07272016Wed
Last updateTue, 26 Jul 2016 5pm

News

Program aims to help teachers afford housing

The Los Altos School District and Los Altos Community Foundation have joined forces to create an online form for local residents to connect with teachers in need of housing.

The district seeks to help teachers handle the high cost of housing in the ...

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Schools

AAUW supports local students at STEM Tech Trek camp

AAUW supports local students at STEM Tech Trek camp


Traci Newell/Town Crier
Tech Trek campers study the contents of a baby albatross’ stomach to understand the effect plastic can have on the marine ecosystem. The American Association of University Women provided scholarships that enabled seven...

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Community

Local vet: Dogs need teeth brushing, too: Pet Pause

Home oral hygiene can make a tremendous difference in your dog’s comfort and health. There are several home care oral hygiene options from which to choose, but keep in mind that anything you can do to help prevent plaque and tartar accumulation...

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Sports

It's been a big year for Little League

It's been a big year for Little League


Courtesy of Peter Jewett
The Los Altos & Los Altos Hills Little League’s 10-11 All-Stars won the Section 5 championship July 20. Front, from left: Connor Prahm, Jack Surdey, Jimmy Flynn, Rodrigo Ortiz, Justin Chou, Devan Reynard and Derek Gile....

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Comment

Letter to the Editor

LAH should examine short-term rentals

I used to think that a short-term rental (Airbnb style) was operated by someone who has a spare bedroom to share and was thus not a big issue. Living in Los Altos Hills, I was surprised to find out that one of m...

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Special Sections

Gardening for life: Strategies to make it easy

Gardening for life: Strategies to make it easy


Tanya Kucak/Special to the Town Crier
Succulents are a good choice for a small, low-maintenance garden that needs minimal water. Combine a variety of interesting colors and shapes.

If aches and pains are starting to limit your ability to garden, t...

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Business

Maybe think twice before extending that warranty

Maybe think twice before extending that warranty


I was in an electronics store the other day and at checkout they asked – doing their best “Would you like some fries with that?” routine – if I would like to purchase a warranty.

I never buy a service contract. Most good pr...

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People

DONNA MYERS

DONNA MYERS

Donna Lee Arrants Myers was born in Selma, California on Feb. 20, 1926. She passed away on June 23, 2016, at the age of 90, after suffering a stroke. Donna was the youngest of four children. She had two sisters, Jessie and Bonnie, and one brother, ...

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News

Detectives seek to identify bank robber

Detectives seek to identify bank robber

Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Office detectives have released images of a man robbing a local bank earlier this week.


The suspect

At approximately 3 p.m. Tuesday (July 19), a man wearing a black baseball cap, glasses and a black coat entered the Wells Fargo at the intersection of Foothill Expre...

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Business

Longtime LAVA director announces resignation

Longtime LAVA director announces resignation

Dunaway

After more than 10 years on the job, Nancy Dunaway is stepping down from her role as executive director of the Los Altos Village Association (LAVA).

“It’s a good time for both the association and myself,” Dunaway said last week.

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Sports

Don't tell these guys it's only an exhibition

Don't tell these guys it's only an exhibition

Megan V. Winslow/Town Crier
Mountain View High defensive end Noah Kjos celebrates a tackle by one of his teammates. He recovered a fumble in the game.

There was nothing on the line but pride, and that proved more than enough to motivate the players in the 42nd annual Charlie Wedemeyer High Scho...

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Community

Local vet: Dogs need teeth brushing, too: Pet Pause

Home oral hygiene can make a tremendous difference in your dog’s comfort and health. There are several home care oral hygiene options from which to choose, but keep in mind that anything you can do to help prevent plaque and tartar accumulation will pay big dividends. The most important thing ...

Readmore

Comment

Letter to the Editor

LAH should examine short-term rentals

I used to think that a short-term rental (Airbnb style) was operated by someone who has a spare bedroom to share and was thus not a big issue. Living in Los Altos Hills, I was surprised to find out that one of my neighbors in a small cul-de-sac is renting out a...

Readmore

People

DONNA MYERS

DONNA MYERS

Donna Lee Arrants Myers was born in Selma, California on Feb. 20, 1926. She passed away on June 23, 2016, at the age of 90, after suffering a stroke. Donna was the youngest of four children. She had two sisters, Jessie and Bonnie, and one brother, Clyde, whom she adored. At the age of eleven, the ...

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Schools

Hofmann boys reel in customers with their new fishing business

Hofmann boys reel in customers with their new fishing business

Courtesy of Amy Hofmann
The Hofmann brothers – Grady, from left, Hayden and Baylor – fish three to five mornings a week from their family’s boat, “Party of Five,” docked in the Santa Cruz Harbor.

Three to five times per week, the Hofmann boys get up much earlier than m...

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Special Sections

Reading in sign, ink and song

Reading in sign,  ink and song

Megan V. Winslow/Town Crier
A baby girl learns sign language during a program offered Wednesdays at the Los Altos Library.

Visit Los Altos Library’s community room on a Wednesday afternoon and you’ll see its plain gray expanse descend into a slobbering, rolling, gurgling-baby Thunderdo...

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Stepping Out

'Pan' flies into town

'Pan' flies into town

Courtesy of Pati Bristow
Valerie Hu, front, plays the title character and Ellie Schwartz is Tinkerbell in the Los Altos Youth Theatre production of “Disney’s Peter Pan Jr.”

The Los Altos Youth Theatre production of “Disney’s Peter Pan Jr.”scheduled to close Sunday.

Fly away to Neverland with P...

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Obituaries

DONNA MYERS

DONNA MYERS

Donna Lee Arrants Myers was born in Selma, California on Feb. 20, 1926. She passed away on June 23, 2016, at the age of 90, after suffering a stroke. Donna was the youngest of four children. She had two sisters, Jessie and Bonnie, and one brother, Clyde, whom she adored. At the age of eleven, the ...

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Magazine

Festival offers fun for just about everyone

Festival offers fun for just about everyone

TOWN CRIER FILE PHOTO
The 37th annual Los Altos Arts & Wine Festival expects to draw thousands of people to the downtown village over the weekend. The festival features arts, crafts, food, wine, beer and children’s activities.

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Rolling along: Skateworks provides an outlet and place of acceptance


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Skateworks’ Kevin Paya guides a student on a skateboarding ramp during a lesson last week at Grant Park.

Jason Strubing has a suggestion for Los Altos youth who have no interest in traditional sports like baseball and football – try picking up a skateboard.

Strubing – who owns and operates Skateworks at 379 State St. in downtown Los Altos – said the sport is an ideal outlet for all ages.

“It’s not a team sport, but rather more of a brotherhood sport,” said the Boulder Creek native, whose family started Skateworks in 1988. “You can pretty much go to any skate park and immediately make friends.”

Strubing believes that skateboarding’s ability to embrace individualism while fostering an atmosphere of acceptance for all walks of life is overlooked.

“There are no rules or anything like organized sports,” Skateworks employee Kevin Paya said. “You can do it by yourself, you can do it anywhere and it’s relatively cheap, too. … I don’t think any other sport taps into a person’s creative side like skateboarding does.”

Strubing said his struggles fitting in as a kid inspired his family to open the first Skateworks shop in Boulder Creek. The father of three distinctly recalls feeling out of place when he and his brothers entered local skateboard shops in Santa Cruz as teens. It was an experience he didn’t want to replicate with his own business.

“We were skate rats, but the environment (at the local skate shop) was so intimidating for a kid. It just wasn’t very accepting,” Strubing said. “Eventually, it basically came down to, ‘We should open our own shop, where you check your attitude at the door. This is an accepting place.’”

Rolling in the right direction

Strubing said the sport continues to gain popularity in Los Altos. Shortly after opening his State Street store in 2011, Strubing recalled seeing a small group of children enter his shop “mesmerized” by the idea of skateboarding. He quickly learned that the kids viewed Skateworks as a place they could call their own in downtown Los Altos.

“They’d come and hang out for two or three hours a day,” he said. “I’d ask them what they did before this and the answer was, ‘We hung out in the Walgreens parking lot.’”

A little more than a year ago the store expanded its efforts to promote skateboarding, offering private lessons and group classes through a partnership with the Los Altos Recreation Department. On any given day in downtown Los Altos, Paya can be found skateboarding with a handful of kids decked out in helmets and pads trailing close behind.

“I’m a huge celebrity – if you’re under the age of 12,” quipped Paya, 26.

The lessons have resulted in early positive reviews.

Los Altos resident Angie Harrison said she enrolled her 9-year-old son, Ryan, in lessons with Paya through the city as an alternative to other sports he enjoys, such as baseball, tennis and skiing. She also encouraged her son to take up skateboarding for a more practical reason – transportation.

“The kids usually walk or ride a bike in my neighborhood,” she said. “I thought maybe skateboarding would be a good way for him to get to school.”

Los Altos resident Setsuko Sato said she enrolled sons Masa, 6, and Tomo, 9, in skateboarding lessons because the sport meant so much to her brother growing up in Los Angeles during the 1970s. She credited Paya’s ability to connect with kids and his emphasis on safety as reasons his lessons are a popular choice among Los Altos parents.

“They just love Kevin – he’s really laid back,” Sato said of her sons. “He really knows how to push them past their comfort level but still keep it safe.”

“I didn’t realize until I started doing this that I was good with kids,” Paya said. “I just talk to them the same way I would with Jason or anyone else. I genuinely feel there hasn’t been a kid who wasn’t totally stoked after his or her first lesson.”

Just like mom and dad

Strubing believes that stereotypes of skateboarders no longer apply, in part because of a new generation of parents who grew up with the sport. He added that skateboarding has gained interest locally and on a national level thanks to televised events such as the X Games.

“I think it is generational,” Strubing said. “I’m 42, so I’m really a part of that first generation of parents who were self-professed skaters.”

Paya agreed, adding that he believes the sport – for competitive reasons and otherwise – will continue its upward climb in popularity with local youth.

“There used to be that preconceived notion that skaters had mohawks and spray-painted graffiti all over the place,” Paya said. “But really, it’s just like any other sport.”

For more information, visit skateworks.com.


Skateboard class at Grant Park - Photos by Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier

Submit a Letter to the Editor

The Town Crier welcomes letters to the editor on current events pertinent to Los Altos, Los Altos Hills and Mountain View. Write to us at 138 Main St., Los Altos 94022, Attn: Editor, or email editor Bruce Barton at bruceb@latc.com. Because editorial space is limited, please confine letters to no more than 200 words. Include a phone number for verification purposes. Anonymous letters will not be printed.

You can also have your say right here at losaltosonline.com – scroll to the bottom of any story to add a comment. 

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