Wed07292015

News

Bacteria in water supply put Los Altos on high alert

Bacteria in water supply put Los Altos on high alert


Eliza Ridgeway/Town Crier
In the wake of an E. coli alert, Los Altos resident Lou Dadok stocks up on bottled water at the downtown Safeway.

California Water Service Co. earlier this week enacted emergency response protocol and alerted hundreds of L...

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Schools

BCS hosts Stretch to Kindergarten program for underserved youth

BCS hosts Stretch to Kindergarten program for underserved youth


Traci Newell/Town Crier
The six-week, tuition-free Stretch to Kindergarten program, hosted at Bullis Charter School, serves children who have not attended preschool. A teacher leads children in singing about the parts of a butterfly, above.

Local un...

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Community

Google car painting project calls on artists

Google car painting project calls on artists


Google self-driving car

Already known as an innovator in the tech field, Google Inc. is now moving in on the art world.

The Mountain View-based company July 11 launched the “Paint the Town” contest, a “moving art experiment” that invites Califo...

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Sports

Pedaling with a purpose

Pedaling with a purpose


courtesy of
Rishi Bommannan Rishi Bommannan cycled from Bates College in Maine to his home in Los Altos Hills, taking several selfies along the way. He also raised nearly $13,000 for the Livestrong Foundation, which supports cancer patients.

When R...

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Comment

The truth about coyotes: Other Voices

The Town Crier’s recent article on coyotes venturing down from the foothills in search of sustenance referenced the organization Project Coyote (“Recent coyote attacks keep residents on edge,” July 1). Do not waste your time contac...

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Special Sections

Grant Park senior program made permanent

Grant Park senior program made permanent


Photos by Alicia Castro/Town Crier
Local residents participate in an exercise class at the Grant Park Senior Center, above. Betsy Reeves, below left with Gail Enenstein, lobbied for senior programming in south Los Altos.

It all began when Betsy Reev...

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Business

New State Street rug retailer has downtown Los Altos covered

New State Street rug retailer has downtown Los Altos covered


Alicia Castro/Town Crier
Los Altos Rug Gallery owner Fahim Karimi stocks his State Street store with a wall-to-wall array of floor coverings.

A new downtown business owner plans to roll out the red carpet – along with rugs of every other color...

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Books

Book Signings

• Fritz and Nomi Trapnell have scheduled a book-signing party 4-6 p.m. Aug. 1 at their home, 648 University Ave., Los Altos.

Fritz and his daughter, Dana Tibbitts, co-authored “Harnessing the Sky: Frederick ‘Trap’ Trapnell, ...

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People

GRACE WILSON FRANKS

GRACE WILSON FRANKS

Resident of Los Altos

Grace Wilson Franks, our beloved mother and grandmother, left us peacefully on July 16, 2015 just a few weeks short of her 92nd birthday. She was born to Ross and Florence (Cruzan) Wilson in rural Tulare, California on Septem...

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Travel

Gearing up: Make travel more civilized with accessories

Gearing up: Make travel more civilized with accessories


Eren Göknar/Special to the Town Crier
San Francisco-based humangear Inc. sells totes, tubes and tubs for traveling.

In travel, as in romance, it’s the little things that count.

Beyond the glossy brochures lie the travel discomforts too mun...

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Stepping Out

Going out with a 'Bang'

Going out with a 'Bang'


Richard Mayer/Special to the Town Crier
“Chitty Chitty Bang Bang” stars, clockwise from top left, Alexander Sanchez, Sophia Sturiale, Deborah Rosengaus and Danny Martin.

Los Altos Stage Company and Los Altos Youth Theatre’s joint production of t...

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Spiritual Life

Build a 'light' house and get out of that dark place

Most of us have a place inside our hearts and minds that occasionally causes us trouble. For some, it is sadness, depression or despair. For others, it may be fear, anger, resentment or myriad other emotional “dark places” that at times seem to hij...

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Magazine

Inside Mountain View

Residents gather at NASA Ames for Pluto Flyby event

Residents gather at NASA Ames for Pluto Flyby event


Megan V. Winslow/Town Crier
NASA Ames’ Pluto Flyover event kindles the imaginations of young attendees.

Sue Moore watched the July 20, 1969, moon landing beside patients and staff members of the San Francisco hospital where she worked as a nurse...

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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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