Fri12192014

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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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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