Sat10252014

News

Election flyer mimics newspaper coverage

Election flyer mimics newspaper coverage

A flyer is being distributed across Los Altos that looks like it is from the Los Altos Town Crier but was neither created nor distributed by the community’s weekly newspaper. The flyer, pictured at right, is being distributed by workers from Pyrami...

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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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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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