Bonjour, Mon Ami: Stanford graduates bring senior companionship model to Los Altos

Photo courtesy of Mon Ami
Co-founder Madeline Dangerfield-Cha assists retired Stanford professor Ralph with writing his memoir.

Two Stanford University business school graduates believed in their company’s senior companionship model so much that they advertised themselves as the first to pilot it on Craigslist and Nextdoor. Their strategy worked, and now they have expanded to Los Altos.

Avaamo teaches computers to talk like people

Courtesy of Avaamo
Avaamo Inc. co-founders Sriram Chakravarthy, left, and Ram Menon are happy to call Los Altos home to one of their conversational artificial intelligence company’s offices.

One Los Altos company has been quietly working away on Second Street creating the future of how humans and computers will interact.

Co-founder and CEO Ram Menon, a Los Altos resident for the past 17 years, created Avaamo Inc. because he saw a huge shift coming in human-computer interaction. The way he sees it, there have been a few major changes in the way people interact with computers: the graphical user interface, the creation of the mouse and the use of touch for mobile phones. With each wave of technology, the time before that technology became almost unthinkable. And he thinks the next stage is coming: talk.

Despite petition, Mountain View's Bierhaus closed Friday

Megan V. Winslow/Town Crier
Permits to demolish the Bierhaus beer garden and its outdoor patio and build a brand new commercial building moved forward despite community protest.


















Mountain View's Bierhaus closed Friday, according to signs posted by owner Mike Finley.

It takes a village: How a locally designed app aims to turn parenting into a communal effort once again

Courtesy of Hugh Molotsi
Hugh Molotsi, creator of Ujama, a local parent transportation app, models a T-shirt with his company logo along with his wife, Michelle, and their daughters Dineo, left, and Danielle, right. The Molotsis rely on Ujama to get their girls to and from gymnastics.


More than 400 parents in Los Altos and surrounding cities are using a transportation app – started by a Silicon Valley tech guru turned Oak Valley neighborhood dad – that’s meant to build a network.

Just outside Rancho San Antonio, Zambia native Hugh Molotsi sits and works on ways to innovate his app, Ujama, to be even more school and family oriented.

Full circle: Dancers' orbit leads Mountain View ballet academy to thrive

Megan V. Winslow/Town Crier
Rima Chaeff, left, with her mother Marion, who opened the academy in 1985.

While sharing the history of Pacific Ballet Academy in Mountain View, Marion Chaeff and her daughter, Rima, both used the ballet programs they were participating in or the class they were teaching as a time stamp to ensure they were speaking in chronological order.

It could be because the academy’s owners were being interviewed about their business and the 33-year run through which they have nurtured it, but it became increasingly obvious that no matter the topic, the conversation – and their lives – would always turn to ballet.

3 Potato drapes women with an artist's touch

Photos by Megan V. Winslow/Town Crier
Clothing designer Guo Feng, above, opened the 3 Potato boutique on State Street in Los Altos this summer to sell her loosely constructed, abstract pieces of women’s clothing.


An artist at this summer’s Los Altos Arts & Wine Festival spotted an empty storefront during her weekend in town and saw the potential to stay for the long term. Within a month, women’s clothier Guo Feng had opened a brick-and-mortar boutique, 3 Potato, and started selling her personal designs from the former location of Atelier Gray at 358 State St.

Feng’s loose and flowing shirts, tunics and jackets are made of lightweight, easy-to-wash viscose. Some of the fabrics use patterns she painted herself, other prints she modified or picked for their striking aesthetic.

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