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News

Downtown green park pops up again in August

Downtown green park pops up again in August


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
The Third Street Green debuts Aug. 3 on the 300 block of State Street in downtown Los Altos.

Another temporary park is poised to pop up in downtown Los Altos this summer.

According to Brooke Ray Smith, community developme...

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Schools

MVLA rolls out laptop integration this fall

MVLA rolls out laptop integration this fall


Town Crier File Photo
Starting in the fall, daily use of laptops in the classroom will be standard operating procedure for students at Los Altos and Mountain View high schools as the Mountain View Los Altos Union High School District launches a pil...

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Community

Generations blend behind the scenes at 'Wizard of Oz'

Generations blend behind the scenes at 'Wizard of Oz'


Altos Youth Theatre and Los Altos Stage Company rehearse a scene from “The Wizard of Oz.” ELIZA RIDGEWAY/ TOWN CRIER

A massive troupe of young people and grownups gathered in Los Altos this summer to stage the latest iteration of a childhood sta...

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Sports

Football in July

Football in July


Town Crier file photo
Mountain View High’s Anthony Avery is among the nine local players slated to play in tonight’s Silicon Valley Youth Classic.

Tonight’s 40th annual Silicon Valley Youth Classic – also known as the Charlie...

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Comment

Pools should be included: Editorial

Los Altos residents should be receiving calls this week from city representatives conducting a survey to determine priorities for a revamped Hillview Community Center.

Notice that we did not say “civic center” – chastened by a lack of public support...

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Special Sections

Looking for life without lows, local diabetic tests artificial pancreas

Looking for life without lows, local diabetic tests artificial pancreas


ft, reviews blood sugar readings on a smartphone with Los Altos resident Tia Geri, right, and fellow participant Noa Simon during a closed-loop artificial pancreas study for Type 1 diabetics.

Tia Geri can’t wait to bring her new golden retriev...

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Business

Palo Alto law firm coming to 400 Main

Palo Alto law firm coming to 400 Main


Ellie Van Houtte/ Town Crier
Longtime Palo Alto law firm Thoits, Love, Hershberger & McClean plans to open an office at 400 Main St. in Los Altos after construction is complete in November.

A longtime Palo Alto law firm plans to expand into L...

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Books

"Frozen in Time" chronicles harrowing WWII rescue attempts


Many readers can’t resist a true-life adventure story, especially those that shine a spotlight on people who exhibit supreme courage in the face of adversity and end up surviving – or not – against the odds.

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People

RICHARD PATRICK BRENNAN

RICHARD PATRICK BRENNAN

Resident of Palo Alto

Richard Patrick Brennan, journalist, editor, author, adventurer, died at his Palo Alto home on July 4, 2014 at age 92. He led a full life, professionally and personally. He was born and raised in San Francisco, joined the Arm...

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Travel

Travel Tidbit: Ritz-Carlton, Lake Tahoe offers spa getaway

Travel Tidbit: Ritz-Carlton, Lake Tahoe offers spa getaway


Courtesy of Ritz-Carlton
The Ritz-Carlton in Lake Tahoe offers fall getaway packages that include spa treatments and yoga classes.

Fall in North Lake Tahoe boasts crisp mornings and opportunities to spend quality time in the mountains. Specially ...

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Stepping Out

PYT stages 'Shrek'

PYT stages 'Shrek'


Lyn Healy/Spotlight Moments Photography
Dana Cullinane plays Fiona in Peninsula Youth Theatre’s “Shrek The Musical.”

Peninsula Youth Theatre presents “Shrek The Musical” Saturday through Aug. 3 at the Mountain View Center for the Performing Arts...

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Spiritual Life

Foothills Congregational: 100 years and counting

Foothills Congregational: 100 years and counting


Courtesy of Carolyn Barnes
The newly built Los Altos church in 1914 featured a bell tower and an arched front window. Both continue as elements of the building as it stands today.

Foothills Congregational Church – the oldest church building ...

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Magazine

Festival features fun for everyone

Festival features fun for everyone


TOWN CRIER FILE PHOTO
The Los Altos Arts & Wine Festival boasts more than 375 craft and arts booths.

This weekend’s 35th annual Los Altos Arts & Wine Festival promises to be jam-packed with fun activities for just about everyone. The eve...

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49er great adds to Jazzercise celebration

 Image from article 49er great adds to Jazzercise celebration
PAM WALATKA/SPECIAL TO THE TOWN CRIER
Old friend Steve Young of San Francisco 49ers fame stopped by to help Jazzercise instructor Barbara Peterson celebrate 26 years of high-energy aerobics and good times.

After 26 years of teaching Jazzercise, Barbara Peterson still has maximum jump. It's hard to imagine anyone putting more jazz into Jazzercise.

Peterson, a longtime Los Altos Hills resident, celebrated her 26th Jazzercise anniversary Saturday with a crowd of her aerobics students and other admirers at the Palo Alto Elks Lodge. Football Hall-of-Famer Steve Young, a former Peterson neighbor, came by to add to the festivities.

Borrowing Peterson's microphone, Young said, "I used to make my living getting beat up, but now I'm doing what I can to live as long as I can. That's what you are doing here, learning how to be healthy for as long as possible."

Young brought his baby daughter, Summer, and sons Jackson, 3, and Braedon, 5. When asked if he wanted help with the baby carriage, he said, "No, this is what I do all day."

Peterson met Young years ago when he stopped by her childrens' lemonade stand on La Loma Drive, where he used to live (he now lives in Palo Alto). He volunteered to help her raise funds for breast cancer research. In addition to caring for his own children, Young works to help children who face significant physical, emotional and financial challenges (See foreveryoung.org for more information).

Young's visit added to the already high energy in the class. More than 60 students and collaborators helped Peterson celebrate 26 successful years of teaching Jazzercise.

Every Peterson class is an energy extravaganza. To the tune of "Hips Don't Lie," and a compilation of other rocking hits, Peterson moves her bones and gets her ballroom-filling class to move with her. Students-who comprise a variety of ages, genders, and races-dance to loud music, following Peterson's lead.

"Here we go! Yeah Baby! Let me hear you say 'Go!' Bring it up. Bring it up. Bring it up! Does that feel good?" The students appear to be having fun while breaking a sweat. Dancing is followed by mat-weight work and stretching.

After the anniversary workout, the celebration continued with a breakfast and award ceremony. Los Altos resident Lulu Ruis, who has been studying Jazzercise with Barbara Peterson for 14 years, received a Fitness Award at the 26th anniversary celebration.

Another long-time student, Los Altos resident Karen Wiener, started coming to the class after sitting next to Peterson watching a disappointing water polo loss. When Wiener voiced her stress, Peterson said, "You should try Jazzercise." The mind-body connection is a running theme in the class: exercise can relieve stress. Now Wiener has been coming for years and says, "I always feel better."

Wiener is motivated by the fact that during class Peterson will say, "Aren't you glad you aren't at home thinking about coming?"

Los Altos Hills resident Marlene Daniels, who has been taking the class for 22 years, says, "I can't live without it."

Clearly loving the class, Peterson says, "It let's me be a kid again. The class always gets me up, and gets my endorphins going." She says that students sometimes come in with tears welling, then walk out thinking. "Was I down?"

She often says, "We are here to fight the number one killer," then asks the class to shout out what they think that is. Answers include heart disease, PMS, stress, depression, osteoporosis, insomnia, and cancer. Peterson says, "We are each other's psychologists." Cancer survivors make up a significant, and honored, segment of the class.

Peterson started teaching her classes at The Jewish Community Center in Palo Alto, then taught at Cubberly and moved to the Elk's Lodge when Cubberly became unavailable.

Jazzercise is the most widely taught dance-fitness program in the world with an international network of more than 5,800 franchised instructors who teach hundreds of thousands of participants each year. Emphasis is placed on cardio, stretch, and strength. If you like to dance, and don't mind someone directing your moves, Jazzercise can be a lot of fun, as well as a terrific workout.

Finding the right exercise teacher is like finding the right doctor-you know you have the right person when you leave feeling better than when you went in. You can ask for advice from you friends and relatives, but different people have different tastes; you might not like the person your sister swears by. Clearly, Peterson has a style that a lot of people like, a style that inspires students to follow her for decades.

Peterson's class, which meets Mondays and Wednesdays from 5:40 to 6:50 p.m., and Saturdays from 9:00 to 10:20 a.m., costs $10 for drop-in, or $40 for unlimited classes per month. Contact 948-8484 for more information.

Only her relatives are allowed to call her "Barbie," and not in public, perhaps because the resemblance is so striking. Peterson has the long legs, slim body, cute nose, wide smile, and big blue eyes of a Barbie doll. But it is hard to imagine a Barbie doll being able to move like that.

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