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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Letters to the Editor

Help stop vandalism at Redwood Grove

I’m writing this urgent request to the Los Altos City Council and Police Department to please take immediate action to stop the increasing vandalization at the Redwood Grove Nature Preserve.

In the past, I have observed and documented the destruction and have sent photos to the police and the Town Crier. I have continued to monitor the situation, only to see it deteriorate further.

Today, in addition to the usual cigarette butts, “roaches,” discarded rolling papers and empty beer cans, for the first time I observed black spray-painted tagging on a picnic table and several tree trunks.

Please understand that this intense level of vandalization only began when the property became vacant. It is not going to stop on its own. Acterra, the nonprofit group undertaking the preserve’s rehabilitation, can’t stop it. The occasional strolls through the property by police officers able to momentarily leave their fancy new SUVs haven’t stopped it. The neighbors are oblivious, even though their own properties are at risk from potential fires, etc.

We must have a deterrent. The only solution I see is to have someone living in the caretaker’s house. Perhaps the city could partner with Acterra to arrange that? Even motion-detection cameras directly linked to the police department would not substitute for the presence of a real person.

Redwood Grove is a precious gem in this area. As Los Altos’ population increases, it will become ever more valuable and ever more in need of protection. Please take action while the preserve is still here for all of us to enjoy.

Peggy Hennessee

Los Altos

Cyclists shouldn’t choose chatting over caution

As I read the article about the newly signed law requiring motorists to provide at least 3-foot spacing when passing bicyclists, I thought, “Seems reasonable – bicycling has enough inherent risks, and riders have so little protection” (“Some question effectiveness of new bike law,” Jan. 8).

Everyone is aware of this vulnerability. Yet many bicyclists choose to ride two or three abreast, often outside the bike lane (which is never wide enough for safe parallel riding). By choosing sociability over safety, they reduce their own safety cushion.

The photo accompanying the article makes the point: several bicyclists riding parallel, far outside the bike lane. They share the same roadway with 2-ton vehicles, trusting their lives to the skill and attentiveness of drivers. Vehicle drivers need to be cautious and considerate when near bicyclists. And although our young children learn not to “play in traffic,” riding parallel is fun.

Sadly, no law, regardless of its good intentions, can protect people from the consequences of their making poor decisions. And I think that riding parallel or outside the bike lane is a poor decision.

Michael Rappaport, M.D.

Los Altos

Chef Chu’s staff draws compliments

I would like to thank Larry Chu Jr. and the entire staff of Chef Chu’s for their kindness, support and professionalism when, without much notice and in the middle of the holiday season, they catered my mom’s memorial service after she passed in December.

During the 20-plus years we lived, worked and raised our family in and around Los Altos, Chef Chu’s always came through for the community and its families.

When 15 teens forgot to make a dinner reservation on a busy Friday night prior to a dressy and time-sensitive school event, one phone call to Larry solved the problem.

“When do they need to arrive?” queried Larry. And when I responded, “Oh, about now,” he said simply, “Send them over, we’ll make it work.”

Over the years, my book club has met there too many times to count. We stayed too long, talked too loudly and were always treated wonderfully.

Now, six years after we have moved across the country, a trip to Los Altos is never complete without visiting Chef Chu’s. And Larry always greets us as if we’ve never left.

Chef Chu’s is more than a restaurant, it is a town treasure. When it’s in your backyard, it is easy to forget this. But when you move away, it is easy to realize what you’ve lost. Coming back under stressful and emotional circumstances and hearing Larry’s calm voice say, “We’ll take care of it,” and knowing they would, was a blessing.

Meg Solera

Durham, N.C.

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