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News

Cal Water says no E. coli in water; limits boiling advisory area

Cal Water says no E. coli in water; limits boiling advisory area

Cal Water officials said today that preliminary water quality test results were negative for E. coli were negative and "only a single hydrant" in the South El Monte area of Los Altos showed the presence of total coliform. They reduced the "boil your ...

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Schools

BCS hosts Stretch to Kindergarten program for underserved youth

BCS hosts Stretch to Kindergarten program for underserved youth


Traci Newell/Town Crier
The six-week, tuition-free Stretch to Kindergarten program, hosted at Bullis Charter School, serves children who have not attended preschool. A teacher leads children in singing about the parts of a butterfly, above.

Local un...

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Community

Google car painting project calls on artists

Google car painting project calls on artists


Google self-driving car

Already known as an innovator in the tech field, Google Inc. is now moving in on the art world.

The Mountain View-based company July 11 launched the “Paint the Town” contest, a “moving art experiment” that invites Califo...

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Sports

Pedaling with a purpose

Pedaling with a purpose


courtesy of
Rishi Bommannan Rishi Bommannan cycled from Bates College in Maine to his home in Los Altos Hills, taking several selfies along the way. He also raised nearly $13,000 for the Livestrong Foundation, which supports cancer patients.

When R...

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Comment

The truth about coyotes: Other Voices

The Town Crier’s recent article on coyotes venturing down from the foothills in search of sustenance referenced the organization Project Coyote (“Recent coyote attacks keep residents on edge,” July 1). Do not waste your time contac...

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Special Sections

Grant Park senior program made permanent

Grant Park senior program made permanent


Photos by Alicia Castro/Town Crier
Local residents participate in an exercise class at the Grant Park Senior Center, above. Betsy Reeves, below left with Gail Enenstein, lobbied for senior programming in south Los Altos.

It all began when Betsy Reev...

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Business

New State Street rug retailer has downtown Los Altos covered

New State Street rug retailer has downtown Los Altos covered


Alicia Castro/Town Crier
Los Altos Rug Gallery owner Fahim Karimi stocks his State Street store with a wall-to-wall array of floor coverings.

A new downtown business owner plans to roll out the red carpet – along with rugs of every other color –...

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Books

Book Signings

• Fritz and Nomi Trapnell have scheduled a book-signing party 4-6 p.m. Aug. 1 at their home, 648 University Ave., Los Altos.

Fritz and his daughter, Dana Tibbitts, co-authored “Harnessing the Sky: Frederick ‘Trap’ Trapnell, ...

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People

GRACE WILSON FRANKS

GRACE WILSON FRANKS

Resident of Los Altos

Grace Wilson Franks, our beloved mother and grandmother, left us peacefully on July 16, 2015 just a few weeks short of her 92nd birthday. She was born to Ross and Florence (Cruzan) Wilson in rural Tulare, California on Septem...

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Travel

Gearing up: Make travel more civilized with accessories

Gearing up: Make travel more civilized with accessories


Eren Göknar/Special to the Town Crier
San Francisco-based humangear Inc. sells totes, tubes and tubs for traveling.

In travel, as in romance, it’s the little things that count.

Beyond the glossy brochures lie the travel discomforts too mun...

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Stepping Out

Going out with a 'Bang'

Going out with a 'Bang'


Richard Mayer/Special to the Town Crier
“Chitty Chitty Bang Bang” stars, clockwise from top left, Alexander Sanchez, Sophia Sturiale, Deborah Rosengaus and Danny Martin.

Los Altos Stage Company and Los Altos Youth Theatre’s joint production of t...

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Spiritual Life

Build a 'light' house and get out of that dark place

Most of us have a place inside our hearts and minds that occasionally causes us trouble. For some, it is sadness, depression or despair. For others, it may be fear, anger, resentment or myriad other emotional “dark places” that at times seem to hij...

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Magazine

Inside Mountain View

Residents gather at NASA Ames for Pluto Flyby event

Residents gather at NASA Ames for Pluto Flyby event


Megan V. Winslow/Town Crier
NASA Ames’ Pluto Flyover event kindles the imaginations of young attendees.

Sue Moore watched the July 20, 1969, moon landing beside patients and staff members of the San Francisco hospital where she worked as a nurse...

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Art docents gather to kick off year

Photo Courtesy Of Diane Brauch

Los Altos School District Trustee David Luskin, right, engages with San Jose Museum of Art docent Susanne Offensend at the districts fall seminar for art docents Sept. 10.

The Los Altos Art Docents kicked off the new school year with a fall seminar Sept. 10 at the Adobe House in Mountain View.

San Jose Museum of Art docent Elizabeth Ryono, assisted by docents Shauna Mika, Susanne Offensend and Evelyn Neeley, spoke to 70 returning docents and 11 new trainees on the use of visual thinking strategies in the teaching of art appreciation.

Los Altos School District Superintendent Tim Justus, Assistant Superintendent Jeff Baier and district board members Margot Harrigan and David Luskin also attended the seminar.

Visual thinking strategies use observation techniques as the students discuss and explore a particular work of art, which they discuss among themselves with a facilitator docent. The method attempts to develop overall critical thinking and improve group participation and listening skills.

Baier, in opening remarks to the group, said that joy should be a component in education – that feeling of self-awareness when you learn something new. He said a large percentage of district students are visual learners who benefit from the docents' visual-arts program.

Harrigan, a Los Altos Art Docent, said that art curriculum is not funded in the state of California. Fewer than 10 percent of the elementary districts in the state have art programs, and even fewer receive the curriculum the Los Altos Art Docents program provides.

Gloria Dralla is the chairwoman of the 38-year-old volunteer organization. The docents write and develop the 49 hands-on and appreciation units introduced into the elementary school classroom.

In addition, each spring the Los Altos Art Docents sponsors a districtwide Art Show at the Hillview Community Center in which every student in the district exhibits a piece of art.

This school year, docents are scheduled to teach approximately 970 units to more than 4,260 students in the seven district elementary schools, the equivalent of at least two full-time teachers.

Dralla said that docents come from different countries and work backgrounds and are not limited to parents with children in the district. Docents tend to stay in the program longer than their children are in the elementary schools.

Betty Latta, who teaches watercolor through the art docent program, has been volunteer teaching for 30 years.

Financial support for the docents comes from grants from the Los Altos Education Foundation, private donations and contributions from the PTAs and the Los Altos School District, which provides office space at the Covington district office for two part-time paid coordinators.

The Los Altos Art Docents program is seeking volunteers with an interest in teaching art to elementary school students. No special background in the visual arts or artistic talent is necessary. Trainees can assist in the classroom according to their comfort level.

For more information, visit www.losaltosartdocents.org.

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