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News

Council seeks more options for community center

Council seeks more options for community center


Town Crier File Photo
The Los Altos City Council approved an appropriation to examine options for a new community center to replace the aging Hillview facility.

The Los Altos City Council last week voted narrowly in favor of examining further opti...

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Schools

Local schools participate in  national Hour of Code activities

Local schools participate in national Hour of Code activities


Ellie Van HOutte/Town Crier
Himan Shu Raj, a volunteer from Microsoft, advises Los Altos High ninth-graders, from left, Serhat Suzer, Jamie Bennett and Chris Yang as they participate in the school’s Hour of Code Showcase.

Local schools participa...

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Community

Take a dive into the holiday archive

Take a dive into the holiday archive

Town Crier staff made a quick cruise back through the newspaper's archives to find some late-December reading as inspiration for eating, drinking, decorating and more:

Beloved holiday books build the spirit of the season and staff at Los Altos’ Li...

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Sports

Pinewood poised for another title run

Pinewood poised for another title run


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Pinewood’s girls basketball team is receiving contributions from several new players, including freshman Stella Kailahi, above.

Complacency shouldn’t be a problem for the defending Division V state champion Pinewood S...

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Comment

Letters to the Editor

Ticket motorists for U-turns on Main Street

As I was walking downtown on Main Street recently, something came to me out of the blue. The town of Los Altos is missing out on a huge revenue stream. I realized that if all the cars – there were th...

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Special Sections

Looking Ahead

Looking Ahead


s in line to be mayor of Mountain View in 2015.

Mountain View anticipates the following changes in 2015:

• Beginning Jan. 1, Mountain View City Councilmembers will receive a raise to $1,000 per month as a result of the passage of Measure A in...

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Business

Your 2015 stock market game plan

It’s been a maddening month because of oil and gas, especially in stocks and bonds. Then, consumer spending pushed stocks higher Thursday, easing investors’ jitters about the global economy and prompting them to consider how to invest in ...

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Books

Gawande's

Gawande's "Being Mortal" proves an important book on aging


Books about death and dying are usually not on my list of “must reads.”

I couldn’t resist, however, the best-selling “Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End” (Metropolitan Books, 2014) by Atul Gawande.

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People

SANGEETA SACHDEVA

SANGEETA SACHDEVA

Sangeeta Sachdeva, 55, wife of Subhash Sachdeva and mother to Natasha and Tanya, died at 8:54pm, Sunday, December 7, 2014 from respiratory failure.

Sangeeta was born on October 18, 1959 in Delhi, India. She was born to Moti Sagar and Raj Kapoor an...

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Travel

South Tahoe renovations enhance off-mountain seasonal fun

As any enthusiast knows well, there is more to the enjoyment of winter sports than skiing or snowboarding.

While many winter resorts make minor upgrades each season, the off-mountain attractions and amenities can be as enticing as the activities on ...

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Stepping Out

Aurora Singers to emit 'Musical Glow' Friday

Aurora Singers to emit 'Musical Glow' Friday


courtesy of Aurora Singers
The Aurora Singers are scheduled to perform a seasonal concert Friday night in Palo Alto.

The Aurora Singers’ “Winter’s Musical Glow” holiday concert is set for 7 p.m. Friday at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Pal...

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Spiritual Life

Enter the superhero: Finding the God who loves you

In my life-coaching practice, I see a lot of pain. Much of it stems from fear and guilt, often expressed as low self-esteem, anxiety, a lack of forgiveness both for oneself and others, anger – and so on.

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Magazine

Christmas At Our House home tour celebrates 26 years

Christmas At Our House home tour celebrates 26 years


Courtesy of Christopher Stark
Homes on the St. Francis High School Women’s Club’s Christmas at Our House Holiday Home Tour showcase a variety of architectural styles.

The days grow short on sunshine but long on nostalgia as the holidays approach...

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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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