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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Community Services Agency sees need rise, help decline


Ellie Van houtte/ Town Crier
The Community Services Agency’s Food Nutrition Center provides residents in need with nutritious foods they could otherwise not afford.

Community Services Agency (CSA) Associate Director Maureen Wadiak has not only seen an increase in need locally – she’s seen the face of need become more diverse in 2013 as well.

While the agency has traditionally assisted working-poor individuals and families in Los Altos, Los Altos Hills and Mountain View, a rise in the cost of housing (and other economic factors) has led to a recent increase in educated workers seeking help too, she noted.

“We’re seeing a lot of families being forced to relocate out of the area, and at the same time, we’re still serving more people than we did prior to the economic downturn,” she said.

The agency’s diverse population of need includes the likes of Jim, a 41-year-old unemployed semiconductor marketing and sales professional. Jim – whose name has been changed to protect his identity – said the allotment of food he receives from CSA’s Food Nutrition Center allows him to spend his limited funds on other living expenses.

“Food is very expensive, so the healthful food that they provide is something I appreciate a lot,” said Jim, who visits the organization’s Food Nutrition Center once or twice per week. “It’s definitely sufficient for me. I’m single, so I usually don’t take the allotment I’m allowed because if I take more than I need, it’s just going to go to waste. It’s not going to benefit someone else.”

“It’s an economic cushion,” Wadiak added. “Granted, we can’t be a grocery store, but we can certainly be that buffer that gives them a little bit of a cushion to absorb the increases in other things like rent.”

Referred to CSA through another Town Crier Holiday Fund recipient – RotaCare – Jim added that the organization’s food center stands out because of its focus on health.

“It’s really helpful – vegetables, rice, beans, things like that,” he said. “It’s the vegetables I value most.”

The agency’s 2012-2013 fiscal year saw a 4 percent year-over-year increase in clients at its Food Nutrition Center, which offers fresh and packaged food items donated by local stores and nonprofit organizations. Food donations, on the other hand, have remained largely stagnant – from approximately 545,000 items in 2010-2011 to a four-year low of 532,221 in 2012-2013.

Wadiak noted that the agency has experienced an increase in other areas of service, including a 30.4 percent bump in its rent and utility assistance program in the past fiscal year.

The high cost of living in Silicon Valley, she added, has also had a noticeable impact on older residents living on fixed incomes.

“We’ve always had – in the past few years – anywhere from three to five seniors relocating out of the area because of the high cost of housing on an annual basis,” said Wadiak, noting that the agency’s senior lunch and nutrition program saw a 25 percent increase in 2012-2013.

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