Mon07282014

News

Downtown green park pops up again in August

Downtown green park pops up again in August


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
The Third Street Green debuts Aug. 3 on the 300 block of State Street in downtown Los Altos.

Another temporary park is poised to pop up in downtown Los Altos this summer.

According to Brooke Ray Smith, community devel...

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Schools

MVLA rolls out laptop integration this fall

MVLA rolls out laptop integration this fall


Town Crier File Photo
Starting in the fall, daily use of laptops in the classroom will be standard operating procedure for students at Los Altos and Mountain View high schools as the Mountain View Los Altos Union High School District launches a pil...

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Community

Generations blend behind the scenes at 'Wizard of Oz'

Generations blend behind the scenes at 'Wizard of Oz'


Altos Youth Theatre and Los Altos Stage Company rehearse a scene from “The Wizard of Oz.” ELIZA RIDGEWAY/ TOWN CRIER

A massive troupe of young people and grownups gathered in Los Altos this summer to stage the latest iteration of a childhood sta...

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Sports

Football in July

Football in July


Town Crier file photo
Mountain View High’s Anthony Avery is among the nine local players slated to play in tonight’s Silicon Valley Youth Classic.

Tonight’s 40th annual Silicon Valley Youth Classic – also known as the Charlie...

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Comment

Pools should be included: Editorial

Los Altos residents should be receiving calls this week from city representatives conducting a survey to determine priorities for a revamped Hillview Community Center.

Notice that we did not say “civic center” – chastened by a lack of public support...

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Special Sections

Looking for life without lows, local diabetic tests artificial pancreas

Looking for life without lows, local diabetic tests artificial pancreas


Photo by Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Dr. Trang Ly, left, reviews blood sugar readings on a smartphone with Los Altos resident Tia Geri, right, and fellow participant Noa Simon during a closed-loop artificial pancreas study for Type 1 diabetics.
...

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Business

Palo Alto law firm coming to 400 Main

Palo Alto law firm coming to 400 Main


Ellie Van Houtte/ Town Crier
Longtime Palo Alto law firm Thoits, Love, Hershberger & McClean plans to open an office at 400 Main St. in Los Altos after construction is complete in November.

A longtime Palo Alto law firm plans to expand int...

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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

RICHARD PATRICK BRENNAN

RICHARD PATRICK BRENNAN

Resident of Palo Alto

Richard Patrick Brennan, journalist, editor, author, adventurer, died at his Palo Alto home on July 4, 2014 at age 92. He led a full life, professionally and personally. He was born and raised in San Francisco, joined the Arm...

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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

PYT stages 'Shrek'

PYT stages 'Shrek'


Lyn Healy/Spotlight Moments Photography
Dana Cullinane plays Fiona in Peninsula Youth Theatre’s “Shrek The Musical.”

Peninsula Youth Theatre presents “Shrek The Musical” Saturday through Aug. 3 at the Mountain View Center for the Performing Arts...

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Spiritual Life

Foothills Congregational: 100 years and counting

Foothills Congregational: 100 years and counting


Courtesy of Carolyn Barnes
The newly built Los Altos church in 1914 featured a bell tower and an arched front window. Both continue as elements of the building as it stands today.

Foothills Congregational Church – the oldest church building in L...

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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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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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