Thu10302014

News

Police stress need for low speed in school zones

Police stress need for low speed in school zones


Town Crier File Photo
After two recent accidents involving cyclists and motorists, police urge caution – on both sides.

After two recent incidents of vehicles striking student bicyclists, Los Altos Police urge residents to exercise caution whe...

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Schools

Gardner Bullis School debuts new Grizzly Student Center

Gardner Bullis School debuts new Grizzly Student Center


Photo by Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Students line up to check books out of the library in the new Grizzly Student Center at Gardner Bullis School.

Gardner Bullis School opened its new Grizzly Student Center earlier this month, introducing a lea...

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Community

Home improvement workshop scheduled Wednesday (Oct. 29)

The County of Santa Clara is hosting a free informational workshop on 6:30 p.m. Wednesday at Los Altos Hills Town Hall, 26379 Fremont Road.

The workshop will offer ways single-family homeowners can increase their homes’ energy efficiency. Eligible i...

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Comment

Off the fence: TC recommends 'yes' on N

The Town Crier initially offered no position on the controversial $150 million Measure N bond on Tuesday’s ballot. But some of the reasons we gave in our Oct. 15 editorial were, on reflection, overly critical and based on inaccurate information.

We ...

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Special Sections

Long-term solutions emerge as water conservation goes mainstream

Long-term solutions emerge as water conservation goes mainstream


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Forrest Linebarger, right, installed greywater and rainwater harvesting systems at his Los Altos Hills home.

With more brown than green visible in her Los Altos backyard, Kacey Fitzpatrick admits that she’s a little e...

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Business

Local realtors scare up money for charity

Local realtors scare up money for charity


Photo courtesy of SILVAR
Realtors Gary Campi and Jordan Legge, from left, joined Nancy Domich, SILVAR President Dave Tonna and Joe Brown to raise funds for the Silicon Valley Realtors Charitable Foundation.

Los Altos and Mountain View realtors raise...

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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

DAVID S. NIVISON

DAVID S. NIVISON

David S. Nivison, 91 years old, and a resident of Los Altos, California since 1952, died Oct. 16, 2014 at home.  His neighbors had recently honored him as the “Mayor of Russell Ave., in recognition of 62 years of distinguished living” on that ...

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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

ECYS opens season Sunday

ECYS opens season Sunday


Ramya Krishna/Special to the Town Crier
The El Camino Youth Symphony rehearses for Sunday’s concert, above.

The El Camino Youth Symphony – under new conductor Jindong Cai – is scheduled to perform its season-opening concert 4 p.m....

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Spiritual Life

Christian Science Reading Room hosts webinar on prayer and healing

Christian Science practitioner and teacher Evan Mehlenbacher is scheduled to present a live Internet webinar lecture, “Prayer That Heals,” 7:30 p.m. Nov. 14 in the Christian Science Reading Room, 60 Main St., Los Altos.

Those interested ...

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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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Loyola holds Ability Awareness Week

 Image from article Loyola holds Ability Awareness Week

Abilities of all kinds were celebrated at Loyola School as part of Ability Awareness Week, Nov. 18-22.

Throughout the week, students participated in various activities simulating a range of learning and physical challenges -- from mobility impairments, blindness and dyslexia to fine motor challenges.

Parents and community members volunteered their time to manage various activities.

Many parent volunteers are also members of the Community Advisory Committee for the Special Education Local Plan Area, or SELPA 1, which includes the Los Altos, Palo Alto, Mountain View, Mountain View-Whisman and Mountain View-Los Altos High school districts.

The volunteer committee, formed in 1994, works on a wide range of issues related to special education in schools, including a handbook of guidelines for parents of special needs children in public schools.

Many of those guidelines were shared with the students. "We are teaching the students things like wheelchair etiquette," said Patty Hurley, a volunteer and parent of a special needs student. "For example, asking permission before touching someone's wheelchair, since it is considered as part of their personal space; or having eye contact and speaking directly to the person in the wheelchair."

In an activity meant to simulate a fine motor disability, students put socks on their hands while trying to button up a dress shirt in five minutes.

Students were given a "homework" assignment of not speaking for two hours one evening, forcing them to find other ways to communicate.

In other activities, students attempted to write their names upside down and backward, so that it would look correct in a mirror, to simulate dyslexia; or put on blindfolds and have a classmate lead them around campus to simulate being sight-impaired.

Sunnyvale resident Gail Bowen and her 5-year-old seeing eye dog Cody were also on hand to talk with students.

"The kids are learning how to tell if a guide dog is working or not and how to act around a dog," Bowen said. "Seeing the dogs really helps with giving more acceptance to people like myself out in public."

Acceptance is one of the main themes of the week. It was highlighted with brightly colored posters hung around campus with slogans such as, "It's OK to walk differently," "It's OK to be from a different place" and "Teasing is bullying using words."

Students in the special day classes at Loyola, who have many of the physical or learning challenges highlighted during the week, were in turn given tools to deal with bullying.

"We did some role playing on how to deal with teasing, and it was really successful," Hurley said. "The special day classes did every simulation the other students did, with this added element. The kids need these tools."

Hurley asked students to pretend what it would be like not to be in their bodies, but in the body of someone who might need assistance.

After attempting to navigate Loyola's Multipurpose Room using a walker, cane and wheelchair, fourth-grader Elizabeth Khouri said she was surprised at how hard it was.

"I always wanted to try out a wheelchair. It seemed so easy, but actually it's harder," Khouri said. "I learned that you can't see all disabilities and that I am luckier than a lot of people. I have all of my limbs and can see and smell, not like some other people."

Susan Sherwood, a fourth-grade teacher, said her students can put what they learned during the week to use in the classroom.

"I have a special needs student that comes to my class once a week," Sherwood said. "They are getting to know him as a person and they are less likely to tease him on the playground. We are all educating each other."

For more information about hosting an Ability Awareness Week or the SELPA 1 CAC, call Patty Hurley at 949-1926.

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