06272016Mon
Last updateFri, 24 Jun 2016 5pm

News

LASD trustee submits resignation

Los Altos School District Trustee Tammy Logan announced at the June 13 board meeting her intention to resign from the board.

Logan, who has served on the board for six years, cited personal reasons for her departure and added that she is resigning...

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Schools

Kick, Lead, and Dream marks 10 years of inspiring youth

Kick, Lead, and Dream marks 10 years of inspiring youth


Megan V. Winslow/Town Crier
Campers at the Kick, Lead, and Dream summer camp pile on their coach, bottom, in green shirt. The relationships among campers and their coaches is a special element of the camp, which encourages positivity, leadership and...

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Community

Free summer concerts on tap Thursdays in Los Altos, Mtn. View

Free summer concerts on tap Thursdays in Los Altos, Mtn. View


Courtesy of the Peelers’ Facebook page
The Peelers, shown here in action, have the distinction of being scheduled to play at both the Los Altos and Mountain View summer concert series.

The warm air will be crackling with the sounds of live music...

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Comment

Letters to the Editor

Land purchase is best option for school district

The Los Altos School District Board of Trustees made a decision to pursue the purchase of an additional school site at its June 13 board meeting.

While we are excited about the possibilities for an ...

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Business

Beauty for the boardroom: Los Altos startup styles for work, after hours

Beauty for the boardroom: Los Altos startup styles for work, after hours


Courtesy of BFab
The Los Altos-based BFab app builds on Silicon Valley singularities to style everything from participants in an Indian wedding, above, to business leaders going on camera.

Los Altos resident Sharon Cimring met business partner Margo...

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People

DR. BILL B. MAY

DR. BILL B. MAY

September 2, 1935 – June 6, 2016 Los Altos Hills 

Bill Bruce May, beloved husband, father, and grandfather, passed away peacefully at age 80 on June 6th, 2016, with his family at his side. He was born in Sturgis, South Dakota to parents John ...

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News

LASD trustee submits resignation

Los Altos School District Trustee Tammy Logan announced at the June 13 board meeting her intention to resign from the board.

Logan, who has served on the board for six years, cited personal reasons for her departure and added that she is resigning at this time so that voters in November can selec...

Readmore

Business

Beauty for the boardroom: Los Altos startup styles for work, after hours

Beauty for the boardroom: Los Altos startup styles for work, after hours

Courtesy of BFab
The Los Altos-based BFab app builds on Silicon Valley singularities to style everything from participants in an Indian wedding, above, to business leaders going on camera.

Los Altos resident Sharon Cimring met business partner Margo Myers through their teenage daughters. Cimring ha...

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Sports

Hills golfer wins division at Lemoore Junior Open

Sophie Siminoff of Los Altos Hills won the girls 15-18 title and finished second overall at the Kyle Simonson-Lemoore Junior Open last week.

The 16-year-old beat Clovis’ Morgan Polley by three strokes at the two-day tournament, held June 13 and 14 at Lemoore Golf Course.

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Community

Free summer concerts on tap Thursdays in Los Altos, Mtn. View

Free summer concerts on tap Thursdays in Los Altos, Mtn. View

Courtesy of the Peelers’ Facebook page
The Peelers, shown here in action, have the distinction of being scheduled to play at both the Los Altos and Mountain View summer concert series.

The warm air will be crackling with the sounds of live music as both Los Altos and Mountain View launch summer...

Readmore

Comment

Letters to the Editor

Land purchase is best option for school district

The Los Altos School District Board of Trustees made a decision to pursue the purchase of an additional school site at its June 13 board meeting.

While we are excited about the possibilities for an innovative new school on this site, the purchase i...

Readmore

Spiritual Life

Islam's holy month of fasting, prayer and charity ends with joyful holiday

For the more than 1.6 billion Muslims around the world, Ramadan has begun.

Observed the ninth month of the Islamic calendar (this year beginning at sundown June 6 in the U.S. – dates vary slightly by country), Ramadan is a time of fasting, prayer and charitable activities. It is considered on...

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People

DR. BILL B. MAY

DR. BILL B. MAY

September 2, 1935 – June 6, 2016 Los Altos Hills 

Bill Bruce May, beloved husband, father, and grandfather, passed away peacefully at age 80 on June 6th, 2016, with his family at his side. He was born in Sturgis, South Dakota to parents John and Weltha May, and grew up on a ranch outside Stu...

Readmore

Schools

Kick, Lead, and Dream marks 10 years of inspiring youth

Kick, Lead, and Dream marks 10 years of inspiring youth

Megan V. Winslow/Town Crier
Campers at the Kick, Lead, and Dream summer camp pile on their coach, bottom, in green shirt. The relationships among campers and their coaches is a special element of the camp, which encourages positivity, leadership and good sportsmanship.

To the casual onlooker, the K...

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Stepping Out

End of 'Autumn'

End of 'Autumn'

Kevin Berne/Special to the Town Crier
Susan Greenhill and Mark Anderson Phillips star in “The Velocity of Autumn.”

TheatreWorks’ regional premiere of “The Velocity of Autumn” is slated to close Sunday at the Mountain View Center for the Performing Arts, 500 Castro St.

Written by Eric Coble, th...

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Obituaries

DR. BILL B. MAY

DR. BILL B. MAY

September 2, 1935 – June 6, 2016 Los Altos Hills 

Bill Bruce May, beloved husband, father, and grandfather, passed away peacefully at age 80 on June 6th, 2016, with his family at his side. He was born in Sturgis, South Dakota to parents John and Weltha May, and grew up on a ranch outside Stu...

Readmore

Magazine

Aging Matters: Take preventive steps to avoid slips and falls

Aging Matters: Take preventive steps to avoid slips and falls

Courtesy of silver sneakers
An exercise program like Silver Sneakers Fitness can help seniors with strength, balance and flexibility.

The statistics on seniors who slip and fall are startling. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention:

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Local educator helps students overcome fear of public speaking


Photos Nuinui Teo/Special to the Town Crier
Local educator Matt Abrahams’ book, “Speaking Up Without Freaking Out,” offers techniques to overcome public-speaking phobias.

Less than 10 seconds into his first speech before an audience, Matt Abrahams ripped his pants.

Competing in a speech tournament as a sophomore in high school, he attempted to demonstrate a karate kick.

“I was so nervous about possible outcomes before my speech that I forgot to change my pants into ones that would allow for movement,” he said with a laugh.

Despite the rough start, the Los Altos resident’s first experience didn’t deter him from mastering the art of public speaking.

Abrahams, now a communication instructor at Stanford University and a speech communication instructor at De Anza College, wrote a book about public speaking, “Speaking Up Without Freaking Out: 35 Techniques for Confident, Calm, and Competent Presenting” (Kendall Hunt, 2012), aimed at helping people control their anxiety before – and while – addressing a crowd.

“I wrote the book out of frustration,” he said. “There was so much research that had been done about anxiety and public speaking, but it was all locked away in academic journals that people don’t really get to see.”

Abrahams started off in the tech industry, never thinking he would end up as a communications teacher. But the experience he gained working as a businessman helped him realize the importance of communication.

“You saw really talented, bright people not succeeding because of their lack of communication skills,” he said. “And you saw people who weren’t succeeding.”

Abraham said people will sometimes build their entire lives around their fear of public speaking.

“A lot of people feel powerless in the face of anxiety,” he said. “They get nervous about being nervous, and it spirals out of control. It helps people just to have a sense of agency.”

Tongue twisters

Although Abrahams is a confident, experienced speaker, he said he still employs various tactics to manage his pre-speech anxiety. Before a speech, you might find him backstage, quietly muttering tongue twisters.

His favorite: “I slit a sheet, a sheet I slit, and on that slitted sheet I sit.”

“You can’t say a tongue twister without being in the present moment,” Abrahams said. “Also, it makes me focus even more because if I mess up, I say a bad word.”

Although most of Abrahams’ students are college age or older, he volunteers at his son’s elementary school, Covington, introducing public speaking at an early age.

“The stakes are different, the consequences are different, but the anxiety is the same,” he said of students’ burgeoning public-speaking assignments.

According to Abrahams, an increasing number of schools are catching on to the importance of developing public-speaking skills early.

“The schools are doing such a good job of getting kids up there and presenting,” he said. “I think I’ll be out of a job soon.”

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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