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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Realtor report: Luxury home sales still rising

Silicon Valley’s luxury housing market capped a strong year in 2013 with sales edging up 8.9 percent in December over a year ago, according to a new report by Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage.

The figures are based on Multiple Listing Service data of all homes sold for more than $1.5 million in December 2013 in Santa Clara County.

A total of 122 luxury homes sold in December, up from the 112 sales in December 2012. On a monthly basis, high-end December sales were below November’s 151 transactions, though a decline from November to December isn’t unusual.

“Silicon Valley’s luxury housing market had a great year in 2013, with sales increasing consistently on a year-over-year basis, especially in the upper end of the market,” said Rick Turley, president of Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage. “The only thing that kept sales from going even higher was the severe shortage of homes on the market.”

The median December 2013 sale price of a luxury home in Silicon Valley was $1.9 million, nearly 1 percent higher than the previous month but down 3.6 percent from a year ago, when the median price was $2 million. The upper end of the luxury market recorded 59 sales of more than $2 million, up from 57 a year ago. The 13 sales in excess of $3 million were down from 19 a year ago.

Other key market indicators improved on an annual basis, with homes selling faster on average in December versus a year earlier and sellers receiving a higher percentage of their asking price on average.

“We continue to have an imbalance between the supply of homes and the extremely strong demand from buyers in the Valley,” Turley said. “There are signs that this is gradually starting to change, with more inventory expected to come on the market in the weeks ahead. Hopefully, that will bring the market back into a healthier balance in 2014, which will be good for everyone – buyers and sellers alike.”

Other key findings from the Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage luxury report:

• The most expensive December 2013 sale in Silicon Valley was a four-bedroom, eight-bathroom, 4,300-square-foot home in Palo Alto that sold for $6.1 million.

• Palo Alto boasted the most luxury sales with 31, followed by Los Altos with 27, Saratoga with 22 and San Jose with 17.

• Homes sold in an average of 33 days, down from 60 days a year ago but more than the 25 days during the previous month.

• Sellers received an average of 104 percent of their asking price, up from 101 percent a year ago but down from the 106 percent the previous month.

The Silicon Valley Luxury Housing Market Report is a monthly report by Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage. For more information, visit californiamoves.com.

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