Wed07302014

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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State Street florist calls it quits: Alabasta closing its doors after 12-year run in Los Altos


Photo By: Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Photo Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier

An Alabasta employee, center, chats with customers last week after co-owners David Wales and John Zanders announced the May 31 closure of their State Street store.

A State Street florist is preparing to bid Los Altos a fond goodbye after a 12-year run downtown.

David Wales, co-owner of Alabasta, The Flower Shop, said he’s closing his doors permanently May 31. Wales noted that he’s shuttering his retail space at 366 State St. after encountering some “legal issues regarding a tax matter we couldn’t overcome.” He politely declined to elaborate further on the problems behind the shop’s closure.

“We’re really upset about it,” said Wales, who co-owns the business with John Zanders. “We tried to do everything we could to stay open.”

Wales, 51, said the decision to close Alabasta wasn’t easy, given that he’s spent nearly half of his life working as a florist – including the past dozen in downtown Los Altos. He added that he’s “still settling into the idea” that his business will be a thing of the past come June 1.

Wales counts numerous repeat customers among his many friends in town and said he’ll miss the atmosphere and the people of Los Altos the most.

“In many ways, we’re fortunate,” said Wales, who discounted his merchandise and fixtures 35 percent through his close at the end of the month. “In this business, you get to know people during their darkest times and their happiest times. You get close to them. … The community has been very, very kind to us.”

Los Altos Chamber of Commerce President Julie Rose said Alabasta’s departure is a loss that will be felt throughout the community. She noted that the shop often donated to several local events and charities without hesitation.

“They donated to everything,” she said. “They’re very present.”

Among other things, Rose added that the business, a chamber member, donates table centerpieces annually for the “State of the Cities” luncheon.

“They’re really going to be missed,” she said. “They’re so unique. They are one of those businesses that make our town unique. They’re a draw – people come to Los Altos because of them. It’s sad to see this happen.”

As for the future, Wales said he hasn’t had much time to ponder life without Alabasta. He added that while he hasn’t given up on the idea of one day returning to Los Altos as a retailer, he is currently focused on closing as smoothly as possible.

“It’s a lot of work dissolving 12 years,” he noted, adding that he anticipates taking time off this summer to “relax a little bit and reflect on life.”

For now, Wales said he’s trying to move forward into an uncertain future while mustering a positive outlook.

“I try to think that every time a door closes, a window opens,” he said. “Who knows? Maybe something better will happen.”

For more information, visit www.alabastatheflowershop.com.

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