Wed07302014

News

‘Brown is the new green,’ says local water district

‘Brown is the new green,’ says local water district


Lina Broydo/Special to the Town Crier
Are downtown Los Altos flower pots getting too much water? The Santa Clara Valley Water District plans to hire “water cops” to discourage overwatering.

The Santa Clara Valley Water District is spendi...

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Schools

Foothill camps prepare local students for STEM careers

Foothill camps prepare local students for STEM careers


Photos Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Middle school students make robotic hands using 3-D printers during a STEM Summer Camp at Foothill College.

From designing roller coasters to developing biodegradable plastics, high school students received an i...

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Community

Local entrepreneur opens home to Afghan and Rwandan women

Local entrepreneur opens home to Afghan and Rwandan women


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Businesswomen Joan Mazimhaka of Rwanda, third from left, and Fakhria Ibrahimi of Afghanistan, in orange, traveled to the U.S. with a 26-woman delegation through the Peace Through Business program.

Employees scoop ice ...

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Comment

Moving on: The Rockey Road

Just over a month ago, we decided to put our house on the market. My husband and I had been tossing around the idea of moving back to the area where we grew up, which is only approximately 40 minutes from here. Of course, Los Altos is a great place t...

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Special Sections

Looking for life without lows, local diabetic tests artificial pancreas

Looking for life without lows, local diabetic tests artificial pancreas


Photo by Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Dr. Trang Ly, left, reviews blood sugar readings on a smartphone with Los Altos resident Tia Geri, right, and fellow participant Noa Simon during a closed-loop artificial pancreas study for Type 1 diabetics.
...

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Business

Halo heads to Los Altos: Blow-dry bar founder opens new First Street location Monday

Halo heads to Los Altos: Blow-dry bar founder opens new First Street location Monday


ElLie Van Houtte/ Town Crier
Armed with blow dryers, Halo founder Rosemary Camposano, left, and store manager Nikki Thomas prepare for the blow-dry bar’s grand opening on First Street Monday.

A blow-dry bar is set to open downtown Monday, and i...

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Books

"Frozen in Time" chronicles harrowing WWII rescue attempts


Many readers can’t resist a true-life adventure story, especially those that shine a spotlight on people who exhibit supreme courage in the face of adversity and end up surviving – or not – against the odds.

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People

CARSTEN HUGHES

Long time Los Altos resident, Dr. Alfred Hughes, died May 1st after a long illness. Dr. Hughes was born in 1927 in Maspeth, NY. He served in the US Army from 1945-6, attended Brooklyn Polytechnic University, then graduated from Reed College in Portla...

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Travel

Travel Tidbit: Ritz-Carlton, Lake Tahoe offers spa getaway

Travel Tidbit: Ritz-Carlton, Lake Tahoe offers spa getaway


Courtesy of Ritz-Carlton
The Ritz-Carlton in Lake Tahoe offers fall getaway packages that include spa treatments and yoga classes.

Fall in North Lake Tahoe boasts crisp mornings and opportunities to spend quality time in the mountains. Specially ...

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Stepping Out

'Wizard' winds down at Bus Barn

'Wizard' winds down at Bus Barn


Town Crier file photo
Local actors rehearse a scene from “The Wizard of Oz.”

Los Altos Youth Theatre and Los Altos Stage Company’s collaborative production of “The Wizard of Oz” is slated to close Sunday at Bus Barn Theater, 97 Hillview Ave.

T...

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Spiritual Life

Stanford University appoints new dean for religious life

Stanford University appoints new dean for religious life


Shaw

Stanford University named the Very Rev. Dr. Jane Shaw, dean of Grace Cathedral in San Francisco, its new dean for religious life.

Provost John Etchemendy announced Shaw’s appointment July 21, adding that she also will join the faculty in...

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Magazine

Festival features fun for everyone

Festival features fun for everyone


TOWN CRIER FILE PHOTO
The Los Altos Arts & Wine Festival boasts more than 375 craft and arts booths.

This weekend’s 35th annual Los Altos Arts & Wine Festival promises to be jam-packed with fun activities for just about everyone. The eve...

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Residents voice opposition to trail connection through neighborhood


Photo By: Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Photo Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier

Some Los Altos residents at a June 18 public meeting favored a trail alignment that includes a portion of Foothill Expressway, above.

Los Altos officials last week updated residents on proposed Stevens Creek Trail alignments through the city and opened the discussion to audience input. Input they received – in spades.

A standing-room-only crowd of 250 residents packed the Grant Park meeting room June 18 to offer their perspectives and review potential trail connections through Los Altos as part of the four-cities Stevens Creek Trail Feasibility Study. The study involves a regional approach in connecting the trail between Mountain View and Cupertino – and includes potential alignments through Los Altos, Sunnyvale and along the creek corridor itself.

The study includes the cities of Los Altos, Mountain View, Cupertino and Sunnyvale.

“This is a very long vision to connect the Bay to the ocean,” said Jana Sokale, a consultant hired by the four-cities team to conduct the study.

The city scheduled the meeting to address residents’ concerns and to get them “on the same page,” Los Altos City Councilwoman Jeannie Bruins noted.

In recent months, several residents on Fallen Leaf – one of the study’s potential alignment areas in Los Altos – organized to oppose alignments through the city’s residential streets, including theirs.

Sokale described three potential trail alignment concepts that would affect Fallen Leaf Lane: a bike route connector with signage through the neighborhood, a more elaborate design calling for marked bike sharrows to share the road with motorists along Fallen Leaf and a 6-foot-wide colored paved walkway and landscaped bulb-outs at intersections to reduce vehicle speeds.

Bruins notified residents that the 60-foot-wide Class I Pathway Design Concept proposed for Fallen Leaf – which would have required Los Altos to reclaim up to 18 feet of public right-of-way that has been built up with residents’ fencing and yards over decades – was “no longer being considered.”

Reactions

Several residents voiced concerns that placing a trail of any kind along Fallen Leaf would increase vehicle and bicycle traffic. Some objected on grounds that it would negatively affect their home values.

Noreen Miller, a 28-year resident, said placing a trail along Fallen Leaf could eliminate street parking for residents and turn the neighborhood into a busy thoroughfare for trail users.

“It really frightens me to think we’re going to open (the neighborhood) up to the rest of the world or something,” she said.

A self-described biking fanatic, Los Altos resident David O’Ryan said he feared that placing a dedicated trail bike route in the neighborhood would result in another Foothill Expressway – a popular biking route for area cyclists. O’Ryan was one of several nearby residents who favored alternate trail connections along Fremont Avenue, Grant Road and Foothill – similar to a route outlined in a 2008 feasibility study conducted solely by Los Altos.

“I would really be happy to see the trail extended, but taking it through someone’s neighborhood is not the way to do it,” said Los Altos resident Tracy Gibbons.

Fallen Leaf resident Ross Lapin added that he was “very disappointed” to see that all three trail concepts presented at the meeting focused on his street.

“The only presentation made was to mess with Fallen Leaf Lane,” he said.

Far fewer supported a trail alignment along residential streets.

Michael McTighe, a Los Altos Planning and Transportation Commissioner speaking on his own behalf, drew a chorus of boos when he said a trail would increase safety for younger bicyclists.

“As a parent, one of the major groups of people not represented are the students who ride (bikes) up and down Fallen Leaf,” he said.

GreenTown Los Altos volunteer Susan Runowicz-Smith, an 18-year resident, also received a smattering of jeers after noting that some residents’ attitudes toward the trail made her feel uneasy riding her bike in Los Altos.

“It really, really hurts that Los Altos could be viewed as not welcoming to cyclists,” she said.

The study’s Citizens Working Group is slated to meet Aug. 1, followed by an Aug. 12 meeting of its Joint Cities Working Team, comprising one elected representative from each city.

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