Wed07302014

News

‘Brown is the new green,’ says local water district

‘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 spendi...

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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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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

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

CARSTEN 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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First Street mail drop-boxes to get new home


Photo By: Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Photo Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier The city may soon relocate the five U.S. Postal Service collection boxes on First Street to a pair of downtown parking plaza sites. The boxes receive 2,000 pieces of mail daily.

The five U.S. Postal Service drive-thru collection boxes along First Street will soon have new homes. Exactly where, however, remains to be seen.

The Los Altos City Council June 25 directed the Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Commission to review the $9,000 proposal to relocate four of the five mailboxes – currently across the road from the former post office site on First Street – to two downtown parking plazas.

The decision for review results from Los Altos Public Works Director Jim Gustafson’s explanation that the relocation of the mail collection area, accessed by motorists via a drive-thru lane on the First Street sidewalk, is needed as a safety measure. He said the area is likely to see increased pedestrian traffic following the First Street streetscape construction and additional projects, including Safeway, the 100 First St. condominium complex and the 400 Main St. mixed-use development.

“As First Street has progressed, a need has been identified to kind of ‘de-conflict’ the pedestrian-vehicle situation at the First Street array of mailboxes,” said Gustafson, who noted that the five boxes collectively receive approximately 2,000 pieces of mail daily.

A city staff report recommended that two of the boxes be relocated to the end of a drive aisle in Parking Plaza 2 near Second Street and two placed at the end of a drive aisle in Parking Plaza 3, behind Chase Bank near Third Street.

The second location, however, proved to be a point of contention. Councilwoman Megan Satterlee said the proposed Plaza 3 drop-off location offered limited vehicle access, noting that the aisle – and by extension, the mailboxes – could only be accessed by motorists via a plaza entrance at San Antonio Road near Main Street.

“I don’t think that (Plaza 3) location is going to provide the convenience that people expect,” she said. “I think there’s going to be a lot of complaints and disuse.”

Councilwoman Val Carpenter agreed, calling the Plaza 3 location “terrible,” while offering an alternative suggestion.

“You’ll be shocked to hear this – I’m actually willing to give up a parking place or two in order to achieve a location there,” she said. “I appreciate that staff has tried not to impact any of the current parking in that parking plaza, but I think that is an important aspect that we should have.”

Councilwoman Jeannie Bruins, meanwhile, questioned whether one of the proposed drop-box locations might be better situated in a parking plaza closer to State Street.

Gustafson told the Town Crier that the Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Commission would review the proposal later this summer. No date has been confirmed.

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