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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Letters to the Editor

Former BCS supporter frustrated with lawsuits

This letter is to Bullis Charter School. I used to be one of your supporters. As a parent whose child didn’t fit the Los Altos School District system, I was frustrated that there were no alternative/magnet schools and no Independent Study programs. I watched more than just my child slip through the system. So I felt the charter school brought value to our community by offering another option.

But my support has waned. The district is growing rapidly and can’t afford to give up a campus. It is not unreasonable to ask charter students to attend middle school on a different campus. Our district students do that. The district’s offerings have seemed fair, so it is frustrating to watch the charter school counter everything with a lawsuit. That is wasted money!

I’m glad you’re surveying the community. I think you’ll find that past supporters are no longer standing behind you. The costs of the charter school are outweighing the benefits. I’m not saying we don’t need a charter school, because we definitely need alternatives! But we don’t need any more lawsuits. I hope you’ll reconsider the constant courtroom battles. There’s too much damage being done – to our education system and to this community.

Anna Durante

Los Altos

BCS can help build trust

I am hoping to collaborate with Bullis Charter School parents to find and fund new school sites to accommodate the growth of both the Los Altos School District and charter school populations.

Unfortunately, I feel defensive. Bullis Charter School is aggressively marketing to grow as large as possible while they litigate nonstop, forcing the district to spend resources defending themselves instead of on initiatives to improve its schools.

My perception is that the charter school’s ultimate goal may be to close down a local school(s), which would not only affect my children’s education, but as importantly my neighborhood’s entire social fabric. Local schools are not just about the classroom, but seeing the same friends at school as at your neighborhood every-other-Friday block parties, group trips for spring break, etc.

As a district parent, I’d have more trust that charter school officials are really compromising if they stop suing and state explicitly that they would not close a neighborhood school. With this in hand, I am ready to work with Bullis Charter School parents to find and fund new school sites together.

Mike Capuano

Los Altos

Los Altos: Don’t ignore teen market

As a teen, it has come to my attention that downtown Los Altos is a charming, unique place that has many boutiques and little stores that you wouldn’t be able to find anywhere else in the Bay Area.

Many people from urban places like to come to our town to shop simply because it has more individualistic stores with products you won’t see every day. However, to teens and young adults, having an entire town of boutiques can sometimes be less interesting.

I don’t think I can ever remember a single person my age wanting to go downtown to shop for clothing; the only thing we teens come downtown to do is walk around and eat. I know that about 20 years ago, Los Altos decided it didn’t want any chain or big mall stores to have shops downtown. I agree it is fun to have some stores you have never heard of, but in a way this decision to cut off all chain stores has backfired.

Right now, I would say that the only group they are appealing to is mothers and older women, because the small stores around town have more mature clothing.

I think that if Los Altos really wants to stick to its idea of being a small town, it can let in a few popular stores and still keep it that way. I mean, would it really hurt to have one Hollister Co. store at the edge of town? It doesn’t seem like that would ruin the charming feeling of Los Altos.

If the town continues to stay the same as 20 years ago, everyone from ages 11 to 25 will just become increasingly uninterested and keep going to places in Palo Alto and to big malls like Valley Fair in San Jose.

If there were one or two popular teenage stores in town, it would not only attract more business, but would most likely be extremely well attended.

There is a huge market for teens in Los Altos and I know from personal experience that I don’t get to go to the stores that I like very often because my mom doesn’t want to drive me all the way to San Jose.

Even if the town agreed to let in, at most, three chain stores, I think it would make a huge difference.

Pretending that what customers want is the same as 20 years ago won’t work, but compromising while keeping town values at the top of the list could make Los Altos a more sought-after spot for any age group.

Katie Jo Shuman

Los Altos Hills

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