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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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Good news as PG&E hydrotests gas pipeline in Mountain View

Photo Refugio Garcia/Special To The Town Crier PG&E crews completed hydrostatic testing of a section of the gas transmission pipelines in Mountain View and discovered no leaks.

Mountain View residents can breathe a sigh of relief – without smelling gas.

PG&E crews completed the hydrostatic pressure testing of the natural gas pipeline that began three weeks ago and are working on the final stretch of the project, according to Mike Fuller, public works director for the city of Mountain View.

“Most of the pipeline has been tested and they found no drop in pressure,” Fuller said.

PG&E representatives scheduled two community meetings last month to explain the process and answer residents’ questions regarding the testing before it began.

“The tests will be used to enhance safety,” said Don Hall, PG&E manager of energy and solutions.

Utility officials will compile the data and use the results to verify the integrity of lines that share similar characteristics with those involved in the San Bruno pipeline explosion last September, Hall said.

The similarities in the lines include their ages as well as the type of welds employed more than six decades ago.

“We don’t have records to validate the amount of pressure the lines can hold,” said Brittany Chord, PG&E spokeswoman.

The test results will become part of an official record for the California Public Utilities Commission.

The hydrostatic testing – at Sierra Vista Avenue behind Crittenden Middle School and on Garcia Avenue near Shoreline Golf Links – required draining the lines of natural gas, refilling them with water under elevated pressures, then testing for leaks.

Crews filled sections of the 1.5 miles of underground lines in the city with water under double the amount of pressure when filled with natural gas.

PG&E officials notified neighbors, residents and businesses in the area of the work.

“We didn’t want residents to become alarmed if they smelled gas at the time we drained the line,” said Hall, assuring that “the gas isn’t combustible at low volumes.”

PG&E Superintendent John Corona acted as incident commander at the scene of the San Bruno pipeline explosion last September. Corona answered questions about PG&E’s plan for dealing with a similar situation in the future.

“Our strategy’s going to be a little different now,” he said, adding, “We haven’t had a thing like this happen in 100 years of our history.”

Corona explained that emergency responders and PG&E service crews lacked coordination among their agencies, inadvertently stifling efforts to contain the fire in San Bruno.

“We’re actively working with first responders,” he said. “We want them to know what to do when they roll up on a gas leak, and what type of access points to avoid.”

Corona said PG&E has begun coordinating with a number of different fire departments in California.

For more information, call (800) 743-5000 or visit www.pge.com.

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