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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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Letters to the Editor

Put Rosita vehicle trips in perspective

Roy Presley

At a public hearing on Nov. 30, the city council will consider approving the Final Environmental Impact Report for the swimming pool complex proposed for

Rosita Park. This report is of very serious concern to almost everyone living in the Rosita neighborhood and should be of concern to all residents of Los Altos. The report concludes that increasing the vehicle trips per day on Rosita Avenue to as high as 2,500 per day does not represent a significant impact upon the neighborhood.

If the city council does indeed approve an allowable 2,500 vehicle trips per day on Rosita Avenue, a residential street, then a precedent will have been established for any other residential street in Los Altos. Definition of the acceptable traffic level for residential streets is supposedly in the General Plan, but in fact it is buried in a background report and it is doubtful the council even knew of its contents when they approved the General Plan.

Public hearings to specifically establish allowable traffic levels on Los Altos streets have not been held. We should all ask ourselves, Is this what we want for Los Altos?

Let's put 2,500 vehicle trips per day in perspective. Over a 12-hour period, that averages out to a car passing a residence on a residential street every 17 seconds. With normal traffic flow, there would be long periods of time when residents could not pull out of their driveways. In the case of the swimming pool at the end of Rosita Avenue, there is a real possibility that lines of 100 or more cars will be trying to enter and exit the site at the same time. A line of 100 cars is about half a mile long. The congestion at intersections in a residential neighborhood will be significant, and perhaps a threat to public safety. Is this what we all want for our residential neighborhoods in Los Altos? If not, then we must all make our voices heard before the city council considers approving the Environmental Impact Report for the swimming pool complex at Rosita Park.

Thanks to Los Altos emergency personnel

Pat Christofferson

At 8 a.m. on Nov. 6, I called 911 because of a malfunctioning wall heater. I told the dispatcher that I didn't know whether it was an emergency or not, but the dispatcher asked, "Are you physically able to get out of the house?" I was, and she told me to get out of the house immediately and wait for help.

First on the scene was Officer Beveridge of the Los Altos Police Department. Shortly afterward, the firetruck arrived with three firemen. After they checked the heater, checked for gas leaks and pronounced everything OK, I started to apologize for having called 911. They told me, "Don't apologize. You did the right thing by calling us."

I have lived in Los Altos for 48 years, and I still love living here. We should all be grateful - I know I am - for the professional, efficient personnel who serve our community. Thanks, guys!

Problems with final Rosita EIR

Eric Lutkin

I am writing regarding the Final Environmental Impact Report (FEIR) for the proposed aquatic center at Rosita Park that City Council will review on Nov. 30. I believe that Los Altos does need access to community swimming and hope that a compromise on location, size and operating conditions of a swimming pool can be reached. The current two-pool proposal is not right for either the immediate neighborhood or the city.

I see the following specific problems with the FEIR. First, it asserts that the proposed Rosita Park site is the best site for the proposed center.

I would maintain not only is Rosita Park not the best site but that none of the sites discussed on pages 294 and 295 (the two foldout pages of the report) are appropriate for such a complex. These two pages provide telling evidence of the unsuitability of any of these locations for such a complex in terms of the five criteria listed for selection (reasonable access, least impact on neighborhood, provide adequate parking, least net impact on park/area and meets present and future aquatic needs). None of the locations scores more than two "good" ratings, with the rest of the ratings being either fair or poor. The Rosita Park location scores particularly poorly, with only one "good," two "fair" and two "poor". The Hillview Community Center, among others, has better scores with two "good," two "fair" and one "poor."

I would also suggest that the apricot orchard at the civic center would be a more viable location for this complex. While it may sadden some to lose a small link to the agricultural past of the community the city council could convert this area to an alternative use with a simple vote.

Second, this decision would set a precedent that at least 2,260 car trips per day are acceptable on all residential streets in Los Altos.

The assertion of this report is that physical capacity will be a major determinant of the amount of traffic a street can bear. This report will establish a floor of 2,260 car trips per day for all residential streets in Los Altos. As other issues come before council the issue of traffic may become much less relevant unless total traffic exceeds 2,260 car trips per day, much to the consternation of people living on quiet residential streets.

Given these major problems I strongly urge the city not to proceed with this bad project for both the Rosita Park neighborhood and Los Altos.

Clarke's closes - a sad day

Clay and Gloria Buckley

It's a sad day in Los Altos. Clarke's Charcoal Broiler restaurant at Rancho Shopping Center has closed its doors due to bankruptcy. Another Los Altos dining place has gone out of business because of a lack of customers.

For years, we have dined there because of great food, charm and atmosphere for children of young parents and specials for seniors.

Clarke's was a meeting place for Sunday brunch after attending services across the expressway. I remember the summer luncheons under the umbrellas on the patio with lots of ice tea.

Clarke's participated in all the Rancho events, such as the pancake breakfast. We loved it and will miss it.

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