Fri07252014

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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Pasadena offers more than roses


Traci Newell/Town Crier
Pasadena’s Huntington Library, Art Collections and Botanical Gardens boasts the scenic Japanese Garden.

Like many destinations in Southern California, Pasadena boasts some eccentricities, but the delights of its Old Town Historic District entertain and amuse visitors.

Old Town comes alive after dark with its fine-dining establishments and assortment of shops along Colorado Boulevard. That’s the same Colorado Boulevard that the Little Old Lady terrorized in the eponymous Beach Boys song.

Most people know Pasadena courtesy of the Tournament of Roses Parade, held annually on New Year’s Day. The tradition began in 1890 to draw attention to the city filled with roses – even on chilly Jan. 1.

But there’s more to the city than just roses.

What to do

• Vroman’s Bookstore, 695 E. Colorado Blvd. – the end of the main drag, has sold books since original proprietor Adam Vroman opened his doors in 1894. Vroman, who hailed from LaSalle, Ill., also sold photographic supplies. His passion for photography and his shots of the Wild West and Native Americans influenced Ansel Adams’ work.

The store carries an extensive selection of fine-writing tools and stationery as well.

If you visit, stock up on magazines you won’t find elsewhere. I spent $90 on everything from French Vogue to British photography publications.

• The Huntington Library, Art Collections and Botanical Gardens, 1151 Oxford Road in nearby San Marino, are worth at least a day trip. Founded by Henry E. Huntington and his wife, Arabella, the grounds became a nonprofit institution in 1919.

Huntington’s backstory included an apprenticeship under his uncle in the Southern Pacific railroad business. He had four children with his first wife, and then, at the age of 60, he married his uncle’s widow, Arabella, a wealthy woman who loved collecting art. Together, they grew the collection visitors see today.

The library is currently closed for remodeling, but there’s so much else to see that you won’t miss it much. For future reference, though, the library’s rare-book collection includes a Gutenberg Bible and early editions of Shakespeare’s works. Scholars from around the world visit to do research.

The surrounding 207-acre gardens are divided into 12 themes: Children’s, Australian, Camellia, Japanese, Shakespeare, Chinese, Subtropical, Desert, Rose, Herb, Palm and Lily Pond. There’s also a conservatory with orchids and jungle flowers.

Despite the hot day, we toured the Desert gardens, full of cacti from several different lands, and the humid conservatory of flowers. An exhibit of orchids mesmerized us. The Children’s Garden, with its sparkly cacti dotting the fences and arching gates, delighted youngsters going in and out.

We also entered the museum to browse the Huntington’s art collection, which includes Thomas Gainsborough’s “The Blue Boy,” Mary Cassatt’s “Breakfast in Bed” and Frederic Remington’s bronze sculpture “Bronco Buster.”

Summer hours are 10:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. daily, except Tuesdays. Admission is $20-$23 adults, $15-$18 seniors, $12-$13 students, $8 youth and free for children under 5. Parking is free.

For more information, visit www.huntington.org.

Where to stay

Check into the Courtyard Los Angeles Pasadena/Old Town Marriott, 180 N. Fair Oaks Ave., downtown for a family-friendly stay. Valet parking is expensive at $22 daily, but street parking is tough to find. Rooms are comfortable – ours had a king bed and sofa, a refrigerator to store snacks, plenty of drawer and closet space and a large bathroom. Outdoor amenities include a pool and whirlpool.

Rates start at $179 for a king, not including breakfast. Groupon offers discounts.

For reservations, call (888) 236-2427.

Where to eat

• For a hearty first meal of the day, I recommend the Zagat-rated Russell’s cafe, 30 N. Fair Oaks Ave. Just take a left turn after exiting the front door of the Marriott and walk two blocks or so.

The decor is rich, with heavy crystal chandeliers and Modigliani and Van Gogh prints on the walls.

I tried the cheese omelet and my companion had corned-beef hash. Portions were large and not greasy. It’s definitely a good breakfast stop, with moderate prices.

• We enjoyed a late dinner at Louise’s Trattoria, 2 E. Colorado Blvd., serving traditional handmade Italian fare.

• We followed dinner with a nightcap at The Melting Pot fondue restaurant and bar, 88 W. Colorado Blvd. The Melting Pot serves fondue on electric plates built into the bar, or you can eat at a booth. Dessert fondues start at $7.95.

For more information, visit oldpasadena.org.

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