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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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Lording over the competition: Los Altos K9 cop places first in police dog trials


Courtesy of Julie Ognoskie
Los Altos Police Officer Julie Ognoskie puts K9 cop Lord through his paces at a recent competition. Lord won first place at the event.

The lone four-legged member of the Los Altos Police Department recently added some hardware to his trophy case.

That’s because Lord, the department’s 6-year-old police dog, placed first among 23 competing canines at the annual K9 Witmer-Tyson Trials. The competition, held Oct. 16 and 17 in La Honda, pitted the all-black German shepherd against police canines from neighboring agencies, including Palo Alto and Sunnyvale.

Los Altos Police Officer Julie Ognoskie, Lord’s handler, said the first-place award is a point of pride for her, also. The competition not only judges the precision of the dogs as they’re put through the paces, but their handlers as well.

“When they announced my name (for first place), I was actually really shocked,” she said, noting that several other teams at the event also had strong performances.

Lord has competed in the trials for four years, said Ognoskie, who became Lord’s handler in 2009, one year after she joined the department. Prior to his first-place finish this year, Lord had placed as high as second in the competition, which tests dogs in a variety of scenarios they might encounter on patrol.

The dogs and their handlers are tested in obedience and obstacles, in addition to search and protection. The protection competition, Ognoskie noted, can be particularly challenging because it demands that handlers control dogs in what she called a simulated “high-drive” environment – chasing after and catching suspects.

“He knows when he sees the guy wearing a full K9 Bite Suit, ‘Oh, I’m going to get to play with that,’” Ognoskie said with a chuckle, noting that Lord took just 23 seconds to sniff out his target in a simulated search drill as well.

Ognoskie added that confidence and trust are two key components in handling Lord while on patrol. That trust extends to other environments as well, including those with children. Her K9 companion is popular with children when visiting local schools to promote safety initiatives.

“He’s very good around kids, and we need that here in Los Altos,” she said.

Her partnership with Lord extends beyond the duties within the Los Altos Police Department. Being a handler is a lifetime commitment that includes taking Lord home and caring for him when off-duty. Once he retires, Ognoskie said she’d purchase Lord from the department and keep him as her own.

“He’s my partner, he’s my pal and he’s my kid,” she said. “It’s definitely a position in the department where you always take your work home with you – but with him, I really don’t mind.”

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