05272017Sat
Last updateTue, 30 May 2017 5pm

News

Do you know the way? New wayfinding signs help navigate Los Altos

Do you know the way? New wayfinding signs help navigate Los Altos


Megan V. Winslow/Town Crier
New green wayfinding signs seek to provide a uniform guide to accessing Los Altos’ commercial districts.

What if all of Los Altos spoke with one voice, from Highway 85 to Adobe Creek?

Los Altos residents can begin to...

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Schools

MVLA community to weigh in on facilities at meeting today

Parents, students and teachers in the Mountain View Los Altos Union High School District can weigh in on the district’s still-developing Facilities Master Plan at a public meeting scheduled 3:30 p.m. today at Los Altos High School, Room 507, 20...

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Community

Los Altos Community Foundation gives more than $60K to nonprofits

Los Altos Community Foundation recently awarded more than $60,000 through its Community Grants program to 14 local nonprofit organizations that help seniors, youth, vulnerable populations, the environment and the arts.

The grants support activities ...

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Sports

Eagles soar into semis

Eagles soar into semis


Town Crier file photo
Los Altos High’s Alex Reelfs earned the win in Saturday’s CCS Division I quarterfinal game against rival Mountain View.

With Saturday’s Central Coast Section Division I baseball quarterfinal game tied at 2 in ...

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Comment

Letters to the Editor

Plant-based diet key to saving planet

In his May 3 letter to the Town Crier, Jagjit Singh writes about eating a plant-based diet to save the planet (“Switch to plant-based diet to protect Earth”).

Well, he’s right!

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Special Sections

CSA connects families with fresh, nutritious food

CSA connects families with fresh, nutritious food


Courtesy of Community Services Organization
CSA staff load groceries to take to Castro Elementary School as part of a new outreach program for children and families enrolled in the free and reduced lunch programs at Castro and Mistral schools.

Maure...

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Business

A familiar face takes the

A familiar face takes the "Post" at Main Street bar


Megan V. Winslow/Town Crier
After a renovation, the Copeland Building at 397 Main St. will reopen as The Post in the fall. Owner Vickie Breslin will run the bar and restaurant, the former home of First & Main Sports Lounge.

Vickie Breslin ha...

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People

SHIRLEY HEMPHILL MAGARIAN

SHIRLEY HEMPHILL MAGARIAN

3/30/31 - 5/17/17

Shirley Hemphill Magarian, age 86, passed away in Pasadena, California.

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News

Do you know the way? New wayfinding signs help navigate Los Altos

Do you know the way? New wayfinding signs help navigate Los Altos

Megan V. Winslow/Town Crier
New green wayfinding signs seek to provide a uniform guide to accessing Los Altos’ commercial districts.

What if all of Los Altos spoke with one voice, from Highway 85 to Adobe Creek?

Los Altos residents can begin to see that vision with a new wayfinding program the...

Readmore

Business

A familiar face takes the "Post" at Main Street bar

A familiar face takes the

Megan V. Winslow/Town Crier
After a renovation, the Copeland Building at 397 Main St. will reopen as The Post in the fall. Owner Vickie Breslin will run the bar and restaurant, the former home of First & Main Sports Lounge.

Vickie Breslin had the option of leaving Los Altos when First &...

Readmore

Sports

Eagles soar into semis

Eagles soar into semis

Town Crier file photo
Los Altos High’s Alex Reelfs earned the win in Saturday’s CCS Division I quarterfinal game against rival Mountain View.

With Saturday’s Central Coast Section Division I baseball quarterfinal game tied at 2 in the bottom of the fourth inning, Los Altos High ma...

Readmore

Community

Los Altos Community Foundation gives more than $60K to nonprofits

Los Altos Community Foundation recently awarded more than $60,000 through its Community Grants program to 14 local nonprofit organizations that help seniors, youth, vulnerable populations, the environment and the arts.

The grants support activities such as the Center for Age-Friendly ExcellenceR...

Readmore

Comment

Letters to the Editor

Plant-based diet key to saving planet

In his May 3 letter to the Town Crier, Jagjit Singh writes about eating a plant-based diet to save the planet (“Switch to plant-based diet to protect Earth”).

Well, he’s right!

Readmore

Spiritual Life

Christ Episcopal Church welcomes new pastor Dietrich Ranna

Christ Episcopal Church welcomes new pastor Dietrich Ranna

Courtesy of Sara Boadwee
The Rev. Claire Dietrich Ranna began her ministry at Christ Episcopal Church of Los Altos in February.

Christ Episcopal Church of Los Altos enters a new era with the calling of the Rev. Claire Dietrich Ranna, who serves as the ninth rector of the church.

Ranna began her mi...

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Schools

MVLA community to weigh in on facilities at meeting today

Parents, students and teachers in the Mountain View Los Altos Union High School District can weigh in on the district’s still-developing Facilities Master Plan at a public meeting scheduled 3:30 p.m. today at Los Altos High School, Room 507, 201 Almond Ave.

A second meeting is slated 3 p.m. ...

Readmore

Special Sections

CSA connects families with fresh, nutritious food

CSA connects families with fresh, nutritious food

Courtesy of Community Services Organization
CSA staff load groceries to take to Castro Elementary School as part of a new outreach program for children and families enrolled in the free and reduced lunch programs at Castro and Mistral schools.

Maureen Wadiak has worked in the Silicon Valley communi...

Readmore

Stepping Out

LA Stage Co.'s 'Razzle-Dazzle' salutes talent in community

LA Stage Co.'s 'Razzle-Dazzle' salutes talent in community

Photos Courtesy of Eileen Eng
Blachappella, above, is set to perform at “Arts Razzle-Dazzle.”

Los Altos Stage Company will highlight performing arts in the community with its “Arts Razzle-Dazzle” event, slated 6 p.m. Tuesday at Bus Barn Theater, 97 Hillview Ave.

Proceeds will support youth edu...

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Magazine

Senior team targets keys for a satisfying life: Socializing, exercising mind & body top goals

Senior team targets keys for a satisfying life: Socializing, exercising mind & body top goals

Gary Anderson/Special to the Town Crier
Seniors sing carols at the Grant Park holiday party. The Senior Commission aims to expand such programming.

 

Gary Anderson is a former member of the Los Altos and Los Altos Hills Senior Commission. Following is his update on local senior services a...

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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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