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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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Comfort food: No Shoes, Please

Everybody has some version of it – an idiosyncratic, precise recipe from your grandmother or a plebeian grocery store munchy. We can all name something edible that really hits the spot in our emotional bellies. I, for example, often turn to potato chips, while my mother relies on numerous cups of hot water. That probably says something meaningful about us as a pair, but my main point is that food (and drink) can replenish us in more ways than one.

The classic comfort food for many is chocolate – and I get it – but being more a salt and grease person myself, sugar isn’t really my thing. The exception to that rule would be ice cream, the only dessert I truly love and the only one that holds some sway over my emotions. If I’m stressed, a scoop of Ben & Jerry’s Pistachio Pistachio can be a kind of sweet solace trickling down my throat. I know that sugar as a mood enhancer is an illusion at best and at worst a crutch that creates more problems than it solves. But in a pinch, it can work miracles.

For me, a book title like “Joy of Cooking” sounds oxymoronic, but I know what the term “comfort food” means. As a healing elixir, as a stimulant for pleasure and conviviality, as an emblem of a bountiful life – food is rich, enticing and potent. That’s why I’m surprised to discover that it has less pull on me as I age, a process which seems to go hand in hand with the fact that I can’t tolerate as much of anything – grease, salt, sugar, you name it – as I used to.

Nowadays, if I had to choose, I’d rather sleep than eat, and when I go for those chips or that ice cream, it really does feel like I’m consuming empty calories – not nutritionally empty, though that’s true enough, but emotionally empty as well. Plus, I come out on the physical short end of the stick – a pudgy middle or a canker sore – much more quickly to boot.

I still enjoy eating. But the experience is much more emotionally rewarding to me when I’m actually hungry. There’s something about identifying a true need, satisfying it easily and then getting immediate relief that makes life itself seem like a pretty uncomplicated exercise.

The relative ease of life, by the way, is a new concept for me; I’ve been characterizing it in completely opposite terms for the last, oh, let’s say, 50 years. But eating only when hungry is straightforward and clear. Meet your needs, period. Keep calm and carry on. Wash, rinse, repeat.

Maybe that’s the way life should have been for me all along. Maybe all the “have to’s” – have to have, have to do, have to be – weren’t requirements that needed fulfilling after all. Maybe life is meant to be simple and stress-free, managed by relaxed effort. And maybe you can be nourished by something as undemanding and trouble-free as a cup of plain old hot water. My mother may have had it right all along.

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