Mon05302016

News

FAA report

FAA report "a start" in allaying noise onslaught


Alicia Castro/Town Crier
Anti-noise advocates exchange informational door hangers to give to neighbors.

A federal report released last week identifies possible solutions to the aircraft noise plaguing South Bay communities.

The Federal Aviation...

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Schools

Almond community packs meals for those in need

Almond community packs meals for those in need


Courtesy of Polly Liu
Almond School families worked together last month to package more than 15,000 meals for the Stop Hunger Now organization. Approximately 85 volunteers, including students in grades K-6, packaged meals of rice, soy, vitamins and...

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Community

Veteran Marie Houghton Mong: Mapping out a long life of doing

Veteran Marie Houghton Mong: Mapping out a long life of doing


Megan V. Winslow/Town Crier
Marie Houghton Mong relaxes with one of her two 16-year-old cats at The Terraces at Los Altos retirement community.

On the average day, Marie Houghton Mong can be found in her attractive and comfortable apartment at T...

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Comment

Blame it on Rio: No Shoes, Please

In 2008, I wrote a column explaining why I thought Beijing was an inappropriate venue for that year’s Summer Olympic Games. I cited health risks: the city’s terrible pollution and the country’s corrupt food supply chain. I also note...

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Special Sections

Upscale modern: Los Altos Hills home honors DNA of originals

Upscale modern: Los Altos Hills home honors DNA of originals


Megan V. Winslow/Town Crier
Melissa and Nick French, right with son Grayson, pooled their talents to design their dream home. Melissa designed the living room sofa and table.

Melissa and Nick French took “do it yourself” to a new dimens...

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Business

ATHENA awards recognize local leadership

ATHENA awards recognize local leadership


Alicia Castro/Town Crier
Chamber of Commerce Mountain View presented this year’s ATHENA Leadership Award to Maria Marroquin, left, and Leane Reelfs, right. The ATHENA Young Professional Leadership Award went to Diana Bautista, center.

Chamber ...

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People

ERNEST TRAUGOTT

ERNEST TRAUGOTT

Resident of Los Altos 
August 18, 1920 - May 11, 2016 

Ernie died peacefully at his home, just a few months short of his 96th birthday. 

Ernie had an amazing life, born in Germany he and his family fled the Nazi's soon after Kristal...

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Stepping Out

LA Stage Company's 'Arts Razzle-Dazzle' showcases local talent

LA Stage Company's 'Arts Razzle-Dazzle' showcases local talent


Courtesy of Eileen Eng
Mountain View High junior Julia Rogers, 2015 South Bay Teen Idol winner, is slated to perform at Tuesday’s “Arts Razzle-Dazzle” at Bus Barn Theater.

Los Altos Stage Company shines a spotlight on the perfo...

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Spiritual Life

Former St. Nicholas pastor shares his story as exorcist

The Rev. Gary Thomas served the Los Altos faith community as pastor of St. Nicholas Catholic Parish for several years before he announced in 2005 that San Jose Bishop Patrick J. McGrath had assigned him to study in Rome, not unusual for U.S. priests...

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Back to school: Organizing for a fresh start

Photo Town Crier File Photo It could be helpful for parents to schedule a meeting with their children to discuss organizational and time-management strategies before the school year begins.

 

As a child, I looked forward to back-to-school time. I loved school supplies, and late August was the one time my parents actively indulged my passion for stationery.

As an educational consultant, I view the start of the school year as a time for new opportunities and possibilities. Between my own time in school and my work with students, I am entering my 27th back-to-school season. Amazingly, I still look forward to it with a mix of awe and anticipation.

All parents hope and dream that their children will have a rewarding school experience. Below are a few tips to help parents and students move beyond past challenges and create a fresh start in the new school year.

• Organize a late-summer clean-out. Many people think spring is the time for cleaning closets, but it’s also useful to take inventory of clothes and supplies before school starts. Most children experience growth spurts over the summer, so clothes that fit in March might be too small by August.

Before back-to-school shopping, set aside a few afternoons for a proper clean-out of clothes and supplies. Set a timer for two hours to make it a game and create a sense of urgency. Have children sort into three piles – keep, donate and trash.

• Convene a family meeting before school starts. Actively encouraging children to make a fresh start is an effective way to maximize past experiences. Before the school year begins, a collaborative meeting allows children to reflect on strategies that worked well for them in the past and what they would like to change in the coming year. The discussion could take place over a weekday brunch downtown or during a car ride – choose a time and venue that works well for your family dynamic.

• Create a dedicated study space and school-supplies box. Parents often assume that their children’s bedrooms are an effective place to study and complete homework. The vast majority of students, however, readily admit that their rooms are full of distractions – and listening to music or staring at pictures of friends can easily take up 20 minutes of precious homework time. Designating a consistent study space outside the bedroom makes a noticeable difference in efficiency, as does compiling a school-supplies box close at hand.

• Set aside time to organize binders and planners after school begins. Most parents purchase supplies for their children before school starts – ornate binders with multiple pockets, zippers and little gadgets aimed to make life easier. Rarely do such fancy binders end up being more than a minor distraction.

Rather than purchasing supplies before school starts, wait a few days until students know what’s required by their new teachers. In my office, we encourage students to review course syllabi the weekend after school starts and then create their binders for an organized school year.

• Encourage children to develop a screen-free stress reliever. I once worked with a high school freshman who had an incredible amount of work to make up due to a prolonged absence. We met regularly for several hours at a time, and I could easily recognize when he was close to wilting. When he needed a break, I allowed him time off to re-energize. He loved race cars, so he would often spend his break designing and drawing race cars freehand.

The combination of school and extracurricular activities can be overwhelming for students to maintain and balance, so ensuring that children have a built-in way to decompress and relax is as important as developing organizational and time-management skills. Although playing video games, watching TV, socializing with friends online or searching the Internet relieve stress for some, such activities can add stress and drama for many pre-teens and teenagers. Taking the dog for a walk, baking, drawing, painting or building model cars are ideal examples of screen-free stress relievers.

Ana Homayoun is founder of Los Altos-based Green Ivy Educational Consulting and author of “That Crumpled Paper Was Due Last Week: Helping Disorganized and Distracted Boys Succeed in School and Life” (Perigee Trade, 2010). For more information, visit www. greenivyed.com.

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