Fri08012014

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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Special Sections

Long live the lawn: Los Altos native offers drought-resistant strategies

Long live the lawn: Los Altos native offers drought-resistant strategies


Bill Steiner’s grass is green, left, even amid the drought. He followed Max Todd’s water and maintainence instructions after having his lawn aerated, Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier

Green lawns are not necessarily on the endangered list during the d...

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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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Once-A-Year Day: A Piece of My Mind

Everyone’s entitled to be wild/ Be a child/ Be a goof/ Raise the roof/ Once a year.

– “Once-A-Year Day” from “The Pajama Game”

On the last Sunday in June, it seemed as though everyone had taken this old Broadway song to heart. It was Gay Pride Day in San Francisco, and 1.5 million people were celebrating the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision earlier that same week invalidating the Defense of Marriage Act and California’s Proposition 8. Eighty unisex couples had married the previous day at San Francisco City Hall. The party on Sunday was, in the words of a San Jose Mercury News reporter, “like the biggest, happiest wedding reception you could imagine.”

My husband and I rode BART up to the city to attend a San Francisco Symphony program, and we were swept up in the festivities as we walked from the Civic Center BART station to Davies Symphony Hall.

As we threaded through the crowd, a conservatively dressed middle-aged fellow with a well-trimmed beard spoke to me. “Are you two a couple?” he asked, gazing from me to my husband, both in our Sunday Symphony best.

“Yes, we are.”

He broke into a beaming smile.

“It’s so great to have people like you here in support! This is such a great day! I never thought I would see this day!”

I didn’t tell him we were there for the symphony, but I wished him a wonderful afternoon.

“It will be!” he replied, as the crowd separated us.

I grabbed a Pride Guide to the festivities from a street stall and perused it while waiting for the symphony to begin. The performance was terrific – the first concert performance of the complete musical, Leonard Bernstein’s “West Side Story,” led with gusto by Bernstein’s friend and protégé, Michael Tilson Thomas. The lead singer, minor TV star Cheyenne Jackson, has an amazing vocal range and great ability to sell a song. He was also listed in the Pride Guide as one of the Celebrity Grand Marshals of the Gay Pride Parade.

At intermission, we wandered out to the balcony, from which we could see a corner of the celebration still going on at United Nations Plaza. Traffic was at a standstill on Van Ness Avenue, and people in costumes, carrying balloons, flourishing signs and holding hands were crossing below, waving up at us on the balcony. We waved back.

After the concert, we made our way through the packed throng to the BART station. We passed a group of people shouting and dancing along with a rap group on one of the side stages. We walked by another side stage where a cheerleading squad was performing acrobatic flips and pyramids.

The BART station was solid people, a big friendly mob – no pushing, no elbows, just laughter at our common sardine-hood. We inched our way to the turnstiles, where a guard was assisting people with Clipper cards – we made it through. I have never seen a BART train so crowded, but a young couple in cutaway jeans and pink tank tops jumped up and offered us their seats.

It was a party. It was raucous and joyful and sweet. There are different opinions about the Supreme Court decision and about what marriage means, but it is hard to resist something that made so many people so plainly, euphorically, unreservedly happy on a gorgeous San Francisco afternoon.

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