Wed07302014

News

‘Brown is the new green,’ says local water district

‘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 spendi...

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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

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

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

CARSTEN 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

LAH needs board for architectural review

I appreciated the Town Crier’s article on the Los Altos Hills planning process (“LAH planning permits anything but fast track,” July 25).

I am one of the neighbors who objected to the structure on Sunset Drive and would like to offer a neighbor’s viewpoint that is different from what was communicated in the article. The article said the applicant’s design fulfilled town ordinances; these are the numerical and mathematical formulas needed to gain approval.

However, the clarification that should really be in the article is the following. The city council on the night of the hearing indicated that this project would probably not have been approved if there had been an architectural review board. This house does not fit the spirit and intent of any of the Los Altos Hills planning guidelines regarding size, placement of structures and following the natural grade of the lot. But the council approved it anyway because the members felt bad for the applicant.

This is really a terrible situation. The neighbors were correct in their objection to the project as it pertains to the spirit and intent of guidelines, yet the council approved it anyway. Why did the council not feel bad for the neighbors who have lived there for many years? They felt bad for the applicant who spent 18 months there, but not for the longtime residents of the neighborhood.

So, in effect, the applicant gets away with building something that does not merit being built in the neighborhood. And the neighborhood will be permanently left with a structure that didn’t make sense to build.

I certainly appreciate Councilman Jean Mordo’s recommendation to consider establishing an architectural review board. I am very hopeful that something like this is implemented. It’s too late for our neighborhood, but maybe it will help make for a better process for all involved in future developments.

Mark Solle

Los Altos Hills

How would 50-year plan for Los Altos look?

A comprehensive 50-year plan for Los Altos would avoid the risk of solving one problem and adversely affecting others. If you start with the primary focus that dual-income families with school-age children and the 50+ individuals are two primary constituencies, then what follows is one alternative.

Schools: Top-performing schools is a core value for Los Altos and what attracts young families. The city needs to work aggressively with the school district to turn Hillview into a school.

50+: A 50+ Center/Campus should be built that incorporates social, intellectual and educational opportunities for a more vibrant aging sector.

Library: Build a new library downtown (e.g., Third Street between Main and State streets). There is a lot of energy right now to make Los Altos a town people want to go to shop, eat and hang out. More than 500,000 people enter the library each year.

Parking: The city should issue municipal bonds to build two parking structures between Main and State. A downtown library solves the library parking issue, and as developers expand properties, payments for additional required parking could eventually eliminate this low-cost debt.

David Smith

Los Altos

Packard Foundation sorry for wrong info

In a July 11 Letter to the Editor (“Public turned away from Packard open house”), Lou Wolner expressed his concern about not being given access to The David and Lucile Packard Foundation’s new building when he arrived the afternoon of June 29.

Wolner was apparently given incorrect information from someone at the foundation, and we regret that error.

However, all other promotion efforts for the community tours contained correct information.

The correct information: We offered tours to the community 9-10:30 a.m. June 29, and we hosted more than 100 people who preregistered for those tours. On the afternoon of June 29, the foundation hosted a private ribbon-cutting ceremony primarily for foundation leadership and our employees. Wolner unfortunately appeared for the ribbon-cutting ceremony instead of registering for the tours.

We are delighted by the interest in our new building shown by individuals like Wolner, and we are making our best efforts to accommodate the demand and interest from the community in touring the inside.

In the meantime, we appreciate people’s patience and understanding as we continue to focus on this and on supporting our many grantees both near and far.

Minna Jung

Communications director

The David and Lucile Packard Foundation

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