Sat02132016

News

SPLAT targets data, outreach as airplane noise continues

SPLAT targets data, outreach as airplane noise continues


Graphic courtesy of Don Gardner
Activists claim that a new SFO flight path leaves a “sound shadow” that impacts Los Altos and Los Altos Hills.

Sky Posse Los Altos Team – more simply known as SPLAT – seeks to squelch the noise...

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Schools

Los Altos High student-run charity plans '5 Gallon Gala'

Los Altos High student-run charity plans '5 Gallon Gala'


Courtesy of Lia Evard
Water by Youth members gave Egan students a chance to carry a 40-pound Jerry can, to see how difficult it is to obtain water in developing nations.

Water by Youth, a club at Los Altos High School, is making a splash by pla...

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Community

What would you do with a box of cookies? Local Girls Scouts help Tanzanian orphanage

What would you do with a box of cookies? Local Girls Scouts help Tanzanian orphanage


Courtesy of Alicia Madden
Sales of local Girl Scout cookies support service projects, such as funding an orphanage in the village of Mto wa Mbu in Tanzania.

Girl Scout cookies – whether you think of them as a treat, a tradition or a diet comp...

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Sports

Scoreless spells sink LA boys

Scoreless spells sink LA boys


Megan V. Winslow/Town Crier
Los Altos High point guard Nolan Brennan attempts a shot in Friday’s game versus Palo Alto. He scored eight points in the loss.

There have been several games this season in which the Los Altos High boys basketball t...

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Comment

New 'York' values

New 'York' values


Hughes

 

As we have witnessed California suffer through one of its worst droughts in history over the past few years, all of us, I’m sure, have been keenly aware of our surroundings and have done a small part in trying to conserve wa...

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Special Sections

Getting a charge  out of the Volt

Getting a charge out of the Volt


Courtesy of Chevrolet
The 2016 Chevrolet Volt can be driven up to 50 miles on the power stored in its batteries.

Just five years ago, we wondered in this column what the power supply would be for the car of the future. Gasoline, diesel, electric ba...

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Business

Nearing V-Day: Shops stock sweets, treats

Nearing V-Day: Shops stock sweets, treats


Megan V. Winslow/Town Crier
Los Altos resident Ella Roosakos, 11, with her mother, Gail, puzzles over which Gourmet Works sweets to buy as a valentine for Ella’s friend.

The gift-buying rush isn’t exclusive to Christmas. It may jump over...

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People

ALAN RODNEY MILLS

ALAN RODNEY MILLS

Alan Rodney Mills, PhD, 83, of Los Altos passed away peacefully on Saturday, January 30th, 2016. He was born in Rochdale, England in 1933 and came to California in 1962. He was a proud alumni of Manchester Grammar in England, University of Liverpoo...

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Stepping Out

PYT 'Gets Famous'

PYT 'Gets Famous'


Lyn Flaim Healy/Spotlight Moments Photography
Renee Vetter of Palo Alto, left, and Megan Foreman of Los Altos star in Peninsula Youth Theatre’s “Judy Moody Gets Famous.” Performances are scheduled Friday and Saturday.

Peninsula...

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Spiritual Life

A time to prepare: Fasting for Lent isn't limited to food

 

Today is Ash Wednesday, which in the Christian calendar marks the beginning of Lent – the 40 days of preparation for Resurrection Sunday, otherwise known as Easter.

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Inside Mountain View

New right-to-lease ordinance promises relief for renters

New right-to-lease ordinance promises relief for renters


Mountain View Tenants Coalition/Facebook
Residents gather in the fall to protest Mountain View’s rising rents. Rent relief is on the way in the form of a new ordinance.

A controversial Mountain View law requiring landlords to provide lease opt...

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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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