Sat08012015

News

E. coli found in Los Altos water indicated breach, but only low risk

E. coli found in Los Altos water indicated breach, but only low risk


Courtesy of Microbe World
Colorized low-temperature electron micrograph of a cluster of E. coli bacteria

When E. coli and other bacteria were discovered in some Los Altos water last week, officials from the local water supplier, California Water...

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Schools

BCS hosts Stretch to Kindergarten program for underserved youth

BCS hosts Stretch to Kindergarten program for underserved youth


Traci Newell/Town Crier
The six-week, tuition-free Stretch to Kindergarten program, hosted at Bullis Charter School, serves children who have not attended preschool. A teacher leads children in singing about the parts of a butterfly, above.

Local un...

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Community

Google car painting project calls on artists

Google car painting project calls on artists


Google self-driving car

Already known as an innovator in the tech field, Google Inc. is now moving in on the art world.

The Mountain View-based company July 11 launched the “Paint the Town” contest, a “moving art experiment” that invites Califo...

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Sports

Pedaling with a purpose

Pedaling with a purpose


courtesy of
Rishi Bommannan Rishi Bommannan cycled from Bates College in Maine to his home in Los Altos Hills, taking several selfies along the way. He also raised nearly $13,000 for the Livestrong Foundation, which supports cancer patients.

When R...

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Comment

The truth about coyotes: Other Voices

The Town Crier’s recent article on coyotes venturing down from the foothills in search of sustenance referenced the organization Project Coyote (“Recent coyote attacks keep residents on edge,” July 1). Do not waste your time contac...

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Special Sections

Grant Park senior program made permanent

Grant Park senior program made permanent


Photos by Alicia Castro/Town Crier
Local residents participate in an exercise class at the Grant Park Senior Center, above. Betsy Reeves, below left with Gail Enenstein, lobbied for senior programming in south Los Altos.

It all began when Betsy Reev...

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Business

New State Street rug retailer has downtown Los Altos covered

New State Street rug retailer has downtown Los Altos covered


Alicia Castro/Town Crier
Los Altos Rug Gallery owner Fahim Karimi stocks his State Street store with a wall-to-wall array of floor coverings.

A new downtown business owner plans to roll out the red carpet – along with rugs of every other color –...

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Books

Book Signings

• Fritz and Nomi Trapnell have scheduled a book-signing party 4-6 p.m. Aug. 1 at their home, 648 University Ave., Los Altos.

Fritz and his daughter, Dana Tibbitts, co-authored “Harnessing the Sky: Frederick ‘Trap’ Trapnell, ...

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People

GRACE WILSON FRANKS

GRACE WILSON FRANKS

Resident of Los Altos

Grace Wilson Franks, our beloved mother and grandmother, left us peacefully on July 16, 2015 just a few weeks short of her 92nd birthday. She was born to Ross and Florence (Cruzan) Wilson in rural Tulare, California on Septem...

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Travel

Gearing up: Make travel more civilized with accessories

Gearing up: Make travel more civilized with accessories


Eren Göknar/Special to the Town Crier
San Francisco-based humangear Inc. sells totes, tubes and tubs for traveling.

In travel, as in romance, it’s the little things that count.

Beyond the glossy brochures lie the travel discomforts too mun...

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Stepping Out

Going out with a 'Bang'

Going out with a 'Bang'


Richard Mayer/Special to the Town Crier
“Chitty Chitty Bang Bang” stars, clockwise from top left, Alexander Sanchez, Sophia Sturiale, Deborah Rosengaus and Danny Martin.

Los Altos Stage Company and Los Altos Youth Theatre’s joint production of t...

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Spiritual Life

Build a 'light' house and get out of that dark place

Most of us have a place inside our hearts and minds that occasionally causes us trouble. For some, it is sadness, depression or despair. For others, it may be fear, anger, resentment or myriad other emotional “dark places” that at times seem to hij...

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Magazine

Inside Mountain View

Residents gather at NASA Ames for Pluto Flyby event

Residents gather at NASA Ames for Pluto Flyby event


Megan V. Winslow/Town Crier
NASA Ames’ Pluto Flyover event kindles the imaginations of young attendees.

Sue Moore watched the July 20, 1969, moon landing beside patients and staff members of the San Francisco hospital where she worked as a nurse...

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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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