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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Commission says try again


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
The island at Loyola Corners, across from Tom’s Depot, is being considered for retail and condominium development.

A proposal for a three-story, mixed use project at Loyola Corners may be headed back to the drawing board.

During a Los Altos Planning and Transportation Commission (PTC) study session last week, some commissioners suggested that the proposed project’s plan – which calls for approximately 1,000 square feet of ground-floor retail and six condominiums at the former Photo Drive-up site – should be scrapped and redone because the bulky design doesn’t fit the area.

“I don’t think there’s a way to fix this design,” said Commissioner Ken Lorell, who noted that the project was “completely out of character” for Loyola Corners and suggested project applicant Gregg Bunker rethink his design.

According to a city staff report, the study session was scheduled to provide “early design input” for Bunker, who has owned the triangular property for more than 20 years.

Bunker presented the PTC with two alternative building designs to consider – including one that called for a 30-foot tall building with 9-foot wall plates.

A second design called for a 33-foot tall structure – 3 feet above the city’s height limit for the area – with a roof deck for tenants living in the building’s six condominium units on the second and third levels.

Bunker told the commission that the building would be “simply unique” with “all-glass” condo units located at the corners.

“I think it’ll be a delightful place for residents to live,” he said.

Bunker’s proposal includes 15 parking spaces – two short of the 17 required by city code. However, Bunker told the PTC that he would consider using parking lifts and vowed to exceed the amount of parking required by the city.

Still, the project drew criticism from a handful of neighbors who said both proposed building designs would be too large for the area. One Fremont Avenue resident told the PTC that the building’s look and size was “inconsistent” with the rest of the Loyola Corners area, while another neighborhood resident called the proposal “extreme.”

“It just feels to me like a lot of square footage for the lot size,” added a second Fremont Avenue resident.

Some PTC members agreed with the assessments offered by the residents in attendance. Commissioner Jon Baer said that the building was too big for the neighborhood and called on Bunker to “rethink the project from scratch.”

Commissioner Phoebe Bressack termed the volume of the structure “huge for the area,” adding that the designs appeared to try to fill “every possible square inch” of the property.

“If it wasn’t end-to-end-to-end-to-end everywhere, it would be better for the town,” she said.

Commissioner Jerry Moison, however, offered a different take on the project. He said adding setbacks on the small property site would make the building “look like a pencil.”

Moison added that the project was needed to help revitalize the area.

“I think Loyola Corners is in desperate need of something just like this,” he said.

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