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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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Almond fifth-graders debate taxes


Photo By: Courtesy of Corinne Finegan Machatzke
Photo Courtesy Of Corinne Finegan Machatzke

Fifth-grader Genna Landi states her argument on taxes to the opposing team during Almond School’s recent debate.

Bostonians in 1773 provided an answer to the question “Should Great Britain have taxed the colonists?” via the Boston Tea Party. More recently, before the April 15 filing deadline for U.S. taxes, fifth-graders at Almond School explored both sides of the issue through a series of formal debates conducted gradewide as part of their social studies curriculum.

Many students reported that studying colonial taxation via debate, as opposed to more traditional means, helped them to better understand that period in American history. They said they found it eye-opening to debate a point of view that they didn’t necessarily support.

Lead parent and debate organizer Scott Graeser described another outcome of the debates that surprised a fair number of students. They started to understand that Britain had some valid reasons to tax the Colonists, he said, “although perhaps Britain didn’t go about it the best of ways.”

For some, Graeser added, there was also the realization of how different the world would have been today if the Colonists and Britain had sat down and worked their differences out.

Graeser said many of the students were nervous prior to the debates, unsure of what to expect, but afterward they said it “wasn’t that bad” or “was actually kind of fun.”

“Then they started to debate who won the debate,” he said.

Joe Chan, fifth-grade and social studies teacher, agreed with the assessment of the debate’s benefits.

“The debates provided a wonderful opportunity for students to actively engage in and use their critical thinking skills,” he said. “(The debates) provided real-world experiences that the students will use in their everyday lives.”

Chan noted that through the debates, students learned better methods to prepare, organize and present information.

Volunteer parents coached and facilitated the debates, with topics related to the students’ social studies class. The debates aligned with district and Common Core standards in the areas of Persuasive/Argumentative writing, Public Speaking and Social Studies.

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