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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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Alum Rock charter school broadens aspirations


Photo By: Traci newell/Town Crier
Photo Traci Newell/Town Crier

Javier Hernandez, a seventh-grade student at Downtown College Prep Alum Rock, uses Khan Academy resources during math class.

For students new to DCP Alum Rock, a charter school in San Jose, the sense of community is striking.

“Here is my family,” said seventh-grader Pedro Castillo. “It’s a second home. I spend eight hours a day here, sometimes more than I sleep. This school is different – it has a community. There are always people who will watch your back and teachers will actually help you.”

The Downtown College Prep program, which includes a high school campus near downtown San Jose, began as an alternative for students in low-income and predominantly Latino neighborhoods. Its model for education includes helping students reach their grade level and beyond in math and reading and preparing families for their student’s journey to college.

Currently in its second year, DCP Alum Rock serves slightly fewer than 300 sixth- through eighth-graders within the Alum Rock Union Elementary School District. The Downtown College Prep model prepares underachieving students to thrive at four-year universities. The school plans to expand through 12th grade eventually.

“I like DCP a lot because they help you focus and they don’t let you go off course,” said Mikilynna Taufete’e, the eighth-grade student council treasurer. “I went to a public school, and it is really different because people there only give you a textbook. Here they cover all learning styles – hearing, seeing and hands-on.”

The school uses any tools necessary to reach all students. Teachers are armed with a host of technology programs, including Khan Academy, to engage students and track individual progress in math and language arts.

Los Altos Town Crier Holiday Fund money enabled the school to acquire additional updated tools for the curriculum last year. The academic results for students have been climbing, Principal David Herrera said.

“Any way you analyze the data, our students had double-digit growth in math and language arts since last year,” Herrera said.

This year the school’s largest need is to upgrade the technology associated with the school’s college lab.

“We are developing pathways so we can start communicating with our eighth- grade families about their student’s college trajectory,” said Jennifer Andaluz, DCP founder and executive director. “Each student and family is going to have their own personalized path to college plan.”

Herrera said the school focuses on helping students achieve a 3.0 grade-point average – a “magic” number that increases the likelihood of acceptance at a California State University and increases the possibility of financial aid. DCP opens a college savings fund, the College 3.0 Scholarship Fund, for students earning a 3.0 GPA or higher. Students can use the money when they transition from high school to college.

Holiday Fund money this year will also enable the school to purchase technology that can prepare students and families for college.

“This is a real school dealing with real children and the real complicated issues that young adults and families in poverty face,” Andaluz said. “We feel this school is a vehicle for giving kids that chance so they can reconceive their future.”

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