Wed10222014

News

Council hosts study session on downtown parking garage

Council hosts study session on downtown parking garage


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
The Los Altos City Council continues to explore options to address parking constraints in the downtown triangle.

The Los Altos City Council last week held the first of two study sessions to discuss the potential construct...

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Schools

LAHS Science and Technology Week features medical examiner

LAHS Science and Technology Week features medical examiner


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
A Los Altos High School student learns how to use robotic surgical equipment at the school’s Science and Technology Week event last year. Students can also attend hands-on presentations at this year’s event, w...

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Community

Ahoy, matey: Pirate Manor ramps up Halloween display

Ahoy, matey: Pirate Manor ramps up Halloween display


Town Crier File Photo
Pirate Manor is once again scheduled to arrive in the front yard of Dane and Jill Glasgow’s home on Manor Way in Los Altos, just in time for Halloween.

Although not the Walking Dead, pirate skeletons have been brought to li...

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Sports

Lancers rule the pool against Spartans

Lancers rule the pool against Spartans


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
St. Francis High’s Eric Reitmeir launches the ball over Mountain View High driver David Niehaus (2) and goalie Kenny Tang. The host Lancers won Friday’s non-league game 9-3.

There wasn’t a lot on the line Friday when ...

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Comment

Reeder, Fung for El Camino HCD: Editorial

The good news for the El Camino Healthcare District (formerly the El Camino Hospital District, for those still getting used to the new name) is that there is a contested election Nov. 4 for the district’s board of directors. Three candidates are runn...

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Special Sections

Plant-based diet offers benefits

Plant-based diet offers benefits


Photo by Ramya Krishna
Los Altos resident Nandini Krishna prepares a meat-free dish According to author Caldwell B. Esselstyn Jr., M.D., a plant-based diet can help prevent cancer.

Shirley Okita of Los Altos has found that adhering to a mostly plant...

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Business

New shop offers haute couture for girls

New shop offers haute couture for girls


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
The Girls @ Los Altos at 239 State St. offers clothing lines such as Nellystella as well as toys and other items for girls.

Cecilia Chen opened The Girls @ Los Altos as a tribute to the party dress. Whether it’s for...

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Books

Helping kids catch a few Zs: Local dental hygienist pens meditative bedtime book

Helping kids catch a few Zs: Local dental hygienist pens meditative bedtime book


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Mimi Sommers, who works at a Los Altos dentist’s office, recently wrote a children’s book.

A local dental hygienist recently published a book that aims to ease parents and children during a sometimes anxious e...

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People

BARBARA DARLING MERIDETH

1946-2014

Born in Palo Alto, raised in Los Altos, retired in southern Oregon. Survived by Peter James Merideth, sons Matthew, Jacob and John Merideth, the loves of her life.

She was a housewife who took great pride in her home, her surroundings and...

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Travel

Falling leaves: Four places in California to see autumn colors

Falling leaves: Four places in California to see autumn colors


Courtesy of Castello di Amorosa
Castello di Amorosa in Calistoga, above, boasts a beautiful setting for viewing fall’s colors – and sampling the vineyard’s wines.

Yes, Virginia, there is fall in California.

The colors pop out in...

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Stepping Out

'Sleepy Hollow' awakens at Bus Barn

'Sleepy Hollow' awakens at Bus Barn



Los Altos Youth Theatre’s production of “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow,” a musical based on Washington Irving’s classic story, is set to run through Nov. 2 at Bus Barn Theater. The cast comprises 27 young actors, directed by Cindy Powell. Courtesy o...

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Spiritual Life

Magazine

Local events add color to autumn calendar

Local events add color to autumn calendar


Van Houtte/town crier Visitors make their way through the Children’s Alley.

As Los Altos’ signature Chinese Pistache trees exchange their summer green for vibrant hues of yellow, orange and red in the fall, an abundance of local events also ad...

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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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