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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Letters to the Editor

Resident bemoans negative impacts of BCS

I am writing to express my great concerns about Bullis Charter School.

Bullis Charter School has tripled in size and can no longer accommodate what it initially intended. Now there are far too many students crowded into a tiny campus that is not built for that population. Because of this, there are very negative impacts on our small, cozy neighborhood, including:

• Massive gridlock traffic on West Portola Avenue, which affects regular nonschool commuters on San Antonio Road. It takes me at least 10 minutes to exit my driveway on West Portola, and I am always fearful that I will hit the numerous students and people milling around. In the afternoon, I am stuck in bumper-to-bumper traffic trying to get home.

• Great safety concerns for all children and adults walking or biking to school because of the heavy traffic on the roads.

• Cars taking shortcuts at great speeds through our neighborhood and posing danger to children and adults walking to school.

• Cars blocking the fire hydrants and our driveways, as well as creating problems for garbage collectors.

• Excessive car noise and pollution, thus depreciating our neighborhood value and every resident’s quality of life.

Los Altos School District Board of Trustees: Please help Bullis Charter School find its own permanent site that is not one of the existing district schools and that is in an area with an infrastructure that can deal with the insane amount of traffic generated by this commuter school.

Monique Yao

Los Altos

LASD needs to stop the circus

I am another Town Crier reader with no affiliation to either the Los Altos School District or Bullis Charter School. Several years ago, I asked the Town Crier to develop a timeline so that we could make some sense out of this ongoing saga.

The recent letter from Rajiv Bhateja of Los Altos Hills pointed out how “time and again the district has fallen on its face in court” (“Resident supports bond because of charter school,” Oct. 2). Yet the response letter from Rebecca Hayman of Los Altos states, “The charter school expects the district to bend to its demands and continues to weaken the already scarce financial educational resources by engaging in lawsuit after lawsuit” (“Letter favoring BCS deemed ‘offensive,’” Oct. 9).

Perhaps a review of the timeline is needed.

The reason the charter school was even proposed was that the district closed Bullis-Purissima School Feb. 10, 2003, and the kids of Los Altos Hills had to commute to other schools.

The parents proposed a charter school to fill their family needs at the closed school – that is why it is called Bullis Charter School. The timeline shows that the district rejected the proposal May 14, 2003.

Sept. 10, 2003, the Santa Clara County Board of Education approved the charter for Bullis Charter School, and the district has been fighting it ever since.

Bullis Charter School has to go to court to defend itself and to receive the equal facilities that a school district is required to provide under Proposition 39, passed Nov. 7, 2000.

I agree with Bhateja that this “circus has to stop.” It certainly is not a battle of what is best for the kids. It’s simply a battle of who wants to be the boss.

Bullis Charter School continues to make great progress. It is time that the district stop the circus. The district is beginning to look like the clown.

Bob Moore

Los Altos

Los Altos council backs intrusion on residents

Note: Following is an open letter to the Los Altos City Council.

A little background reading you may be interested in regarding your recent decision to subject innocent citizens of Los Altos to surreptitious surveillance.

The police department will use hidden cameras, day and night, taking photos at the rate of tens of thousands a day and sharing them (read: placed on an electronic network) with a so-called fusion center – an invention of the federal government, the Department of Homeland Security and the National Security Agency, which are paying Los Altos to implement this intrusion on innocent citizens.

You will also find information indicating how bloody naive the council was when it said it would monitor and demand limits on the data.

You have no prayer of limiting either distribution or storage longevity of the massive amount of data to be gathered. You can’t even control the collection of data on innocent private citizens. Neither can the police department do any of these things.

Do any of you read and contemplate current events beyond those concerning the “village”?

I’d welcome comments if anyone thinks this missive is inaccurate.

Bob Perdriau

Los Altos

Students can’t be forced to eat in cafeteria

After the flurry of controversy my letter to the Town Crier sparked last month, I was pleased to see that your editorial that agrees with me (“Food-truck restrictions not necessary,” Oct. 9). Notwithstanding the reaction from several other readers to my position on the subject a couple of weeks ago, my conclusion remains the same as yours.

The students are well aware of their choices in diet and the nutritional effect on their health. It’s their prerogative to eat the food they want, regardless of the National School Lunch Program. Moving or banning the food trucks won’t force the students to eat in the cafeteria.

And as I suggested in my previous letter, the only rationale your editorial saw for the food-truck ordinance, which impacts residential neighbors with noise, traffic and trash, is easily solved. Embracing the food-truck service by bringing it on campus and providing some picnic tables and trash cans would result in a safe, clean environment, with a variety of lunch choices. The school can extend invitations to gourmet food trucks that serve the most healthful foods. And it will make the students happy. What’s wrong with that?

Ron Knapp

Los Altos

Food vendors serve as ‘attractive nuisance’

I am responding to your Oct. 9 editorial, “Food-truck restrictions not necessary.”

The Mountain View Los Altos Union High School District Board of Trustees is engaged in fighting childhood obesity in our community by requesting that the Los Altos City Council adopt an ordinance that prohibits mobile food vendors from parking in our residential neighborhoods. Neighbors nearest Los Altos High School strongly support such an action, as these mobile vendors serve as an attractive nuisance.

The Mountain View City Council has enacted an ordinance that accomplishes what the Los Altos City Council is being requested to do. This proposal would also restrict mobile food vendors from operating in front of our elementary and junior high school campuses.

Currently, our students are eating food from these vendors that may not be served on our campus because it is unhealthful – high in sugar, fat and salt, all contributors to childhood obesity.

For those students desiring to leave campus for lunch, our downtown is within walking distance and there are many eateries that provide nourishing and nutritious foods. Our students would be supporting our downtown merchants!

We want to keep mobile vendors away from our schools and out of our neighborhoods.

Barry Groves, Ed.D. Superintendent,

Mountain View Los Altos Union High School District

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