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...

Read more:

Loading...

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...

Read more:

Loading...

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 ...

Read more:

Loading...

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...

Read more:

Loading...

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...

Read more:

Loading...

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...

Read more:

Loading...

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.

Read more:

Loading...

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...

Read more:

Loading...

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 ...

Read more:

Loading...

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...

Read more:

Loading...

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...

Read more:

Loading...

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...

Read more:

Loading...

Getting ready: Haugh About That?

At the door to my bedroom, my father stood in his dark-blue suit tapping his foot. Staring at his 16-year-old daughter, he ordered: “Jackie, hurry up. We’re going to be late.”

In the Madden family, punctuality was right up there with perfect manners and good hygiene. We were never allowed to be late for anything. Being tardy for school, church or dinner was equal to a mortal sin. It was a sign of disrespect and punishable with near death, or at least a good grounding.

“Dad, I still have five minutes,” I hissed, desperately trying not to be insolent. “You can’t rush a girl when she’s in the final stages of fluffing herself.”

And with his signature “harrumph,” he pointed at his watch and said, “You just wasted one minute. You have four left.”

Since I was a child, I’ve found it amazing that he could shower and shave in less time than it took to pour a bowl of cereal. I, on the other hand, seemed to need an entire day. Now, I often reflect on how the tables have turned as I watch my 96-year-old father get ready to make his final journey home.

Each day starts with a simple routine – a sponge bath in bed followed by breakfast. Once completed, it’s off to his tattered and worn-out recliner for a day filled with what appears to be devoid of anything substantial. With his eyes closed, he looks like he’s asleep, but I know better.

Jack Madden is a gentle man who converses with the Lord daily. In those quiet hours, he connects with the spiritual world. I know my mother is calling him to come be with her, but he’s not ready. He has things to think about, a lifetime to remember and people to pray for.

This enormous job of caring for my dad has me constantly re-evaluating the gift we call life and a family’s involvement. Why do some die young and others live way past what is deemed reasonable? Has medical science gone too far in keeping people alive longer than they should be? Is it a requirement that adult children take on the caregiving of their aging parent after they’ve just raised their own children? There is no right or wrong answer to such questions. Only what works for the people involved.

Years ago, I made a promise I’d never leave my father alone in a nursing home, a vow that definitely has had its mixed blessings.

I often find myself feeling trapped in a house that smells of adult diapers. The floors and walls of my once pristine-looking home are now permanently scarred with divots from the metal spokes of his wheelchair, and sometimes my heart rages over the unfairness of it all.

But the rewards are many. With my dad by my side each day, I’ve learned not only about my heritage and the incredible human being I’m proud to call my father, but about humanity – especially mine. While it hasn’t always been a pretty sight, I’ve learned to set aside my selfishness to put this treasured individual first. Doing the right thing feels wonderful.

So, as I watch him get ready to give me that last goodnight kiss, I pray, “God, let him take all the time he needs for that reunion that awaits in heaven.” As far as I’m concerned, this is one time my daddy can be impolite and throw punctuality out the window. I’m thrilled he’s too busy to die, because I’m too selfish to let him go.

Schools »

Schools
Read More

Sports »

sports
Read More

People »

people
Read More

Special Sections »

Special Sections
Read More

Photos of Los Altos

photoshelter
Browse and buy photos