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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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As a family, fit reading into each summer day


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Los Altos brothers Will and Jack Park read at the Los Altos main library. Longtime educator Elaine Sigal underscores the importance of encouraging children to read.

It almost doesn’t matter what we read as long as we are reading to ourselves and to our children.

Reading is the crux of all education and learning. Without superior reading skills, all other subjects will be harder, take more time to learn and might not interest us.

We read to our children when they are little, so why stop?

One of my favorite days when teaching school was reading a Shakespeare play in prose to my Advanced Placement students. I had them put their heads down on their desks and just listen. After they understood the format of the play and which morals, themes and characters were represented, we were able to read/act the play from a stronger stance.

Why do we stop reading to our children? Why do we not encourage them to read more? Why do we not insist that our children read for as many hours as they play video games?

Please don’t let your children spend a summer without books as their companions. Vegetation belongs in the ground, not in your children’s heads.

Following are a few suggestions to encourage your children’s reading skills.

• Read to them every day – it doesn’t matter how old they are.

• Require that they read at least an hour a day – it doesn’t need to be at one sitting.

• Help them select age-appropriate books they would enjoy.

• Use the library as a family.

• Schedule family reading time each day or night.

• Make it cool – dress up as characters, eat food from the time period, speak in accents. Enjoy it with them – you get to be a child again.

Do you remember the library reading contests? How many books did you read in a summer? Do you remember the star charts? How many of us read just to earn a star? You can offer stars to children of all ages. Encouragement doesn’t need to come in the form of a paper star, but ideally we should urge everyone to read.

I’m frequently asked whether it matters if students read a hard copy or an electronic book. My answer is that it is a personal preference. The advantage of a device is that you can travel with it. The advantage of a hard copy is that you can touch it. It doesn’t matter, as long as we all read.

Elaine Sigal is a Los Altos resident who has been an educator for more than 35 years. She is founder of MindLaunch, a tutoring, academic advising and college counseling company. For more information, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or visit mindlaunch.com.

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