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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Simitian discusses bad timing in Los Altos Rotary Club presentation


Santa Clara County Supervisor Joe Simitian described his political career as “bad timing all around” in an Aug. 29 appearance at the Rotary Club of Los Altos.

Simitian faced a number of challenges during his previous term on the Board of Supervisors, 1997-2000; as assemblyman for the 21st District, 2000-2004; and as state senator for the 11th District, 2004-2012.

His examples of “bad timing” included serving during the state’s energy crisis, budget crisis and recall of former Gov. Gray Davis. To top it off, in his first six weeks in Sacramento, a driver crashed his truck into the State Capitol building, setting it ablaze.

Once again elected to the Board of Supervisors last November, Simitian and fellow supervisors must address the potential imminent bankruptcy of the ambulance company that serves the area and the possibility its collapse could endanger reliable response to 911 calls.

“Nevertheless,” Simitian joked, “it’s great to be home.”

Simitian summarized his three primary areas of responsibility on the county board: safeguarding the fiscal strength and stability of local government; preparing county residents for the Affordable Care Act’s Oct. 1 enrollment and Jan. 1 operation dates; and solving problems in the 10 cities he represents.

In determining priorities, Simitian said he asks himself, “Does it make a difference in the daily lives of the people I represent?”

According to Simitian, local problems include homelessness, transportation, education, elder abuse, highway safety and prison realignment, a plan that would transfer many state prisoners to county jails.

During a question and answer session, an audience member raised the state’s challenge in funding $1.8 billion in state employees’ pensions and health care. Simitian agreed that unfunded liabilities might be the county’s most pressing problem.

To address the pension problem, Simitian said the Board of Supervisors recently voted to move $100 million from reserves to the CalPERS Employers’ Retiree Benefits Trust to generate a 7.5 percent return rate. In addition, 60 percent of new redevelopment funding will be applied to unfunded liabilities. Simitian said San Francisco lawmakers tackled a similar problem a few years ago in a collaborative way and suggested that Santa Clara County take the same approach.

Marlene Cowan is a member of the Rotary Club of Los Altos.

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