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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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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Loyola holds Ability Awareness Week

 Image from article Loyola holds Ability Awareness Week

Abilities of all kinds were celebrated at Loyola School as part of Ability Awareness Week, Nov. 18-22.

Throughout the week, students participated in various activities simulating a range of learning and physical challenges -- from mobility impairments, blindness and dyslexia to fine motor challenges.

Parents and community members volunteered their time to manage various activities.

Many parent volunteers are also members of the Community Advisory Committee for the Special Education Local Plan Area, or SELPA 1, which includes the Los Altos, Palo Alto, Mountain View, Mountain View-Whisman and Mountain View-Los Altos High school districts.

The volunteer committee, formed in 1994, works on a wide range of issues related to special education in schools, including a handbook of guidelines for parents of special needs children in public schools.

Many of those guidelines were shared with the students. "We are teaching the students things like wheelchair etiquette," said Patty Hurley, a volunteer and parent of a special needs student. "For example, asking permission before touching someone's wheelchair, since it is considered as part of their personal space; or having eye contact and speaking directly to the person in the wheelchair."

In an activity meant to simulate a fine motor disability, students put socks on their hands while trying to button up a dress shirt in five minutes.

Students were given a "homework" assignment of not speaking for two hours one evening, forcing them to find other ways to communicate.

In other activities, students attempted to write their names upside down and backward, so that it would look correct in a mirror, to simulate dyslexia; or put on blindfolds and have a classmate lead them around campus to simulate being sight-impaired.

Sunnyvale resident Gail Bowen and her 5-year-old seeing eye dog Cody were also on hand to talk with students.

"The kids are learning how to tell if a guide dog is working or not and how to act around a dog," Bowen said. "Seeing the dogs really helps with giving more acceptance to people like myself out in public."

Acceptance is one of the main themes of the week. It was highlighted with brightly colored posters hung around campus with slogans such as, "It's OK to walk differently," "It's OK to be from a different place" and "Teasing is bullying using words."

Students in the special day classes at Loyola, who have many of the physical or learning challenges highlighted during the week, were in turn given tools to deal with bullying.

"We did some role playing on how to deal with teasing, and it was really successful," Hurley said. "The special day classes did every simulation the other students did, with this added element. The kids need these tools."

Hurley asked students to pretend what it would be like not to be in their bodies, but in the body of someone who might need assistance.

After attempting to navigate Loyola's Multipurpose Room using a walker, cane and wheelchair, fourth-grader Elizabeth Khouri said she was surprised at how hard it was.

"I always wanted to try out a wheelchair. It seemed so easy, but actually it's harder," Khouri said. "I learned that you can't see all disabilities and that I am luckier than a lot of people. I have all of my limbs and can see and smell, not like some other people."

Susan Sherwood, a fourth-grade teacher, said her students can put what they learned during the week to use in the classroom.

"I have a special needs student that comes to my class once a week," Sherwood said. "They are getting to know him as a person and they are less likely to tease him on the playground. We are all educating each other."

For more information about hosting an Ability Awareness Week or the SELPA 1 CAC, call Patty Hurley at 949-1926.

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