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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Ideas, but no decisions on First Street mailboxes


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
The Los Altos City Council is debating whether to relocate the city’s drive-thru mailboxes.

A new home remains elusive for the five U.S. Postal Service drive-thru collection boxes currently housed on First Street.

The city’s Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Commission (BPAC) last week opted against offering a recommendation on where to relocate four of the five mail-drop boxes after some members said they lacked adequate information to move forward.

“Fundamentally, I think we need more information,” said BPAC Chairwoman Suzanne Ambiel. “I don’t think we can make a recommendation tonight.”

The action, or lack thereof, comes after the Los Altos City Council directed BPAC in late June to recommend alternative downtown spots for the boxes, which receive nearly 2,000 pieces of outgoing mail daily at the drive-thru location on First Street. A city staff report recommended relocating the boxes to a pair of downtown locations: two boxes at the end of a driveway in Parking Plaza 2 near Second Street and two at the end of a driveway in Parking Plaza 3 behind Chase Bank.

At the time, Los Altos Public Works Director Jim Gustafson said the mail receptacles required relocation as a safety measure to avoid potential incidents among vehicles, pedestrians and cyclists on First Street.

While BPAC members came up short on a recommendation, they offered suggestions on possible locations for the mailboxes during the July 24 discussion.

Commissioner Jim Fenton noted that he “was not a fan” of the current recommendations for plazas 2 and 3.

Commissioner Karl Danz agreed that none of the suggested plaza locations “seem workable.”

Fenton said he was “intrigued” by the idea of placing the boxes near the Los Altos Chamber of Commerce building on University Avenue.

“It just seems like there’s room there that we don’t have in the downtown triangle,” he said.

Some members mentioned a cutout parking area on Edith Avenue, near its shared intersection with San Antonio Road, as a potential location.

Ambiel cautioned that locating drive-thru mailboxes there could increase the potential for conflicts between cars and cyclists – particularly students riding to school. Members discussed other locations, including the drive-thru bank lanes at Bank of the West on Main Street and alternate locations within Plaza 3, such as one near the exit to San Antonio Road.

Finally, the need to relocate the mailboxes at all was questioned. Planning and Transportation Commissioner Jon Baer, speaking on his own behalf, told BPAC commissioners that the First Street drop-off location has worked for decades and offers better visibility to motorists and nonmotorized traffic than other sites.

“Where they are right now is a pretty damn good place,” Baer said.

Danz concurred, telling his colleagues that the boxes’ current location may indeed be the most viable spot in the downtown triangle.

“I’m pretty disposed to leaving them where they are now,” he said.

Reached by the Town Crier, Los Altos Transportation and Project Manager Cedric Novenario said the impetus for relocating the boxes is to situate them closer to the downtown U.S. Postal Service at 221 Main St. He added that city staff will review some of the locations suggested by BPAC and report additional information to the commission in August.

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