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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Traffic expert promotes roundabouts for Los Altos


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

Traffic expert Michael Wallwork extols the safety benefits of roundabouts in Los Altos at a May 15 forum.

A traffic expert deems roadway roundabouts an ideal solution that demands a second look from skeptical Los Altos residents.

“Even a bad roundabout works,” said Michael Wallwork, a transportation engineer whose mission is to take the traffic-calming mechanism mainstream.

Since constructing Melbourne, Australia’s first roundabout in the 1970s, Wallwork has designed 800 roundabouts across the globe. He said roundabouts are not only aesthetically pleasing, but also much safer than signalized intersections. Melbourne’s 4,000 roundabouts recorded 57 accidents during a four-year study, while its 2,500 signalized intersections reported 1,352 accidents during a similar period.

Wallwork appeared at the Los Altos Forward-sponsored forum “Picture This: Roundabouts in Los Altos?” May 15, weighing in on a proposed roundabout at the convergence of San Antonio Road, Main Street and West Edith Avenue.

“It’s an expanse of asphalt,” he said of the current condition of the busy three-way intersection. “Each movement is working on a different phase, making waits long.”

Installing an elliptical roundabout at the intersection would benefit both pedestrians and motorists, according to Wallwork. Instead of waiting at a signal, he added, drivers could seamlessly merge into a traffic circle, yielding to pedestrians as they cross San Antonio to and from downtown to the civic center area.

Assistant City Manager James Walgren said the city has studied installing a roundabout as part of the Civic Center Master Plan, an effort to make the intersection “safer, more visual.”

Walgren emphasized that the redesign of the intersection could not only shorten the pedestrian link, but also allow the creation of a more appealing gateway entrance to downtown. Although further study by a traffic engineer, public review and council approval are still needed, he added, the vision for a roundabout is one that could come to fruition if the city secures project funding.

A recent proposal for a roundabout at the intersection of Fremont Avenue and Fallen Leaf Lane met with opposition from neighborhood residents.

“The concerns people have are the same in every community,” Wallwork said.

Because the roundabout concept is new to many U.S. cities, Wallwork said he frequently meets with residents to dispel misinformation about pedestrian and cycling safety as well as fire truck and emergency personnel navigation through traffic circles. With pre-project education, he said, proposals move forward 90 percent of the time.

When a roundabout is well designed, safety and operations improve immediately, according to Wallwork. Although the initial expense for a roundabout may be higher than stop signs or traffic signals, he added, the reduction in accidents and fatalities justifies the cost.

“It’s up to the people whether they move forward or give up,” Wallwork said of roundabouts in Los Altos.

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