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News

Police stress need for low speed in school zones

Police stress need for low speed in school zones


Town Crier File Photo
After two recent accidents involving cyclists and motorists, police urge caution – on both sides.

After two recent incidents of vehicles striking student bicyclists, Los Altos Police urge residents to exercise caution whe...

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Schools

Gardner Bullis School debuts new Grizzly Student Center

Gardner Bullis School debuts new Grizzly Student Center


Photo by Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Students line up to check books out of the library in the new Grizzly Student Center at Gardner Bullis School.

Gardner Bullis School opened its new Grizzly Student Center earlier this month, introducing a lea...

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Community

Home improvement workshop scheduled Wednesday (Oct. 29)

The County of Santa Clara is hosting a free informational workshop on 6:30 p.m. Wednesday at Los Altos Hills Town Hall, 26379 Fremont Road.

The workshop will offer ways single-family homeowners can increase their homes’ energy efficiency. Eligible i...

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Comment

Off the fence: TC recommends 'yes' on N

The Town Crier initially offered no position on the controversial $150 million Measure N bond on Tuesday’s ballot. But some of the reasons we gave in our Oct. 15 editorial were, on reflection, overly critical and based on inaccurate information.

We ...

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Special Sections

Long-term solutions emerge as water conservation goes mainstream

Long-term solutions emerge as water conservation goes mainstream


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Forrest Linebarger, right, installed greywater and rainwater harvesting systems at his Los Altos Hills home.

With more brown than green visible in her Los Altos backyard, Kacey Fitzpatrick admits that she’s a little e...

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Business

Local realtors scare up money for charity

Local realtors scare up money for charity


Photo courtesy of SILVAR
Realtors Gary Campi and Jordan Legge, from left, joined Nancy Domich, SILVAR President Dave Tonna and Joe Brown to raise funds for the Silicon Valley Realtors Charitable Foundation.

Los Altos and Mountain View realtors raise...

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Books

Helping kids catch a few Zs: Local dental hygienist pens meditative bedtime book

Helping kids catch a few Zs: Local dental hygienist pens meditative bedtime book


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Mimi Sommers, who works at a Los Altos dentist’s office, recently wrote a children’s book.

A local dental hygienist recently published a book that aims to ease parents and children during a sometimes anxious e...

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People

DAVID S. NIVISON

DAVID S. NIVISON

David S. Nivison, 91 years old, and a resident of Los Altos, California since 1952, died Oct. 16, 2014 at home.  His neighbors had recently honored him as the “Mayor of Russell Ave., in recognition of 62 years of distinguished living” on that ...

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Travel

Falling leaves: Four places in California to see autumn colors

Falling leaves: Four places in California to see autumn colors


Courtesy of Castello di Amorosa
Castello di Amorosa in Calistoga, above, boasts a beautiful setting for viewing fall’s colors – and sampling the vineyard’s wines.

Yes, Virginia, there is fall in California.

The colors pop out in...

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Stepping Out

ECYS opens season Sunday

ECYS opens season Sunday


Ramya Krishna/Special to the Town Crier
The El Camino Youth Symphony rehearses for Sunday’s concert, above.

The El Camino Youth Symphony – under new conductor Jindong Cai – is scheduled to perform its season-opening concert 4 p.m....

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Spiritual Life

Christian Science Reading Room hosts webinar on prayer and healing

Christian Science practitioner and teacher Evan Mehlenbacher is scheduled to present a live Internet webinar lecture, “Prayer That Heals,” 7:30 p.m. Nov. 14 in the Christian Science Reading Room, 60 Main St., Los Altos.

Those interested ...

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Magazine

Local events add color to autumn calendar

Local events add color to autumn calendar


Van Houtte/town crier Visitors make their way through the Children’s Alley.

As Los Altos’ signature Chinese Pistache trees exchange their summer green for vibrant hues of yellow, orange and red in the fall, an abundance of local events also ad...

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3-D design can mean customer savings


Photo by Monique Schoenfeld, Town Crier

CAD - computer-aided design - is not new in the architectural profession. It's well into its second decade. But software enhancements and supplemental programs have taken it from two to three dimensions.

This "might change the whole client-architect interface ... it will save time, money and heartache" in the building process in the long run, according to Jodie Gebhard, with Los Altos-based ID8 Media.

New 3-D programs can be added to the basic AutoCAD software, Gebhard said, allowing the building designer and client to experiment with various window treatments, room placements and sizes, massing of the building on the site, or exterior surface treatments before the drawings used for construction are complete.

Some programs allow experimentation with lighting type, placement and intensity, she said. Others let clients see how a favorite Oriental rug or a particular upholstery fabric will look in their living room or reception area. Using site photographs, a client can see in advance how their building will look when completed.

"In the long run, it can save money when the client can accurately visualize sooner how a project will turn out," Gebhard said.

A 3-D design can also save money by producing more precise material lists that enable contractors to make more precise bids, she said, and there is less margin for error on construction drawings. It also makes a good presentation tool for planning commissions, potential investors or buyers.

The fact that CAD software was difficult to use put Gebhard into business 13 years ago.

With a background in interior design, she could see the potential for CAD technology. "But (in 1985) it was the beginnings of computers," she said. "I saw a need for training and consulting because no one would bother with a computer program that meant frustration."

Gebhard said the set-up price has fallen in the last 10 years. It used to cost between $8,000-$10,000 for the necessary computer and software. Now the price range is $4,000-$6,000, she said.

Los Altos residential architect Steven Sanborn has been using AutoCAD software "since the first system I bought from (Gebhard) in 1988. It gets better and better, more user friendly."

"All the programs are so powerful," he said. "The thing is knowing how to use them to their fullest extent."

Another answer for busy architects is a firm that can do some of the 3-D CAD work for them, like Los Altos-based Y? Alliance. According to John Collier, Y? Alliance works with architects to do 3-D videos, models and renderings of both residential and commercial projects. "We can also document existing facilities," Collier said. The firm also does 3-D graphics, found useful in patent infringement cases, he said.

"I think you'll see more of (3-D technology)," Collier said. "It has a lot of marketing applications."

For more information call ID8 Media at 941-5484, or Y? Alliance at 941-6771.

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