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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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The fondest farewell follows a tentative welcome

People around me know my devotion to my dog, Parker. And by devotion, they would mean being a responsible pet owner by spoiling Parker rotten and everything in between. All of it is true. And while I made some mistakes – I never should have allowed Parker to assume that he’s entitled to sample everything we eat – I must point out that I had not wanted a dog much to begin with and that Parker was my first (mammalian) pet. Therefore, it was a fairly steep learning curve for me to figure out how to handle him once he arrived in our home.

I did read books on dog care ahead of time, of course. Amusingly, this is exactly how I had tried to prepare for the birth of my first child under similar ignorant circumstances: zero exposure to infants once I was past age 10, and absolutely no babysitting experience at any age. No surprise that the research I did in both instances yielded similar results. Books never hurt, but nothing really prepares you for the hands-on, maddeningly unpredictable reality of a living, breathing, sentient and idiosyncratic creature entering your world.

I have spent the past 15 years trying to understand life from Parker’s point of view so that I could better manage his behavior, his physical well-being, his emotional life and his relationship with other people and animals. That’s a long way of saying that I spent a lot of time focused on health and balance in a dog’s life.

I wasn’t productive on all fronts: Parker was the least happy-go-lucky Labrador Retriever I’ve ever met, and he hated cats with a passion. To his credit, however, he was just smart enough to recognize that he needed humans for survival, so he was obedient and submissive. He understood that his sworn feline enemies were quicker, smarter and more deadly than he. He knew better than to actually mess with one.

But at the end of the day, literally and figuratively, Parker was a deeply comforting presence in my life. I don’t have the space here to disentangle and describe his particular threads in the fabric of these past 15 years, but he’s woven solidly in there. However, I will say that he brought out the best in me – communication through the heart rather than through vocal chords, observation from a truly different set of eyes and, above all, laughter and joy while experiencing all the small, inconsequential things.

When he died last month, Parker’s vet, who assisted him, told me with sincerity that Parker was a patient he would remember the rest of his life. In part because given his fragile health, Parker lived well past anyone’s expectations. But I’d like to think that it was also because of Parker’s personal charm – a weird mix of suspicious, tentative optimism and naive incredulity. He never operated on pure faith, but he was always surprised when things didn’t quite work out to his particular liking. I loved that about him. It made him seem so human.

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