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Last updateWed, 18 Oct 2017 10am

Poor air quality prompts games to be canceled at local schools

Smoky skies prompted the cancellation of several h...

Foothills Congregational hosts justice forum

Foothills Congregational Church has scheduled “A F...

First Street office-park project abruptly halted -- reaction mixed

First Street office-park project abruptly halted -- reaction mixed

Courtesy of LACI
A rendering of the First Stre...
Costume Bank gears up for Halloween with wide selection, extended hours

Costume Bank gears up for Halloween with wide selection, extended hours


Photo Courtesy of Costume Bank
“Game of Thrones”...
Los Altos History Museum tells 'Asian Pacific American Story'

Los Altos History Museum tells 'Asian Pacific American Story'


Courtesy of Los Altos History Museum
Japanese-Am...
Bitter pathways debate muddles LAH election of new vice mayor

Bitter pathways debate muddles LAH election of new vice mayor

Courtesy of Bridget Morgan
The proposed pathwa...
LAHS students empower the next generation of computer engineers

LAHS students empower the next generation of computer engineers


Courtesy of CENG
Monta Loma junior mentor Deven ...

News

Wildfires' impact felt locally

Wildfires' impact felt locally

Megan V. Winslow / Town Crier
Los Altos residents Aimee Castaneda, left, and Trish Moore load donated household items from Moore’s front yard into a SUV Thursday. Within two days of posting a Nextdoor.com request for goods to help victims of the ...

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Schools

LAHS students empower the next generation of computer engineers

LAHS students empower the next generation of computer engineers


Courtesy of CENG
Monta Loma junior mentor Deven Merced, right, shares his computer science knowledge with classmate Angel Marshal.

Truly mastering a skill means being able to turn around and teach what you’ve been taught. That’s the case for mem...

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Community

Community Briefs

Schola Cantorum celebrates Halloween

Schola Cantorum Silicon Valley is scheduled to perform two Halloween-themed “Ghosts, Goblins and Ghouls” concerts.

The first is slated 7:30 p.m. Oct. 28 at First Congregational Church of Palo Alto, 1985 Louis Ro...

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Sports

LA's cross-country team comes through in Clovis

LA's cross-country team comes through in Clovis


Photo by Malcolm Slaney/
Special to the Town Crier Los Altos High’s Owen Mac-Kenzie, above, set a school record at the Clovis Invitational. Fellow Eagle Naomi Donovan ran the second-fastest time in school history there.

The Los Altos High cross-...

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Comment

Letters to the Editor

LACI calls halt to First Street Green

It is with great sadness that I am announcing we are not moving forward with the First Street Green development project.

I love Los Altos. It is a fabulous town. As a native of this area, I appreciate how Los A...

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Special Sections

Passion Fit: Reduce risk of breast cancer via exercise, nutrition

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, so it’s important to understand the risks associated with the disease and what can be done to reduce them.

According to breastcancer.org, approximately 12 percent of women – that’s one in eight – in the U.S....

Readmore

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Business

Despite high salaries, Santa Clara County ranks low nationally in discretionary income

Trove Technologies Inc. recently released a study revealing that California ranks third worst among states in discretionary income, despite boasting the fourth highest salaries.

Santa Clara County, along with five other California cities – San...

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People

Noteworthy: Midpen's Abbors announces retirement

Noteworthy: Midpen's Abbors announces retirement


Abbors

 

Steve Abbors, general manager of the Los Altos-based Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District, plans to retire after nearly a decade at the public agency’s helm. He will stay on through the end of the year.

“Steve came aboard du...

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News

Wildfires' impact felt locally

Wildfires' impact felt locally
Megan V. Winslow / Town Crier
Los Altos residents Aimee Castaneda, left, and Trish Moore load donated household items from Moore’s front yard into a SUV Thursday. Within two days of posting a Nextdoor.com request for goods to help victims of the Northern California fires and first responders, Mo...

Readmore

Business

Despite high salaries, Santa Clara County ranks low nationally in discretionary income

Trove Technologies Inc. recently released a study revealing that California ranks third worst among states in discretionary income, despite boasting the fourth highest salaries.

Santa Clara County, along with five other California cities – San Francisco, Sacramento, Riverside, Los Angeles and...

Readmore

Sports

LA's cross-country team comes through in Clovis

LA's cross-country team comes through in Clovis

Photo by Malcolm Slaney/
Special to the Town Crier Los Altos High’s Owen Mac-Kenzie, above, set a school record at the Clovis Invitational. Fellow Eagle Naomi Donovan ran the second-fastest time in school history there.

The Los Altos High cross-country team has to hope its strong showing at the...

Readmore

Community

Community Briefs

Schola Cantorum celebrates Halloween

Schola Cantorum Silicon Valley is scheduled to perform two Halloween-themed “Ghosts, Goblins and Ghouls” concerts.

The first is slated 7:30 p.m. Oct. 28 at First Congregational Church of Palo Alto, 1985 Louis Road, and the second is set for 3 p.m. Oct. 29 at Lo...

Readmore

Comment

Letters to the Editor

LACI calls halt to First Street Green

It is with great sadness that I am announcing we are not moving forward with the First Street Green development project.

I love Los Altos. It is a fabulous town. As a native of this area, I appreciate how Los Altos has kept its charm and has focused on the cit...

Readmore

Spiritual Life

Spiritual Perspective: Celebrating 200 years of Baha'i faith

Every year each faith community commemorates the anniversary of several special events, including those associated with the lives of its founder and other significant people within that community.

            These occasions are times of collec...

Readmore

People

Noteworthy: Midpen's Abbors announces retirement

Noteworthy: Midpen's Abbors announces retirement

Abbors

 

Steve Abbors, general manager of the Los Altos-based Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District, plans to retire after nearly a decade at the public agency’s helm. He will stay on through the end of the year.

“Steve came aboard during a pivotal time for Midpen and helped us chang...

Readmore

Schools

LAHS students empower the next generation of computer engineers

LAHS students empower the next generation of computer engineers

Courtesy of CENG
Monta Loma junior mentor Deven Merced, right, shares his computer science knowledge with classmate Angel Marshal.

Truly mastering a skill means being able to turn around and teach what you’ve been taught. That’s the case for members of Los Altos High School’s Computer Engineers...

Readmore

Special Sections

Passion Fit: Reduce risk of breast cancer via exercise, nutrition

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, so it’s important to understand the risks associated with the disease and what can be done to reduce them.

According to breastcancer.org, approximately 12 percent of women – that’s one in eight – in the U.S. will develop breast cancer over the course of the...

Readmore

Stepping Out

Upstage Theater's 'William Shakespeare' plays this weekend

Upstage Theater’s production of “The Complete Works of William Shakespeare” is scheduled Friday through Sunday at the Mountain View Center for the Performing Arts, 500 Castro St.

The play stars a group of teens who attempt to cover all of Shakespeare’s 37 plays in less than two hours. The show aims...

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Obituaries

KURT MOTOGAWA

KURT MOTOGAWA

Kurt Motogawa, beloved husband, devoted father and friend to all passed away very unexpectedly on October 7th while vacationing in Florida. He was 56.

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Magazine

'All are welcome' moms group celebrates families helping families

'All are welcome' moms group celebrates families helping families

Megan V. Winslow/Town Crier
Stephanie Braun, from left, Adam Braun and Marty Braun of Mountain View and Michelle Evans, Chloe Knapp and Kevin Knapp of Sunnyvale swing at a recent Las Madres gathering at Marymeade Park in Los Altos.

A parent is born at the same time as her first child, and remad...

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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

Reader Comments

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The 129th Rescue Wing Aids in Hurricane Harvey Rescue

Read the full story about the rescue here.
 

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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.

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