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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Hurdle remains for project on Third Street

A downtown mixed-use project looks to be one step away from final approval by the city.

The Los Altos Planning and Transportation Commission (PTC) Aug. 15 unanimously approved six of seven outstanding conditions for developer David Luedtke’s three-story condominium and office space project at 86 Third St.

The move comes after the Los Altos City Council unanimously voted in May to send the project back to the PTC for further review and approval, citing concerns that included the building’s parking management and below-market-rate (BMR) units. Prior to the council’s May review, the PTC in April recommended approval of the project – which calls for 20 condos and 5,500 square feet of first-floor office space.

Reached by the Town Crier, Los Altos Senior Planner Zach Dahl said the remaining hurdle is the building’s exterior look, noting that some PTC members weren’t “comfortable” with the materials proposed for the commercial side of the building.

“They basically requested a different material than the (scraped) limestone for that side of the building,” said Dahl, who added that Luedtke’s team is reviewing the use of other materials and is tentatively slated to return to the PTC in October.

Exterior aesthetics aside, the project met six other specific conditions outlined by the council – including a request to upgrade one two-bedroom BMR unit into a three-bedroom dwelling.

“I think they get great kudos for the affordable housing. … They went above and beyond in a way that’s extraordinary,” Commissioner Phoebe Bressack said, noting the building’s BMR offerings of a two-bedroom, one-bathroom unit and a three-bedroom, two-bathroom condo on the building’s ground floor.

In addition, the PTC approved a parking management plan that includes opening the building’s underground parking garage during business hours to those patronizing its offices. Other approved conditions included a plan to prewire 11 underground parking spaces for the future installation of electric-vehicle charging stations and a master sign program for the building.

Although the project remains in the city approval pipeline, Dahl said Luedtke has remained patient and willing to make adjustments throughout the process.

“He’s been very receptive to the changes,” Dahl said of the developer.

Prior to casting his vote in favor of the six conditions – as well as a separate vote in favor of continuing the PTC’s exterior materials review – Commissioner Jon Baer noted that he and his colleagues aimed to create the best project possible for the city and the developer.

“When you’re a chef and you make something bad, you eat your mistakes,” Baer said. “But when you build a building that doesn’t work, there’s not much you can do about it.”

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