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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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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Los Altos Hills Briefs

In its first meeting of the new year, the Los Altos Hills City Council met Jan. 24 to discuss the state’s new Complete Streets policy, private roads and a single-use plastic bag ban, among other items. Below is a roundup of issues on the agenda.

The next meeting is scheduled 6 p.m. Feb. 21 in the Los Altos Hills Town Hall Council Chambers, 26379 W. Fremont Road.

Streets resolution passes with reservations

With a 3-2 vote, the council narrowly passed a resolution to adopt the California Complete Streets Act of 2008 (AB 1358) – an unfunded state mandate that requires the town to revise its circulation plan to accommodate a “balanced, multimodal transportation network” by Jan. 1, 2014.

By accepting the resolution, the town becomes eligible for up to $186,000 in project funding from the Metropolitan Transportation Committee through a One Bay Area Grant.

Planning Director Debbie Pedro wrote in a memo that Los Altos Hills would “incorporate Complete Streets infrastructure into existing streets to improve the safety and convenience of users … with the particular goal of creating a connected network.”

The new advisory guidelines of the Complete Streets policy are intended to help the state reduce greenhouse gases and facilitate a shift in transportation patterns to include more public transit, bicycling and walking. In reviewing the Complete Streets policy, the council would have the authority to make exceptions to recommendations if program requirements were not sensitive to local conditions.

Some councilmembers and residents were hesitant to adopt the resolution, wary about the bill’s implications and whether it could impact the town’s rural character.

“You’re going to shackle the town’s residents and the town itself with things that are not in our best interest,” said Planning Commissioner Jim Abraham.

With an influx of growth in neighboring Palo Alto, Abraham expressed concern that the new policy might limit the town’s ability to control its own transportation growth.

“This is state law,” responded City Manager Carl Cahill. “You’re not going to have to turn Fremont Road into a four-lane throughway for Stanford traffic.”

Private roads study session

Responding to a recent flurry of residents struggling to find the resources and neighborhood cooperation necessary to resurface or upgrade their aging private streets, councilmembers plan to schedule a public study session.

“What one person thinks is a deficient roadway, another thinks is OK,” said City Manager Carl Cahill.

The city may consider assisting residents by establishing a framework to draft proposals that include the setup of roadway maintenance agreements, in-lieu fees or state funding structures.

Uncomfortable with the prospect of making the decision without input from the Planning Commission and the public, the council directed town staff to schedule a study session including all interested parties.

Open Space Committee supports bag ban

Although Los Altos Hills’ only commercial operations are Foothill College and the food trucks that linger on campus, members of the town’s Open Space Committee urged the council to expand its February 2012 polystyrene container and nonrecyclable food containers ban to include single-use plastic bags.

“This is largely a symbolic gesture to show solidarity with other cities in the area,” said Open Space Committee member George Clifford.

Councilman John Harpootlian objected, saying it wasn’t appropriate for Los Altos Hills to be “pontificating” on the issue when the town lacks a commercial center and doesn’t have “skin in this game.”

The council resolved to allow staff to draft a bag-ban amendment that could be discussed at a future meeting.

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