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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Unwrapped gifts make the best presents: The Rockey Road

The radio presets in my car are KDFC, KFOG and KQED. When my children are in the car, they like to scan for their favorite stations. Yesterday, they landed on a station playing holiday music. I quickly saved the station with my No. 4 preset and realized that I had never done that before. I wondered if that was a sign that this holiday season is more meaningful to me than past seasons.

I love giving gifts to show my appreciation, and, admittedly, I love receiving gifts. But the best gifts I’ve received are not wrapped in paper or purchased, they’re not even handmade. They are the gifts that have developed over time, from friends and family; basically, what I’ve learned from their character and compassion. Let me explain.

Today I spent an hour at my friend Vivi’s house. Vivi’s house is not a typical house. It’s a modern design with minimalistic decor. The most striking feature of her home is its openness, physically and lovingly. There are no hallways and very few doors, all of which are hidden pocket doors. With no window coverings, sunlight fills the home. With clean lines and colors eschewing the clutter of material possessions, the eye is allowed to focus on the beauty of the outdoors through the expansive windows and glass doors. From the garden, we collected fruit and dried bean pods for planting in my family’s garden. Vivi’s focus in life is family and sharing, and the mindful architecture of her home reflects that philosophy. It was designed to create an open space conducive to spending family time together rather than apart in divided rooms, and she’ll happily share the most intimate parts of her home for inspiration. Even the garden was thoughtfully designed to yield an abundant crop to nourish and be shared with anyone within reach.

Caring for others and believing that everyone deserves a fair chance are what make my friend Rhonda special. People aren’t perfect, and while it’s hard for most to bite their tongues in awkward situations, Rhonda naturally offers a smile. Without taking sides, she has a way of looking deeper to explain disparity and seeks solutions toward mending. She finds reasons to forgive rather than perpetuate animosity and will bend over backward to bring peace into someone’s life. She is love’s biggest fan and the epitome of forgiveness and understanding.

A few years ago, I went through a rough patch and felt that I wasn’t making the best decisions. Sharing a love of music and a stand in an orchestra gave my friend Corrie and me ample opportunity to spend time together. Hanging out in her garden, picking bean pods and tomatoes while getting much-needed rabbit therapy, allowed me to smooth out my days. I’m endlessly impressed by her compassion for people, animals and plants. Without hesitation, Corrie will throw money in a tip jar or hand a few dollars to someone in the cold on the street. All of her rabbits are rescues, and she nurses them with love through to their last breath. She’s not afraid to speak up for someone if they’ve been unfairly treated. But while I admire this in Corrie, perhaps the most important thing I’ve learned from her is perspective. She has taught me that while having compassion for others, you also must do what’s right for yourself rather than what someone else wants from you.

These little gifts I have received from my friends along the way make the holiday season special for me. The festive lights, music and glittery garlands create the ambience, but the people in my life and what makes each one special create the reason for celebration. No, this season isn’t any more meaningful to me, I’m just glad to have good friends. From my family to yours, Happy Holidays.

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