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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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The adult-centered life

The note was waiting for us on the floor of our entryway when we returned home. It capped the end of an action-packed, fun-filled few days moving our younger son into his freshman dorm at the University of Oregon. While we were gone, our older son headed south for his senior year at UC Santa Barbara.

Written in our older son’s familiar scrawl, the note stated the obvious in three simple words: “You’re all alone!” This young man, who has always possessed a wicked sense of humor, knows he is loved and missed. So it wasn’t entirely clear whether he was trying to make us laugh or cry. Could have gone either way, but as luck would have it, we laughed – a lot.

Walking around the house just then, it still looked like boys lived here. A water pistol sat in the saucer of an orchid on our coffee table. Funny, I hadn’t noticed it before. The contents of a soccer bag, including a team roster dated Fall 2007, were dumped on the laundry-room floor. The boys’ bathroom was in its usual disarray.

In the kitchen, a large glob of batter had somehow landed on the towel rack and dried like concrete. Days before and in a hurry, I had made the boys’ favorite cupcakes – Ghirardelli chocolate with lemon cream-cheese frosting. Half the batch headed north to a dorm in Eugene, and the other half headed south to a house in Goleta. A little mothering to send the boys on their way.

It took a good week to tidy things up. Now the house stays neat, which feels pretty nice, actually. The dishwasher doesn’t need to be run twice a day, and the gas tanks in our cars don’t mysteriously deplete. The scissors and tape are always where I left them. But the large kitchen table looks out of place now; I need to remove a leaf.

A few days ago, we ran into some friends at the grocery store. They, too, had just sent their last child off to college. While my husband and I were choosing a bottle of wine to go with the Chinese takeout we had just ordered, they were buying two ready-made salads. We marveled at our light loads, that we only had to feed ourselves. Smiles all around.

And so begins our adult-centered life. The first weekend without the boys, we enjoyed the sort of activities previously passed over in favor of watching our sons play sports. We heard Capt. “Sully” Sullenberger speak one evening, and the next day we were treated to a day of sailing on San Francisco Bay with two other couples.

What, I wondered, should I bring on the boat? Grilled asparagus or baked Brie? Lovely, grown-up options, but before I could think it through, I was making cupcakes. Cupcakes, for six adults. How silly is that? Moving from a kid-centered life to an adult-centered one is going to take some time.

The “You’re all alone!” note from our son, I have decided, is a gem worth framing. It’ll be hanging proudly on the wall when the boys come home for Thanksgiving.

Kerri Havnen Gordon writes The Living Experiment monthly for the Town Crier. E-mail her at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

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