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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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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The benefits of blogging: LAH student’s travel diary opens doors


Photos Courtesy of Ronda Breier
Los Altos Hills resident Corey Breier blogged about his travels abroad, including his adventures communing with camels in Morocco.

Los Altos Hills resident Corey Breier, 22, chronicled his year abroad in Barcelona on his blog, Spain WhatUp. An international studies major at UC San Diego who returned home in June, Breier used couchsurfing.org to make his way across Europe and Northern Africa. His tales of his travels and his anecdotes about adjusting to continental customs drew attention from Matador Network, an online travel magazine. Following is Breier’s account of the benefits of blogging his travel experiences.

At first I started Spain WhatUp as an easy way to keep mom updated about what I was doing, but this thing took on a life of its own. Here’s a noncomprehensive list of things this blog has done:

• Gotten me hired as a paid writer! My blog is linked to in my Twitter bio, and I think Matador Network was led to it through that window when I carelessly tweeted some such nonsense at them back in December. They liked what they saw, and now I am a regular contributor, in case you were not aware. And they pay me! (not much). You never know what will happen when you put a bit of yourself on the Internet.

• Helped Spanish speakers practice English. I know more than a few young “hispanohablantes” (Spanish speakers) who took enough of an interest in my affairs to read this blog, and it was a fantastic opportunity for them to get some real unadulterated “American.” I play fast and loose with phrases and slang they may never have encountered before, so besides normal grammar practice, it’s a street education, so to speak. Heck, I learned Spanish vocabulary reading my own words through Google Translate, so it goes both ways.

• Provided travel tips and advice to many friends. If I know someone is headed to a city I have been to, all I have to do is send them a link to the week when I was visiting there, and it usually offers a rough guide for them to get started on. I’m no expert, but I know if an attraction is good or not, which sometimes is better than the reviews from strangers on TripAdvisor. I love hearing stories from friends who went somewhere based off advice from me and the blog.

• Inspired more than one other personal travel blog. Off the top of my head, I can think of at least two blogs that were directly inspired by SpainWhatup: my friend Sarina’s in Seville, and Melissa’s in Alicante. Their work has taken on a life of its own, and it’s great to think I had a part in that.

• Served as the catalyst for helpful tips. I complained about Barcelona being all party, all the time in one post way back when, and one of my friends messaged me out of the blue afterwards to give me a stellar list of resources that helped point me to more intellectual pursuits, like TED talks and startup space in the city. I’m eternally thankful to her for that, and for a few others who gave me more attractions to see when they found my semester one Barcelona guide lacking.

• Improved my writing ability. You can see this just by reading my older posts – ouch. The more you write, the better you write, no matter what you’re writing about, that is for sure.

• Amassed 30-odd random Tumblr followers. Yes, I see you all – looks like mostly young girls who have probably found my blog from the geographical tags I put at the bottom of whichever post I wrote about their country or city. Your Tumblrs are, well, typical Tumblrs – primarily composed of wistful quotes, Pinterest-style pictures and soft erotica that is so oddly common in this corner of the Internet. I’m not sure if this is what you were expecting when you clicked on that tag, but I hope you enjoyed the ride.

Not bad for what was basically a weekly email to mom! I’d highly encourage you to start your own blog, whether or not you are traveling. And don’t just rebblog cat photos, like I did with my first Tumblr – create something of your own, even if you think your life is boring. Somebody finds it interesting. If you are traveling, you definitely should – this will be a powerful and unfailing reminder of my time in Spain forevermore. I have every single week right here, written fresh off of my mind right after it happened. Far better than my finicky memory – I’ve already found things from my September posts that I had forgotten about. So do it!

May your roads be long and meandering.

To read Breier’s blog, visit spainwhatup.tumblr.com or matadornetwork.com/author/coreybreier.

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