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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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CSMA classes serve developmentally disabled, autistic students


Photo By: Eliza Ridgeway/Town Crier
Photo Eliza Ridgeway/Town Crier

Kyle Sofman, right, accompanies Molly, who grew up in Los Altos, during a class at the Community School of Music and Arts. Donations enable people with autism and developmental disabilities to take CSMA’s music and art classes at no charge.

Jangling musical shakers and smacking mallets on marimbas, students act out a love for rhythm and noise in the Artistic Intelligence Program at the Community School of Music and Arts. The racket they raise, though, has special meaning. For many of the autistic and developmentally disabled participants, sensory experience brings special challenges – and opportunities for success.

“A lot of them come here with issues about being out in the world and the kind of input they have to deal with,” said Linda Covello, director of CSMA’s art school, who explained that the music classroom in Mountain View is “a safe environment where they can react to crazy sounds and different materials.”

The program provides art and music classes for approximately 50 teens and adults who live on the Peninsula and in the South Bay. Students come from the Morgan Autism Center (based in San Jose, formerly in Los Altos), Abilities United (Palo Alto) and AchieveKids (Palo Alto and San Jose). They participate in the classes at no charge, thanks to fundraising by CSMA and partner organizations.

On a recent afternoon, students from AchieveKids and the Morgan Autism Center crooned “What a Wonderful World,” matching illustrations of skies of blue and trees of green to the lyrics as they went. The music class provided a venue for different groups to work together. Covello said CSMA sees the arts as an opportunity to practice the interaction and communication that go into teaming up on a musical piece.

One student who grew up in Los Altos, Molly, jumped up to help lead the class every time she had an opportunity to join teacher Kyle Sofman at the front of the room. Molly provided a one-woman rhythm section as backup for Sofman’s zither, later wielding the lyric cheat-sheet for “Do-Re-Mi.” Molly’s gleeful interest in the musical process reflects the program’s aim to provide a friendly, comfortable place for learning new tunes and showing off one’s choral initiative.

“They get to mix with a larger population,” Covello said. “Much of their world is one-on-one or small group. The social experience (at CSMA) is almost as important as the music and art.”

Covello has watched students move from initial stress from the unfamiliar setting and materials of CSMA’s art class to an excited response. Engaging in the artistic process, practicing self-expression and working with new media give students an outlet worth celebrating, she said.

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