Wed07302014

News

"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 spending nearl...

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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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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

DR. ALFRED 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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Art docents gather to kick off year

Photo Courtesy Of Diane Brauch

Los Altos School District Trustee David Luskin, right, engages with San Jose Museum of Art docent Susanne Offensend at the districts fall seminar for art docents Sept. 10.

The Los Altos Art Docents kicked off the new school year with a fall seminar Sept. 10 at the Adobe House in Mountain View.

San Jose Museum of Art docent Elizabeth Ryono, assisted by docents Shauna Mika, Susanne Offensend and Evelyn Neeley, spoke to 70 returning docents and 11 new trainees on the use of visual thinking strategies in the teaching of art appreciation.

Los Altos School District Superintendent Tim Justus, Assistant Superintendent Jeff Baier and district board members Margot Harrigan and David Luskin also attended the seminar.

Visual thinking strategies use observation techniques as the students discuss and explore a particular work of art, which they discuss among themselves with a facilitator docent. The method attempts to develop overall critical thinking and improve group participation and listening skills.

Baier, in opening remarks to the group, said that joy should be a component in education – that feeling of self-awareness when you learn something new. He said a large percentage of district students are visual learners who benefit from the docents' visual-arts program.

Harrigan, a Los Altos Art Docent, said that art curriculum is not funded in the state of California. Fewer than 10 percent of the elementary districts in the state have art programs, and even fewer receive the curriculum the Los Altos Art Docents program provides.

Gloria Dralla is the chairwoman of the 38-year-old volunteer organization. The docents write and develop the 49 hands-on and appreciation units introduced into the elementary school classroom.

In addition, each spring the Los Altos Art Docents sponsors a districtwide Art Show at the Hillview Community Center in which every student in the district exhibits a piece of art.

This school year, docents are scheduled to teach approximately 970 units to more than 4,260 students in the seven district elementary schools, the equivalent of at least two full-time teachers.

Dralla said that docents come from different countries and work backgrounds and are not limited to parents with children in the district. Docents tend to stay in the program longer than their children are in the elementary schools.

Betty Latta, who teaches watercolor through the art docent program, has been volunteer teaching for 30 years.

Financial support for the docents comes from grants from the Los Altos Education Foundation, private donations and contributions from the PTAs and the Los Altos School District, which provides office space at the Covington district office for two part-time paid coordinators.

The Los Altos Art Docents program is seeking volunteers with an interest in teaching art to elementary school students. No special background in the visual arts or artistic talent is necessary. Trainees can assist in the classroom according to their comfort level.

For more information, visit www.losaltosartdocents.org.

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