Thu04242014

News

Paws-itively  ready for  disaster

Paws-itively ready for disaster


Dozens of local residents participated in the Pet Ready! program, which included first-aid tips for animals from Adobe Animal Hospital veterinarian Dr. Cristi Blackwolf, above right. Girl Scouts Rachel Torgunrud, above left, in purple of Sunnyv...

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Schools

Local students earn honors at Tech Challenge

Local students earn honors at Tech Challenge


Courtesy of Ann Hepenstal
Gardner Bullis School’s Tech Challenge Team “Fantastic V,” above, recently showed their project at the school’s STEM Expo. Teammates, from left, Brandon Son, Will Hooper, George Weale, Tripp Crissma...

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Community

Merchants, maypoles, music: Farmers' Market season launches May 1

Merchants, maypoles, music: Farmers' Market season launches May 1


Town Crier File Photo
Visitors examine the fresh produce on display at last year’s Downtown Los Altos Farmers’ Market.

It wouldn’t be spring without the return of the Downtown Los Altos Farmers’ Market May 1. The Los Altos Village Association sp...

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Sports

LA tops MV behind Beutter's big day

LA tops MV behind Beutter's big day


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Los Altos High pitcher Lizzie Beutter went the distance to earn the win against Mountain View.

The number of Los Altos High hits and Mountain View High errors may be in dispute, but there’s no debating which softball ...

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Comment

Enlightened California: No Shoes, Please

I recently read a newspaper article about the newly adopted sex-education curriculum in the state of Mississippi. In the city of Oxford, the following exercise is included: Students pass around a Peppermint Patty chocolate and observe how spoiled it ...

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Business

Cobblery makes short move next door: Longtime business relocating to State Street in May

Cobblery makes short move next door: Longtime business relocating to State Street in May


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
European Cobblery owner Paul Roth is relocating his business from 201 First St., above, to 385 State St. in May.

The European Cobblery, a family-owned and -operated shoe store, is relocating to a new home just a f...

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Books

Local Author Spotlight

In an effort to support authors from Los Altos, Los Altos Hills and Mountain View, many self-published, Book Buzz periodically spotlights their books and offers information on where to purchase them. Local authors are encouraged to submit brief summa...

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People

'Champions for Youth' announced

Challenge Team will honor Mountain View Police Chief Scott Vermeer as “Champion for Youth” at the nonprofit organization’s annual fundraising breakfast, scheduled 7 a.m. May 7 at Michaels at Shoreline, 2960 N. Shoreline Blvd., Mountain View.

Lauren ...

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Stepping Out

Last go-round for 'Hound'

Last go-round for 'Hound'


Tracy Martin/Special to the Town Crier
The actors in “The Hound of the Baskervilles” – from left, Darren Bridgett, Ron Campbell and Michael Gene Sullivan – take on dozens of roles.

TheatreWorks is slated to present “The Hound of the Baskervilles...

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Spiritual Life

Magazine

A yoga class a day keeps the stress away

A yoga class a day keeps the stress away


Van Houtte/Town Crier Yoga of Los Altos hosts a variety of classes, including Strong Flow Vinyasa, above, taught by Doron Hanoch. Yin Yoga instructor Janya Wongsopa guides a student in the practice, below.

It’s nearly 9 a.m. on a Monday mornin...

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Police recover blind man’s stolen bicycle


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Los Altos resident Brian Higgins, who is 98 percent blind, enlisted the police’s help after discovering the bike stolen from his carport storage unit listed for sale on eBay.

The story of a blind Los Altos man whose only mode of transportation – a $3,000 bicycle – was stolen is shaping up for a happy conclusion.

Los Altos police recovered Brian Higgins’ Litespeed titanium bike after the 61-year-old U.S. Navy veteran-turned-inventor discovered it for sale on eBay. The discovery and subsequent recovery occurred just one week after Higgins reported that someone stole the bike Aug. 8 from his locked carport storage unit.

“The nagging question now is, what do I do with it now?” said Higgins, who is 98 percent blind. “Where do I keep it now? At least it’s a good problem I get to worry about.”

Higgins, the founder of Intellisight Inc., has spent 16 years developing an ultrasonic sensor that allows the blind to autonomously use bikes and some other modes of transportation.

“It detects large objects and finds a clear path for you,” Higgins said of his sensor system, which notifies a user of oncoming objects through vibration and audible warning beeps. “Ever since I lost my driver’s license in 1998 – which was devastating to me – I’ve been searching for some solutions.”

He noted that he uses the bike and sensor system daily to travel along Foothill Expressway to the Palo Alto VA hospital, where he catches a shuttle to his day job as a technology instructor at the VA Medical Center in Menlo Park. The theft was the subject of a recent NBC 11 report.

Prior to the recovery of his bike, Higgins told the Town Crier he believed that the theft was targeted. He said thieves cut through the storage unit’s attached locking mechanism to get to the bike, and also stole $1,000 worth of tools. Higgins discovered his bike missing from the storage unit in the early morning hours of Aug. 8 as he was preparing to bike to work.

Reached by the Town Crier, Det. Abe Velasco said Los Altos Police executed a search warrant to recover the bike Thursday after Higgins contacted them about the eBay listing. Velasco noted that Higgins was able to confirm that the bike was his by pointing out some of its specific characteristics, seen in pictures on the listing. The following day, he added, police arrested a 36-year-old San Jose man on unrelated narcotics charges, who they believe may also be linked to the bike theft.

Velasco declined to provide additional details about the case because the investigation is ongoing.

“What’s unique about this case is that the victim was able to assist to the point where he was able to identify specific (things) from the eBay ad,” said Velasco, who added that the bike is currently in police custody as evidence but eventually will be returned to Higgins.

Higgins said that while he was pleased police recovered his bike, the theft left him cautious about where to store it in the future.

“This was a life-changing event for me,” said Higgins, who moved to Los Altos from Maine approximately 10 years ago. “Maybe it shouldn’t be, but for me it was.”

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