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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Los Altos High duo collaborates to raise money for EP


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Best friends and Los Altos High students Zach Gospe, from left, and Riley Soward created a Kickstarter campaign to raise money to record Gospe’s EP. Gospe is the musician and Soward is his manager.

United in song since an art lesson in kindergarten at Almond School, Zach Gospe and Riley Soward have a friendship cemented by music.

The two Los Altos High School seniors are collaborating to create Gospe’s first professional EP (extended play, a recording that’s more than a single but not a full album), with Soward acting as his manager.

After meeting with Mark Mazzetti – an executive with Entertainment, Music and Media – Soward and Gospe began raising money to record the EP in Los Angeles with Mazzetti as producer.

The journey

Gospe was raised in a musical family and began playing piano at age 5. At 8, he took up drums and joined his parents’ jazz ensemble at the Community School of Music and Arts. At 12, he picked up a guitar and began writing his own music.

“I really like the freedom the guitar has as a writing tool and as an instrument,” said Gospe, who mentioned John Mayer and Eric Clapton as musical inspirations.

Last summer Gospe attended the GRAMMY Camp in Los Angeles, which pairs pros in the music business with high school students with musical aspirations.

“It was kind of an overwhelming, immersive jump into the music industry,” said Gospe, adding that the camp taught him how to be a songwriter within the music business while still maintaining his creativity as an artist.

Gospe has recorded his music before. Through one of Soward’s social-media connections, the duo borrowed some high-tech equipment and recorded five songs in a cozy Los Altos Hills cabin. The first EP featured only Gospe and his guitar.

Gospe and Soward attended the West Coast Songwriters Conference at Foothill College two months ago. Gospe sat in on songwriting lectures while Soward learned about the business side of the music industry.

After studying the faces of prominent people in the music business attending the conference, Soward spotted Mazzetti and introduced himself. After chatting a bit about Gospe, Soward introduced the two and they handed Mazzetti a copy of their first EP.

“It was unusual, because most people of his status in the music industry won’t call you back,” Soward said. “But he listened to the EP and he liked it, so he called us.”

Mazzetti owns Record Company in a Box, which provides one-on-one, specialized artist development for artists, singers and songwriters seeking commercial success. Mazzetti has worked with top-selling artists such as Mayer, Janet Jackson and Sting.

The EP

The return call from Mazzetti inspired Soward and Gospe to find creative ways to raise money for recording the EP with Mazzetti and professional studio musicians.

“It’s such a big project and it’s my dream,” said Gospe, who connects with Mazzetti twice a week via Skype to work on his song development. “It’s one of those projects that you can keep pouring time into and it just keeps getting better and better.”

Soward has spent several hours on the pair’s Kickstarter campaign, an online platform for creative projects that fundraises via pledges. Their goal is to raise $10,000 for the EP.

The two have been spreading the word at performances during school functions and local house concerts.

“It’s been cool to see him grow as a performer,” Soward said of Gospe. “We’ve scaled up the performances slowly. Seeing him grow as an artist is pretty impressive.”

They see the EP as a way to showcase Gospe’s talent and range as a musician and songwriter. Gospe said he hopes the six radio-quality tracks are a “stepping stone” to greater things.

Mazzetti said he is impressed with Gospe and Soward, praising their “real passion and enthusiasm.” After they make the EP, Mazzetti plans to help Gospe secure a distribution contract from a record company in Los Angeles.

Gospe and Soward are excited about the possibility, but they won’t regret all the hard work if it doesn’t pan out.

“This has the potential to be big, but even if it doesn’t go anywhere, this process has been great for us,” Soward said.

To donate to the Kickstarter campaign and for more information, visit kickstarter.com/projects/2032161415/zach-gospe-17-year-old-singer-songwriter-original.


Musicians on the rise: Zach Gospe and Riley Soward - Photos by Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier

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