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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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More progress, not process for civic center

We appreciate that the Los Altos City Council and city staff want to move forward with replacing Hillview Community Center, an outdated facility that leaves much to be desired. But with all due respect, it’s déjà vu all over again.

Six years ago, the city employed consultant Anderson Brulé Architects to facilitate a series of meetings that captured residents’ opinions and priorities on the elements they wanted incorporated in the entire 18-acre civic center site. The two-year, $450,000 process resulted in the formulation of the Civic Center Master Plan.

The plan – with four phases and a $180 million price tag – went nowhere. Now, the city has brought back Anderson Brulé, which this time, according to city officials, will be different. The city is opting for a more modest plan, one that calls for rebuilding only the aging Hillview Community Center. The process, the city contends, will more directly involve residents and grant them a feeling of ownership.

Perhaps additional outreach is needed, but to the tune of $184,000? And why settle for remodeling only the Hillview facility when the city should be looking at the entire 18-acre site? The new building could be built closer to the History Museum.

We don’t need yet another survey of residents to determine their priorities. Residents have already called for a revamped senior center, retention of the fields for youth sports, a community swimming pool and a multipurpose facility that would include a theater and permanent home for Los Altos Stage Company.

The original master plan failed to garner public support in part due to a bond measure with a hefty cost proposed during a bad economy. But other roadblocks included prioritizing reconstruction of the police station and city hall, relocating the apricot orchard and insisting on single-story buildings. Surely, a three- or four-story community center in one building, set back from the road, would cut costs way back as well as open up more space.

It seems shortsighted to address only the community center. Does limiting work to the community center slow future planning and development for the rest of the property? Is this a “let’s get something done” over a “let’s do it right” approach?

We like the idea of a design competition. Why not start one now? Open it up to the entire 18 acres. Solicit 3-D designs of the proposed plans. Residents would get a far better idea of their choices.

The devil is always in the details, of course. But so far, process has not yielded progress.

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