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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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Residents protest flood-detention basin at Blach

Photo Fritz Wildmoser/Special To The Town Crier A group of residents opposed to the installation of Santa Clara Valley Water District flood basins gather at Blach Junior High, one of two local sites slated for the project. One protestor called the project a "colossal waste of taxpayer money."

Neighbors of Blach Junior High School in Los Altos turned out in force last week, hoping to sink the Santa Clara Valley Water District’s proposal to install a flood-detention basin on the school’s athletic fields.

The water district-sponsored Permanente Creek Flood Project design workshop, held at Blach Nov. 16, drew opponents protesting the district’s plan. The design proposes building a 10-foot-deep underground basin across 7.5 acres to collect runoff in the event of a “100-year flood,” a large-magnitude flood with a 1 percent chance of occurring every year.

Water district officials consider the basin a preventive, protective measure, but workshop attendees disagreed.

“This seems like a drastic measure,” said 60-year Los Altos resident Leona Peery, 85. “I think it’s overkill. If they kept the creek clean, it wouldn’t be as severe.” “We don’t need it,” another man shouted, drawing applause from the audience.

In 2000, voters passed Measure B – the Clean, Safe Creeks and Natural Flood Protection Plan – designed to improve water conditions and safeguard homes, schools and businesses for 15 years. The measure provides $32 million, available through 2015, for creek restoration and flood protection.

The project area includes nearly 11 miles of Permanente Creek, beginning in the foothills above Cupertino and continuing through Los Altos and Mountain View, designed to protect approximately 1,664 properties from a major flood, improve riparian habitat and provide opportunities for trails and other recreational uses.

The proposed designs have generated criticism from residents concerned with the disruptions that could result from the construction of the basin, as well as the installation of an 8-foot-wide, 4,000-foot-long pipe required to channel excess waterflow to the Cuesta Annex in Mountain View.

Many workshop participants complained of a lack of communication regarding the proposal.

A project of such magnitude is bound to have a huge impact on the community, according to water district engineer Afshin Rouhani, who answered questions from the audience.

“This type of project requires a lot more outreach than the typical,” because of the logistical measures that would be required, Rouhani said.

In exchange for constructing the flood basin, the water district has offered to install a new soccer field at Blach, made of artificial turf but at a depth of 10 feet.

“This is going to be a sunken pit, a bowl covered with turf. It will be hot,” said Los Altos resident Cathy Martina. “Sinking the field 10 feet is significant – I hope people realize that.” Blach faculty and Los Altos School District officials approve of the water district’s plan, according to Trustee Mark Goines.

“The staff is very excited about the improvement of quality and flood protection they will get,” Goines said. “Blach School incurred $250,000 worth of damage during a minor flood in 1984, and we are very concerned about that.”

After gathering input, water district officials are scheduled to present a revised schematic plan to the school district early next year. To proceed with a final design phase, the water district must secure a majority of votes from the five school district trustees.

For more information on the Permanente Creek Flood Protection Plan, visit www.valleywater.org.

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