Mon07282014

News

Downtown green park pops up again in August

Downtown green park pops up again in August


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
The Third Street Green debuts Aug. 3 on the 300 block of State Street in downtown Los Altos.

Another temporary park is poised to pop up in downtown Los Altos this summer.

According to Brooke Ray Smith, community devel...

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Schools

MVLA rolls out laptop integration this fall

MVLA rolls out laptop integration this fall


Town Crier File Photo
Starting in the fall, daily use of laptops in the classroom will be standard operating procedure for students at Los Altos and Mountain View high schools as the Mountain View Los Altos Union High School District launches a pil...

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Community

Generations blend behind the scenes at 'Wizard of Oz'

Generations blend behind the scenes at 'Wizard of Oz'


Altos Youth Theatre and Los Altos Stage Company rehearse a scene from “The Wizard of Oz.” ELIZA RIDGEWAY/ TOWN CRIER

A massive troupe of young people and grownups gathered in Los Altos this summer to stage the latest iteration of a childhood sta...

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Sports

Football in July

Football in July


Town Crier file photo
Mountain View High’s Anthony Avery is among the nine local players slated to play in tonight’s Silicon Valley Youth Classic.

Tonight’s 40th annual Silicon Valley Youth Classic – also known as the Charlie...

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Comment

Pools should be included: Editorial

Los Altos residents should be receiving calls this week from city representatives conducting a survey to determine priorities for a revamped Hillview Community Center.

Notice that we did not say “civic center” – chastened by a lack of public support...

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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

Palo Alto law firm coming to 400 Main

Palo Alto law firm coming to 400 Main


Ellie Van Houtte/ Town Crier
Longtime Palo Alto law firm Thoits, Love, Hershberger & McClean plans to open an office at 400 Main St. in Los Altos after construction is complete in November.

A longtime Palo Alto law firm plans to expand int...

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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

RICHARD PATRICK BRENNAN

RICHARD PATRICK BRENNAN

Resident of Palo Alto

Richard Patrick Brennan, journalist, editor, author, adventurer, died at his Palo Alto home on July 4, 2014 at age 92. He led a full life, professionally and personally. He was born and raised in San Francisco, joined the Arm...

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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

PYT stages 'Shrek'

PYT stages 'Shrek'


Lyn Healy/Spotlight Moments Photography
Dana Cullinane plays Fiona in Peninsula Youth Theatre’s “Shrek The Musical.”

Peninsula Youth Theatre presents “Shrek The Musical” Saturday through Aug. 3 at the Mountain View Center for the Performing Arts...

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Spiritual Life

Foothills Congregational: 100 years and counting

Foothills Congregational: 100 years and counting


Courtesy of Carolyn Barnes
The newly built Los Altos church in 1914 featured a bell tower and an arched front window. Both continue as elements of the building as it stands today.

Foothills Congregational Church – the oldest church building in L...

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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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Discover Cuba: Chamber of Commerce trip promises historical, musical, artistic feast


Photo By: Courtesy of Chamber explorations
Photo Courtesy Of Chamber Explorations

Colorful American cars from the 1940s are parked in front of El Capitolio, Havana’s former seat of government. The Los Altos Chamber of Commerce has planned a guided tour of Cuba in the fall.

Move over, Jay-Z and Beyoncé.

The Los Altos Chamber of Commerce plans to shepherd 30-60 local residents on a U.S. Treasury Department-sanctioned visit to Havana, Cuba, Oct. 31 to Nov. 7.

From a tour of pedestrians-only Old Havana, a 500-year-old UNESCO World Heritage Site, to landmarks including the former state capitol El Capitolio and famed author Ernest Hemingway’s “Finca Vigía,” or Lookout Farm, the eight-day trip will spotlight the island’s music, art and history.

Hemingway lived in Cuba for 20 years, writing “The Old Man and the Sea” and “Islands in the Stream” there in the 1940s and ’50s.

Before the Fidel Castro-led Cuban Revolution, which began in 1953, crime bosses ruled the Caribbean nation and operated nightclubs like the Tropicana, where the rich and the famous came to wine and dine. The chamber tour will stop at the Tropicana for an evening of 1950s-era music and glamour. Shades of Ricky Ricardo on “I Love Lucy” reruns.

The Los Altos group will also visit a second UNESCO site, the Viñales Valley in the western province of Pinar del Río, a landscape of flat-top mountains, tobacco plantations, caves and rivers.

During a guided tour of the Francisco Donatien Cigar Factory, travelers can meet with factory workers and learn the history of fine Cuban cigars. The factory produces Cohiba and Monte Cristo cigars.

A subsequent stop at a traditional, family-owned tobacco farm and farmhouse offers cultivation, drying and cigar-rolling demonstrations. The family serves Cuban coffee in the rural setting, according to tour operators.

Other highlights:

• Plaza de la Revolución, where Castro rallied his people.

• Bocoy Rum Factory, established in 1878. Docents will discuss Cuba’s rum industry.

• Colon Cemetery, named for Christopher Columbus, established in 1876. The site includes elaborate memorials and 500 mausoleums and chapels.

• Museo de la Revolución, which holds artifacts from the revolution and the 1961 Bay of Pigs invasion.

• Museo de Guanabacoa of Santeria Orishas, which features exhibits on Santeria Afro-Cuban culture, a sugar-cane machine and an early-1900s Cadillac.

The U.S. government restricts tourists from traveling to Cuba but offers some groups and individuals government-sanctioned licenses that allow access. Those traveling to Cuba must be licensed by the U.S. Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control, which authorizes legal travel. The Cuban government requires visitors to keep logs listing their transactions and the places they’ve visited.

Tour operator Premier World Discovery/Chamber Explorations has accompanied 3,000 visitors to the communist country in the past year, said Los Altos Chamber of Commerce President Julie Rose.

Two years ago, the Los Altos Chamber sponsored a trip to China.

“Travel is a good source of fundraising for us, and we have a target audience,” she said.

According to Rose, people travel in guided groups to places they can’t easily go on their own. Last year, for example, the Chamber canceled a trip to Ireland due to lack of interest. Rose speculated that tourists can get there without a group.

“We initially were interested in Cuba because travelers can’t really go alone,” she said. “It’s forbidden fruit.”

Rose said a recent informational meeting on the Cuba trip drew at least 30 people, and most have signed up for the trip.

“I’ve been told by others who have been to Cuba that it’s a fabulous destination because of the scenery and music,” she said. “There’s also a lot of interaction with local people.”

Rose said she’s especially looking forward to the paladares, dinners held in Cubans’ homes. Cuban cuisine fuses African, Caribbean and Spanish culinary styles.

It’s also a great time to go “while it’s still the way it is” – uncommercialized, Rose said. Even in China, she added, the travelers saw Kentucky Fried Chicken and other American chains, which don’t exist in Cuba.

The trip costs $3,599 double occupancy; $450 single supplement. The cost includes round-trip airfare from Miami, hotels, meals, visa and travel insurance, tours, admissions and more.

To download a brochure, visit www.losaltoschamber.org/pdf/cuba-trip2013.pdf.

For more information, call Rose at 948-1455 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

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