mountain View

James Windell Smith, a 40 year resident of Los Altos, passed away from complications after a post-surgery stroke November 6th, 2014 in Los Gatos, California.

Born on January 11, 1939 on...

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Travel

Olive Sonoma: There's more to the quaint town than wine

Olive Sonoma: There's more to the quaint town than wine


Eren Göknar/ Special to the Town Crier
While many day-trippers may think that Sonoma is all about the grapes, the region boasts other delights. Try a biplane ride over the patchwork landscape.

Sonoma, a scenic two-hour drive from Los Altos, boa...

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Stepping Out

LA Stage Company opens 'Fairway'

The Los Altos Stage Company production of Ken Ludwig’s new comedy “The Fox on the Fairway” is slated to run Thursday through Dec. 14 at Bus Barn Theater, 97 Hillview Ave.

A tribute to the English farces of the 1930s and 1940s, “Fox” is a romp that p...

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Spiritual Life

Author of Jewish historical novel slated at Congregation Beth Am

Author of Jewish historical novel slated at Congregation Beth Am


The Beth Am Women have scheduled “A Conversation with Author Maggie Anton” 7:30 p.m. Nov. 20 at Congregation Beth Am, 26790 Arastradero Road, Los Altos Hills.

Anton, winner of the 2012 National Jewish Book Award for Fiction, will discu...

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Magazine

Christmas At Our House home tour celebrates 26 years

Christmas At Our House home tour celebrates 26 years


Courtesy of Christopher Stark
Homes on the St. Francis High School Women’s Club’s Christmas at Our House Holiday Home Tour showcase a variety of architectural styles.

The days grow short on sunshine but long on nostalgia as the holidays approach...

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Los Altos OKs Styrofoam ban

A ban on expanded or extruded polystyrene (EPS) products – commonly known as Styrofoam – is coming to Los Altos on Independence Day.

The Los Altos City Council last week voted 4-1 to approve an expansive ordinance that will prohibit the use and sale of EPS products for the vast majority of local and national food establishments and retailers in the city beginning July 4. The ordinance also prohibits the use of EPS products at events but includes some exemptions for products like egg cartons and raw meats sold from a butcher case, as well as documented hardships for certain businesses.

Councilwoman Val Carpenter cast the lone dissenting vote after she unsuccessfully sought a reduction of the $3,000 appropriation for mailings to local businesses advising them of the upcoming ban.

A city staff report noted that the EPS ordinance affects 36 out of more than 111 food service businesses in Los Altos – including four that use the product solely for pre-packed meats, vegetables or pastries. The report added that just a handful of local municipalities – including Los Altos Hills and Palo Alto – currently have EPS foodware bans in place.

“It seems to me – from the report and all – that we have a lot of receptivity. We don’t have any pushback from all of our wonderful people who serve our residents,” said Councilwoman Jeannie Bruins, who along with three of her council colleagues voted for a July 4 start date to give businesses more time to adjust to the change.

The council’s decision comes after some of its members in December sought a further-reaching measure than the one before them. The original proposal – part of a regional California Environmental Quality Act process led by San Jose – called for phasing out the use of EPS food containers by Los Altos restaurants and other food establishments, but not sales by retailers that stock foam ice coolers and disposable foodware products. The original proposal also called for a ban affecting national food vendors on Earth Day, April 22. It included a second deadline for local vendors exactly one year later.

A chorus of support

A number of Los Altos residents spoke in favor of the ban – one urging the council to implement it on April 22 instead of July 4.

GreenTown Los Altos member Michael McTighe pressed the council to adopt Earth Day as the start of the EPS ban, adding that it was “worthy to note” that less than 40 businesses would be impacted.

“I think we’re not looking at a large number of people, if you consider it,” said McTighe, noting that the April time frame for implementation coincides with the start of the downtown Los Altos Farmers’ Market.

Los Altos Village Association Executive Director Nancy Dunaway, whose organization coordinates the seasonal Farmers’ Market on State Street, told councilmembers that it wouldn’t see a negative impact because of the ban – regardless of its implementation date.

“I believe actually last year most of the food vendors (at the market) were using compostable products,” she said.

Environmental Commissioner Gary Hedden, speaking on behalf of himself, not the commission, said the commission visited all food service providers in the city and concluded that most “are already onboard with this measure.”

He added that two out of three Los Altos businesses already use alternative products, while those who still use EPS do so only in small quantities and “are simply waiting for the ban to take effect.”

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