Wed07302014

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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Fallen Leaf residents seek new trail policy

Representatives of a south Los Altos neighborhood association have asked the city to change the rules when it comes to the Stevens Creek Trail Feasibility Study.

A handful of Fallen Leaf Lane Neighborhood Association (FLLNA) members asked the Los Altos City Council Oct. 8 to adopt a policy that calls for a 75 percent approval rate from affected residents before constructing new trail alignments on city residential streets. As part of its request, the group asked the council to halt the trail study and adopt the policy before resuming. The neighbors also presented the council with a petition signed by 550 nearby neighbors supporting adoption of the policy.

“I come here today requesting the city adopt a policy to improve communications and require a dialogue with the residents prior to commencing work on neighborhood-changing projects,” said Michael Eiger, an FLLNA member who lives on Fallen Leaf Lane. “The community of south Los Altos does not feel the council has heard our outcries regarding the Stevens Creek Trail process.”

The request comes at a time when the four-city study – which also includes Mountain View, Cupertino and Sunnyvale – considers potential alignments in Los Altos, Sunnyvale or along the creek corridor itself to connect the trail between Mountain View and Cupertino. Fallen Leaf Lane is among the streets under consideration for an alignment – a source of contention for the neighborhood group.

Reached by the Town Crier, Eiger said the group chose to present the petition to councilmembers before this week’s council meeting – held Tuesday, after the Town Crier’s press deadline – because the agenda included an item to update councilmembers on the study’s progress. Eiger noted that the group “wanted to let (the council) know where our heads are at.”

Eiger added that FLLNA began gathering petition signatures shortly after a June 18 public meeting at Grant Park during which consultants and city staffers updated residents on the study and sought local feedback. Several residents at the meeting expressed reservations that a trail of any kind along Fallen Leaf would increase vehicle and bicycle traffic and negatively impact the values of their homes. Others said the feasibility study process lacked transparency, among other things.

“We want to make sure impacted residents have a vote (with the new policy requested). Unfortunately, you can have a good dialogue but still have a project where only 30 percent of the population is OK with it,” said Eiger, who accused those involved of having a “blatant disregard” for trail alignment options beyond Fallen Leaf.

Official’s reaction

Councilwoman Jeannie Bruins, however, told the Town Crier that while she “can appreciate” the group’s ongoing concerns, any assumptions about a trail coming to Fallen Leaf are premature.

Bruins, the city’s representative for the study, noted that the study continues to examine several trail options, including one favored by the group itself. That option, originally highlighted in a 2008 feasibility study commissioned by Los Altos, calls for a trail connection using Fremont Avenue, Grant Road and Foothill Expressway.

“We don’t know if (a trail connection) will even be considered in Los Altos,” Bruins said. “We have nothing before us with which to render a final decision.”

As for the group’s policy request, Bruins noted that the idea would require a higher approval threshold than voter-supported bond measures (which require a two-thirds approval rate).

“Even if something were to be considered – even if (the policy) said it had to have a majority (approval) – it still may not be in the best interest of the community at large,” she added.

Bruins said she’s pleading patience with the study’s process, noting that those involved “want to allow this thing to come to a conclusion.” She said the effort continues to be an open process, adding that a final decision on a trail in Los Altos ultimately rests with the city council.

“At no point are we abdicating any land-use decisions,” she said. “There are no backroom deals going on – nothing. It’s all being done in the public eye.”

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