Sat08022014

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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Woman on a mission: Littlejohn wages campaign against gendercide

Reggie Littlejohn is a woman on a mission. Her life is an amazing journey from atheist to believer, from litigator to international-rights advocate, from a person with boundless energy to a bedridden patient for five years – then back again to world traveler, leader, screenwriter and public speaker.

She views her path as part of God’s plan to give her the passion and skills to shed light on abuses done to women and girls worldwide, especially in China.

From atheist to believer

Although Littlejohn grew up in a Christian home, at age 16 she announced to her parents that she was an atheist and refused to go to church. She moved from an atheist to an agnostic after she read the Bible for the first time in an ancient literature course in college.

“As I read the Gospel of John, I realized just who this person Jesus was and what he did,” she said. “I told myself, ‘This is not what I rejected.’”

Littlejohn married her college sweetheart. Following graduation, she enrolled at Yale Law School and her husband attended Yale Divinity School. She took a year off from her studies to travel around the world. On two separate trips, Littlejohn had the opportunity to meet Mother Teresa and volunteer with the nun’s Missionaries of Charity in Calcutta.

After law school, Littlejohn and her husband headed to San Francisco, where she took a position in a major law firm and practiced litigation for eight years. During her time as a litigator, she performed pro bono work helping Chinese refugees seeking asylum in the United States.

“My first refugee was someone who was persecuted as a Christian and forcibly sterilized,” Littlejohn said. “That opened two whole worlds up to me. First, I didn’t know that Christians were persecuted in China. Second, I knew that China had a one-child policy, but I never stopped to think how it was enforced. I did not realize until I represented this first woman that it is enforced through forced abortion, forced sterilization and infanticide. I was utterly appalled.”

A new mission

Littlejohn had two pregnancies end in miscarriage. She believes the pain of the miscarriages sensitized her to the suffering of women losing babies against their will. In 2003, Littlejohn developed multiple breast lumps. She underwent bilateral mastectomies with implant reconstruction. During the surgery, she contracted a staph infection that often proves deadly. She left her practice on medical leave and was disabled for five years. Her time as a patient, however, became a spiritual awakening.

“My mission went from making lots of money as an attorney to helping women and babies devastated by forced abortion and female gendercide in China,” she said.

Littlejohn recounted the unintended consequences of China’s one-child policy – forced abortion, forced sterilization, death from botched procedures. As a result of the policy, there are 37 million more men than women living in China, which in turn has prompted human trafficking, sexual slavery and a high rate of female suicide.

Littlejohn came to realize that a film would be the most powerful way to communicate the devastation caused by China’s one-child-policy, and to move hearts and minds to end it. She wrote “Pearls of China,” a feature-length drama. The script has won numerous awards. She has taken the project through development and is currently raising production funds for the film.

With renewed energy, she founded the nonprofit Women’s Rights without Frontiers in 2008. The organization has been called a leading voice in exposing and opposing forced abortion, gendercide and sexual slavery in China. In addition, the organization is directly saving the lives of girls at risk of sex-selective abortion through its Save a Girl Campaign.

“I see it all as part of God’s plan for me,” Littlejohn said. “Mother Teresa, my illness, the opportunity to represent Chinese refugees as a lawyer, and even my miscarriages. If I had not lost my own babies in miscarriage, I might not have developed the passion to help women who were victims of forced abortion.”

Littlejohn is scheduled to speak at the Silicon Valley Prayer Breakfast March 28. For registration and more information, visit svpb.net/annual_events.

Skip Vaccarello is a longtime Los Altos resident. For more information, visit findinggodinsiliconvalley.com. Vaccarello plans to publish interviews from the site in an upcoming book.

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