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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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Contemporary art museum rises on Michigan State campus


Photo By: Eren Gknar/Special to the Town Crier
Photo Eren Gknar/Special To The Town Crier A traditional brick building on the Michigan State University campus, above, presents a stark contrast with the sharp, modern lines of the Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum. Lansing, Michigan’s capital, also offers a host of outdoor activities, including the Lansing River Trail, above left.

Summer is a great time of year to visit the Eli and Edythe Broad Art Museum in East Lansing, Mich., which opened last November.

With the Michigan State University campus devoid of its usual 50,000 students, visitors are free to explore the pleated stainless steel and glass trapezoidal structure at leisure.

It is also the ideal season to experience the greenery of mid-Michigan’s peaceful river trails, parks and nature centers.

An English professor would have an easy time assigning a “compare and contrast” paper to students visiting The Broad for the first time.

The Broad sits adjacent to a standard brick classroom structure typical of the first university built by land grants in 1855. By contrast, the museum, with its silver walls that appear to lack windows and doors from a distance, looks like a futuristic space ship.

The museum’s zigzagging, slanted sides – designed by London-based architect Zaha Hadid – make for perfect interior wall spaces on which to display abstract art. Hadid, a Pritzker Architecture Prize winner, created a contemporary art museum symbolizing dynamism to hold cutting-edge pieces.

Philanthropist endows alma mater

Named after the building’s primary benefactor, philanthropist and Michigan State alumnus Eli Broad and his wife, Edythe, The Broad inherited the former Kresge Art Museum’s collections.

The Kresge’s permanent works range from Greek and Roman pieces to Renaissance and modern works. Sculptors Alexander Calder, Ann Hamilton and Chuck Close are represented.

Broad, 80, built two Fortune 500 companies, including Kaufman and Broad, which later became KB Homes, building houses without basements, a Michigan anomaly. He later expanded into life insurance with SunAmerica Inc., which was purchased by AIG Inc. As a philanthropist, he was founding chairman of the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles. The Broads also operate a “lending library” of their private collection through the Broad Art Foundation.

Since its grand opening last year, The Broad has attracted a steady crowd. More than 73,000 people have visited, some drawn by the various concerts, films and lectures presented to support the artists’ works. Community outreach is key.

Founding director Michael Rush, former director of Brandeis University’s Rose Art Museum and the Palm Beach Institute of Art, publishes and lectures on art topics and hosts an Internet art radio program.

Monthly weekend family education days include hands-on activities related to the exhibitions. A recent program offered an iPad scavenger hunt.

“Blind Field,” an exhibition on obstruction of perception featuring 21 Brazilian artists, opened this month and runs through Sept. 8. Bikers can join a free ride from the Capitol Building to The Broad July 26 to discuss how perceptions of buildings differ depending on alternative modes of transportation.

A museum cafe and store overlook the sculpture gardens, but if you want dinner, head to Lansing’s historical Old Town.

 

A city in flux

With the new Broad in town, Lansing appears to be in flux.

On the way to visit the museum, I had a hard time crossing the main drag to reach the Greater Lansing Convention & Visitors Bureau. Trucks and hard-hatted construction workers blocked the road as the wind showered me with tiny black particles. Brushing myself off, I muttered, “Why do they have to do that now?”

Siri, a Convention & Visitors Bureau volunteer, said, “Because there’s only two seasons in Lansing: winter and road construction.”

In addition to touring The Broad, Lansing offers canoe and kayak rentals on the Red Cedar and Grand rivers. The city’s Class A minor league baseball team, the Lansing Lugnuts, plays all summer. Their mascot is a dinosaur named “Big Lug.”

Old Town, a quaint area on the bank of the Grand River, is home to a wide variety of shops, galleries and restaurants. A local resident recommended Aggie Mae’s Bakery, famous for its chocolate cupcakes.

Old Town likes to party – it hosts 111 festivals a year – but it’s also on the National Register of Historic Places, as is the Turner-Dodge House & Heritage Center, built circa 1858. The Lansing River Trail runs nearby, wending 13 miles throughout the area.

Pop in to some of Old Town’s antique stores, like April’s Antiques or Love, Betti, for midcentury finds that won’t take your entire paycheck. Of course, there is that little problem of getting that curio cabinet home. I found some retro giftwrap for $5 that satisfied my craving for the 1960s.

For more information, visit www.broadmuseum.msu.edu or www.lansing.org.

Two tips: Lansing, Mich.

As the capital of Michigan and home to the mighty Big Ten Michigan State Spartans, Lansing offers a wide array of accommodations and restaurants. Following are two highlights.

• For a bed-and-breakfast experience, The Wild Goose Inn at 512 Albert Ave. offers an artsy place to stay. It boasts six suites in two houses – The Goose and The Gosling. Room names match the decor: Summer Safari, Autumn Arbor, Winter Eden. A community deck with cafe tables and a fire pit joins the two houses.

Amenities include Jacuzzi tubs, gas fireplaces, cable TV and Mission-style furnishings.

Rates start at $119 per night during the week, $159 on weekends, and include full breakfast.

For reservations and more information, visit www.wildgooseinn.com.

• Californians might miss the foodie scene, but try the Soup Spoon Cafe at 1419 E. Michigan Ave. for a perfectly tasty bistro-style menu. Specialties include the $10 blackened tenderloin salad with gorgonzola and the Mediterranean salad with salami.

The cafe alternates Michigan craft beers nightly and offers a wide assortment of wines. Beware of Saturday nights, though – you will need reservations.

For reservations and more information, visit www.soupspooncafe.com.

– By Eren Göknar

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