Merry spirits: Traditional holiday drinks and memories that surround them

Christine Moore/Special to the Town Crier
Town Crier columnist Christine Moore’s holiday drink menu includes her take on the Moscow Mule, the Bucking Reindeer.

Growing up, our dogs were always outside dogs. We lived in the country, which made us outside children. The arrangement worked just fine for canines and kids alike.


Scenes from holiday happenings

Enjoy a selection of photos from holiday events in Los Altos and Los Altos Hills.

More photos at


City sponsors annual New Year's Day Fun Run

Town Crier File Photo
Participants wait at the start line as someone crosses the race path at last year’s New Year’s Day Fun Run. This year’s event is scheduled 9 a.m. Jan. 1 in downtown Los Altos.

The city of Los Altos’ annual New Year’s Day Fun Run is scheduled 9 a.m. Jan. 1 at the intersection of Main and State streets.

The 5-kilometer (3.1-mile) race – with laps around Main, State and First streets – is open to all ages and all abilities – “anyone who wants to walk, run, roll or stroll,” said Peggy Ford, recreation supervisor.


Former symphony executive guilty of tax fraud

carltonThe Santa Clara County District Attorney’s (DA) Office today (Dec. 4) reported that former Peninsula Symphony Executive Director Stephen Jay Carlton has been found guilty of tax fraud.


Local retailers see holiday sales surge along with staffing pressure

Ellie Van Houtte/ Town Crier
Shops like Cover Story received an early Christmas gift with the news that business is booming in downtown Los Altos.

The annual Holiday Stroll shopping event downtown Nov. 14 inspired unusually packed streets as local shoppers turned out in greater numbers than previous years, possibly spurred by the event falling later in the year this year, the mild weather and – some merchants hazarded – publicity in advance of the event.

“The only thing we did differently was a postcard,” said Ellen Biolsi, owner of Cranberry Scoop on State Street, of how organically the Los Altos Village Association-sponsored event has grown.


After feast comes frolic: Festival of Lights Parade set for Sunday

Town Crier File Photo
The Festival of Lights Parade rolls into downtown Sunday evening.

The 38th annual Festival of Lights Parade, with its floats, bands and costumed characters, is scheduled to light up downtown Los Altos 6 p.m. Sunday along Main and State streets.

This year’s hourlong affair features 59 entries, according to parade volunteer and spokeswoman Nancy Schneider. Entries include 22 floats and marching bands from Los Altos, Mountain View, Homestead, St. Francis and Fremont high schools, among others. Costumed performers from classic fairy tales will be marching along, including new “Alice group cards,” according to Schneider. The popular Snow Queen and her court also will be on hand, waving to the crowd.


Local businessman launched international chicken phenomenon

Town Crier File Photo
Los Altos businessman Pete Harman’s legacy includes his downtown Kentucky Fried Chicken franchise.

Longtime Los Altos businessman Leon Weston “Pete” Harman, Kentucky Fried Chicken’s first franchisee, died Nov. 19. He was 95.

Mr. Harman’s family restaurant had grown into a multinational phenomenon after he allied with Col. Harland Sanders to dish up Kentucky Fried Chicken. As the chain’s initial franchisee, Harman and his wife, Arline, built a large food service corporation, Harman Management Corp., and for the last half century based it on First Street in Los Altos. First Street also hosted a KFC branch through the mid-1990s.


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