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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Los Altos studies December flooding, cites wayward debris as major culprit


Photo By: Town Crier File Photo
Photo Town Crier File Photo

Residents of St. Charles Court in Los Altos wade through the nearly knee-deep water after December storms flooded their neighborhood.

Localized flooding hasn’t been a problem since the Dec. 23 storm that dumped more than 4 inches of rain in parts of Los Altos, but city officials are preparing for the next major downpour.

Unretained soil and loose vegetation were primarily to blame for the storm-drain blockage that caused flooding just before Christmas, according to a recent Los Altos Public Works Department report. The report identified problem areas that should be corrected as part of the city’s effort to prevent future incidents.

In assessing storm-response measures, the Public Works analysis concluded that debris was responsible for blocking several storm drains and inlets critical for the proper flow of rainwater into area creeks.

During a Nov. 29 pre-storm inspection of 10 stormwater hot spots – locations with a history of flooding – no problems were detected. The city’s maintenance staff regularly performs debris clearing and pipe obstruction checks to ensure the city’s readiness for flooding, the report noted.

“Our storm preparation activities typically begin in October,” said Los Altos Public Works Director Jim Gustafson. “All of the pipe outfalls that convey stormwater to Adobe, Permanente, Hale and Stevens creeks are inspected and cleared of debris and vegetation as necessary to ensure that they will perform their intended purpose before the first major storm arrives.”

To prevent future flooding incidents, city officials studied the stormwater flowing through manholes and will propose additional capital projects as part of Los Altos’ Storm Drain Master Plan. They also intend to advise residents in flood zones about the availability of sandbags and other measures that can prevent dead vegetation and loose soil from impeding the flow of storm drains.

“All of the above are intended to address conveyance of the 10-year storm event, which is approximately what we had on Dec. 23,” Gustafson said.

The city’s police dispatch team and municipal service center recorded 44 calls from 42 locations across the city during the climax of the Dec. 23 storm. Los Altos received between 1 inch and 4.28 inches of rain in a 24-hour period, resulting in the most significant impact on local streams since 1998, according to the Santa Clara Valley Water District.

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