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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Child S.H.A.R.E. takes care of foster parents

Los Altos Hills residents Mark and Jo Anne Morris know first hand about foster family burnout.That's why they started Child S.H.A.R.E., shelter homes a rescue effort, to increase the quality of foster homes, to recruit more foster homes, and to provide support and respite care for foster families to help them avoid burnout.

After 14 years of marriage they had a baby daughter when they had given up on having children. They didn't expect to have more, they weren't sure about adoption, so they became foster parents.

"The very first child we had, we adopted," Mark Morris said. Their girls are now 15 and 13.

They continued being foster parents. They knew they couldn't adopt each child, but they vowed a child they took would not be bounced around, Mark Morris said.

"If a child is disruptive, the foster parents call and say, 'Take this child out of my home.' And it's called a 'failed placement,'" he said as he shook his head.

They kept their second foster child 18 months, and she was a difficult girl, Morris said. But they kept her until she could go back to her mother.

"We helped her," Morris said. "We love her." And they are still in touch.

"But we were burned out at the end. No one would help us. You must get fingerprinted, TB tested, be trained in CPR. You just can't ask your friends to help you."

Jo Anne Morris read about Child S.H.A.R.E. in a church magazine just after she had said she wouldn't do foster care again. She and Mark started a group in Los Altos. And they are still taking foster children.

Child S.H.A.R.E. is a public, non-profit organization. The Union Presbyterian Church on University Avenue gives it free office space. Mark and Jo Anne Morris accept no salary for their work. All donations go directly into their program.

They recruit through churches, asking if a congregation will take on a ministry to help a child.

"We'll help with the forms and getting fingerprinted," Mark Morris said.

They currently have 107 children in their network, which Child S.H.A.R.E. supports. They have recruited 12 homes that are now certified to accept foster children. And they have 50 homes that can offer some type of support to foster families, 43 in which a baby sitter is certified and seven that are respite homes that meet county regulations to take a foster child for an overnight or a weekend.

Mary Beth Orr answers the Child S.H.A.R.E. hotline.

"That's the primary thing we offer," Jo Anne Morris said. "It's more than just calling in and saying we need a sitter Thursday night. We also get calls with people saying, 'I can't stand it,' with people in despair.

"Mary Beth's really good at turning people's discouragement into strength."

That's what Child S.H.A.R.E. does.

"Together we are making a difference...child by precious child."

For more information, call Child S.H.A.R.E. at 917-1210.

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