Fri08012014

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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Special Sections

Long live the lawn: Los Altos native offers drought-resistant strategies

Long live the lawn: Los Altos native offers drought-resistant strategies


Bill Steiner’s grass is green, left, even amid the drought. He followed Max Todd’s water and maintainence instructions after having his lawn aerated, Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier

Green lawns are not necessarily on the endangered list during the d...

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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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Pinewood aims for campus upgrade


Photo By: Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Photo Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier

Pinewood School addresses issues such as vehicle queuing with a proposed upgrade for its campus at 327 Fremont Ave.

The Los Altos Planning and Transportation Commission is scheduled to review plans to upgrade Pinewood School’s middle campus at 327 Fremont Ave. Aug. 2, according to Pinewood President Scott Riches.

The now-defunct Architecture and Site Review Committee recommended approval of the private school’s plan in late June.

According to a city staff report, the upgrade requires the demolition of six on-campus buildings comprising slightly more than 8,000 square feet. Five new one-story buildings totaling more than 17,000 square feet would replace those buildings, Riches said. The plans also would add a two-lane driveway spanning the front of the school for a student drop-off and pickup area.

The administration building – the former home of Riches’ grandparents, Gwen and Victor Riches – would remain intact, as would the theater building, Riches said.

He noted that the upgrade is necessary because of the cramped environment and added that they redesigned the school in conformance with the “look and feel” of the surrounding residential neighborhood.

“We wanted to take into consideration the school’s needs and at the same time design a campus to meet the neighbors’ needs as well,” said Riches, who noted that the school does not intend to increase its current 175-student enrollment.

Riches said the school hosted five community meetings to discuss the design with surrounding residents and met individually with several in addition. The result, he said, includes a U-shaped design for the new buildings that should help shield the surrounding homes from noise pollution and resolve other concerns such as parking.

“We really collaborated with the neighbors and tried to solve screening, noise and queuing issues,” said Riches, adding that the plan calls for 29 onsite parking spaces and the closure of a school entrance on Bellevue Court to discourage student drop-offs there.

Still, the longtime Pinewood president concedes that not everyone is on board with the proposed upgrade.

Part of the redevelopment plan calls for the incorporation of an adjacent 0.89-acre residential property, which served as the former headmaster’s home. A handful of nearby residents, who want it to remain a residential lot, expressed concern.

Riches said the additional school-owned land is needed to accommodate the five new buildings and the elongated driveway. The alternative of building two-story structures on the campus’ current 1.5-acre lot is “a nonstarter,” he added.

If Pinewood receives final approval, it has a two-phase construction plan scheduled for the summer of 2014 with an estimated construction duration of 18 months.

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