Wed07302014

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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Don't drink the water: The Rockey Road

It’s New Year’s Day, and my family and I are across the country at my mother-in-law’s house. It’s cold! The snowflakes are big and so are the houses and lots. For a fleeting moment, we imagine moving here, paying cash for a bigger house, building snowmen all winter long and living a much slower-paced life.

That fleeting moment quickly evaporated when I took my first sip of tea from Starbucks. I had ordered a tall Awake Tea in a Grande cup – I like to have room for milk – just as I do when I am at home. Everything looked the same: the cups, the signs, the furniture, the Boulanger case of small bites. But something in the taste of my tea set off alarms in my taste buds that could not be ignored. It was a flavor that was nearly unrecognizable, but I knew I had tasted it just the day before. After a few seconds of searching through my memories of flavors I had consumed over the past 24 hours since landing here, I finally realized it was the water.

I will be the first to admit that my taste buds and olfactory nerves are a little too sensitive. Coupled with the fact that I am a vegetarian, you can imagine it’s a real treat to dine at restaurants with me. But while I can usually make do with limited vegetarian menu items, the one thing I must have is good-tasting water. Water to me is like wine is to others, and I rarely drink anything else. I don’t need expensive, imported, fancy water; I just need water that has no offending odor or flavor. It can be filtered or bottled. To be fair, I’m not a fan of our tap water at home either, and I can tell when our filters need to be replaced.

The taste of the water isn’t the only reminder that I’m not in the Bay Area. The beautiful and historical architecture in this part of the country is constructed mostly of brick and limestone because there is no concern for earthquakes. Grocery stores, Whole Foods included (ah, another comfort of home) expand along vast lots of land where traffic jams are nearly nonexistent. And while there are gently rolling hills, you can see for miles and miles across the open land without mountains to cradle small towns.

The newspaper articles tell stories of a different lifestyle that serves as a reminder that laws in one state can mean nothing in another state. If California law is meant to keep us safe, does that mean we are unsafe outside of California? In some situations, I would say yes, but then again, I am a native Bay Arean and I think like a Bay Arean.

We in the Bay Area may think a little differently from people in other parts of the country, but as I was soon reminded, there is something that ties us together that cannot be seen or tasted: hospitality and friendliness. The instinct to provide comfort resides within people, not places, and whether you agree with each other’s views or understand someone else’s lifestyle, the connection that levels any playing field can be a simple gesture to make someone happy.

After tasting my tea in Starbucks that morning, I considered my options and chose to make a bold request. I walked back to the counter and explained to the girl behind it that I could taste the flavor of the water and asked if I could get another tea made with bottled water. Expecting her to burst out laughing or worse, she smiled, grabbed a bottle of water and said, “Absolutely! No problem.”

As I sat with my husband enjoying my tea, I wondered if a snowflake from here would look different from a snowflake from Tahoe under the microscope. Of course it wouldn’t, unless it was made from the tap water.

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