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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LAH Council Briefs

The Los Altos Hills City Council took the following actions at its Oct. 17 meeting. The next council meeting is scheduled 6 p.m. Tuesday at town hall, 26379 W. Fremont Road.

Trust lowers cost of sewer connections

When the Malavalli Revocable Trust signed onto a sewer reimbursement agreement with the town in June 2011 – fronting the costs for the estimated $2 million, mile-long Natoma Road Sanitary Sewer Main Extension – the trust’s representatives drafted a plan for 25 future users to share in the cost of the project. Several years later and with no other users signed on for a sewer connection, the trust’s representatives approached the council with a proposal to entice more users to sign up for sewer connections.

According to an amendment presented to the council, offering a month-long “discount incentive” would reduce each future user’s share of project expenses or usage fee from $85,000 to $35,000, plus administrative fees and a percentage of the construction cost index. With no cost to the town, councilmembers approved the request, recommending that the trust extend the discount window from 30 days to 90 to allow potential users more time to assess the full cost of a sewer connection.

The council directed staff to create a template to advise future sewer-connection applicants who may not be aware of all the steps and fees involved in the process.

Council approves variance, sticks homeowners with bill

After much back-and-forth, the council voted unanimously to approve a variance allowing an illegally constructed 10-foot-by-12-foot utility shed to remain on a residential property.

According to a staff report, when the homeowners built their 3,200-square-foot house in 2003, they were required to dedicate an additional 30 feet of right-of-way along Moody Road as well as 0.52 acres of their property for conservation easement. During a staff inspection of the property in January following heavy December rains, staff discovered the shed and reported it to the town.

Noting the half-acre for conservation, the council approved the variance and decided that the property owners should pay the $7,800 variance fee, bucking the Los Altos Hills Planning Commission’s 4-1 vote in favor of waiving the fee. Councilmembers expressed reservations about absolving the property owners from paying the fee, as it would condone violating the town’s planning and building codes.

Public invited to weigh in on Page Mill project

When Caltrans signaled its intention to install traffic lights at the north- and southbound off-ramps at Page Mill Road and Interstate 280 to improve safety for motorists, Los Altos Hills recommended additional safeguards for non-vehicular traffic.

In collaboration with the city of Palo Alto and Santa Clara County, Los Altos Hills staff drafted two preliminary design proposals – a long-term “ultimate” plan and an interim “concept” plan. With the goal to make the intersection safe and functional for all users, including motorists, pedestrians, bicyclists and equestrians, the plans propose design modifications, additional striping and a bike lane, among other elements.

The town plans to present the recommendations to Caltrans after soliciting feedback from the community. Local residents can review the designs and add input at a meeting scheduled 6 p.m. Nov. 12 at town hall.

To view the concept plans and submit comments to the town online, visit losaltoshills.ca.gov/announcements/491-signals-i-280.

Arastradero Trail opens Nov. 1

Los Altos Hills trail users will be connected to their neighbors in Palo Alto after the $1.19 million Arastradero Trail Improvement Project opens next month.

Funded by Stanford University, the project includes the rehabilitation of existing town pathways and the construction of a new one to link the intersection of Purissima and Arastradero roads in Los Altos Hills to the Pearson-Arastradero Preserve in Palo Alto.

A dedication ceremony and ribbon cutting are scheduled 9 a.m. Nov. 1 at the footbridge near the Park and Ride lot at Arastradero and Page Mill roads.

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