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News

Obama visits Los Altos area

Obama visits Los Altos area

President Obama made a fundraising stop today at a private residence in Los Altos Hills, an appearance that spurred traffic disruptions, helicopters scouting overhead and protesters. In the wake of his visit, unknown persons, apparently no fans of Ob...

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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


Photo by Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Dr. Trang Ly, left, 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.
...

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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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Spring into action: Tips on how to brighten the home

Photo Photos By Elliott Burr/Town Crier Painting a room in the home a vibrant color is an effective way to invite spring in and brighten the space, and adding pillows with colorful prints on seating completes the effect.

Different cultures welcome springtime in different ways.

The Chinese celebrate Spring Festival (also known as Chinese New Year) as their most important festive event of the year, similar to Western Christmas. Families gather, exchange gifts and share food and drink. The color red, embellished with gold, in addition to lights, fireworks and symbols of good luck, serve to wish everyone wealth and a bountiful new season.

In Japan, cherry blossoms with clouds of tender pink buds herald the arrival of spring.

In Europe (predominantly Germany and Russia), mothers and children collect eggshells for the traditional painting of Easter eggs, a ritual that marks the beginning of spring.

I remember it well. We racked our brains to come up with recipes that included lots of eggs so that we could harvest the eggshell as a whole. The trick is to bore the tiniest hole in the bottom of the egg, but it has to be big enough so that you can blow the raw egg out into a bowl.

Then we washed and dried the fragile shells. As soon as we had a good amount, we began one of our most beloved activities: painting and decorating the eggs with fabric trims, glitter and beads. We hung the finished product artfully on a bundle of pussy-willow branches.

Don’t you love it, when the days are lighter, the sun brighter and the air warmer? Spring holds the promise of summer. We stow the winter blankets. We take deep breaths and feel energized.

And we are inspired to undertake some spring-cleaning – or maybe not. Following are tips to get the winter blues out of the house.

 

Room refresher

Start with one room only, heeding my advice to work from small to bigger projects. Buy a large, white file box from an office-supply store and fill it with decorative items from your chosen room – anything that covers horizontal surfaces. You might need two or three boxes – don’t hesitate to go for it, because you can always replace some of the items. When you’ve finished packing, look around the space and note your response. I bet it feels good. Label the box and put it in storage for the time being.

Reward yourself with a big bunch of spring flowers in your favorite colors. Distribute them in three different sized and shaped vases around the room. For example, find a tall flared vase, a medium tall globe-shaped vase and a short bud vase, cutting the stems accordingly.

 

Room makeover

Nothing changes a room’s mood as quickly as a couple of coats of paint in a wonderful color. There’s no better way to get the most bang for your buck.

For inspiration, visit www.benjaminmoore.com, a site chock-full of product knowledge, advice and ideas. Click “Explore Color,” then “Get Inspired.” Check out the link “Wall Tattoos” for stylish stencils that are available for purchase online.

Before you paint, test the color(s) in your room. Benjamin Moore stores sell many paint colors in small jars, so you can make your own swatches. Ask for brush-out paper – sometimes the store has large brush-out sheets available for purchase. South Bay Paints (www.southbaypaints.com) sells some colors in large samples, so there’s no need to paint swatches.

Tape the swatches on your walls and live with them for a couple of days. Observe the colors in different lights before selecting the final color.

Another effective way to change a room’s look and feel is to slipcover sofas and chairs in white or cream cotton duck or linen. This American tradition protects upholstery from sweaty hands during hot summer days.

Purchase fun pillows with bold patterns and colors to toss on your sofa. Voila! Spring has moved into your home with a fresh breeze.

 

Room face-lift

Updating or adding crown moldings, window/door jambs and baseboards offers your room another layer of sophistication, much like a frame for a painting.

You may want to go even further and change the bare bones of your space: moving walls, raising the ceiling or adding niches, doorways, windows and more. Such an extensive overhaul calls for careful planning to avoid costly mistakes and achieve the look you want.

Invest in professional help – hire an interior designer. The American Society of Interior Designers’ Web site (www.asid.org) allows you to scroll through designers’ portfolios and review their approaches to design work.

Magdalena Bogart is an interior designer who works in Los Altos and Los Altos Hills. For more information, visit magdalenabogartinteriors.com.

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