Wed03042015

News

Council considers freezing First St. development

Council considers freezing First St. development


Megan V. Winslow/Town Crier
A pedestrian walks along First Street in downtown Los Altos last week. Future construction on the street could soon be barred by an emergency moratorium on development.

Further construction along First Street could be t...

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Schools

Former NFL player huddles with Blach students about life choices

Former NFL player huddles with Blach students about life choices


Ellie Van HOutte/Town Crier
Former NFL tight end Eason Ramson visited with Blach Intermediate School students, Feb. 13 to share the perils of drug use. Now a motivational speaker, Ramson works with at-risk teens in San Francisco.

Although former ...

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Community

Music for Minors partners with Harvard to expand efforts

Music for Minors partners with Harvard to expand efforts


Palmer

When the thriving Music for Minors began to outgrow its capacity, the local nonprofit organization made new friends.

Beginning in late February, Music for Minors – a Town Crier Holiday Fund recipient – partnered with Harvard Business Sch...

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Comment

Dangerous streets: A Piece of My Mind

I’m driving along El Monte Avenue between Foothill Expressway and Springer Road at approximately 6 p.m. on a midwinter evening. In keeping with the “village feeling” of our town, there are no sidewalks and no streetlights.

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Special Sections

Lions, lambs and Cab Franc for March

Lions, lambs and Cab Franc for March


Christine Moore/Special to the Town Crier
Oven fries, a slice of feta cheese and the bite of harissa mayonnaise make for a late-winter, early-spring dinner perfectly paired with Cabernet Franc.

I can’t help but wonder whether March will come in ...

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Business

Los Altos scientist named Inventor of the Year

Los Altos scientist named Inventor of the Year


Above Photo by Alicia Castro/Town Crier; Below Rendering Courtesy of SST inc.
Robert Showen, above, the Silicon Valley Intellectual Property Lawyers Association’s Inventor of the Year, began researching his ShotSpotter technology in his Los A...

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Books

French novel

French novel "Hunting and Gathering" offers character-driven suspense


Anna Gavalda is a well-known author in her native France, where she has published six books, most of which have met with considerable praise and commercial success. Her fourth novel, “Hunting and Gathering” (Riverhead Books, 2007), is filled ...

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People

HELEN KNOFLOCH

HELEN KNOFLOCH

Aug. 14, 1920 – Feb.12, 2015

Resident of Cupertino

Helen Knofloch, 94, loving wife and devoted mother passed away on Feb. 12th. She was born in Vienna, Austria and moved to Los Altos in 1949, where she met Andy, the love of her life. They resided...

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Travel

Seoul of the city: Korean capital offers mix of old and new

Seoul of the city: Korean capital offers mix of old and new


Ramya Krishna/Special to the Town Crier
Seoul’s Cheonggyecheon public recreation space, above, features an elevated pedestrian bridge.

Seoul, South Korea, is a study in contrasts. Having grown quickly, the city is a mix of old and new.

Using...

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Stepping Out

TheatreWorks jumps into ‘Lake’

TheatreWorks jumps into ‘Lake’


Kevin Berne/Special to the Town Crier
Jason Bowen, from left, Adam Poss and Nilanjana Bose star in “The Lake Effect,” opening this weekend at the Lucie Stern Theatre in Palo Alto and running through March 29.

The TheatreWorks production ...

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Spiritual Life

Is your thought life sabotaging your spiritual journey?

My computer started having problems – there seemed to be some sort of malware running in the background. At first it was just annoying, then it began to slow down my computer, interfering with its basic operations. What is it doing? Why can...

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Magazine

Local events serve up family fun

Local events serve up family fun


Courtesy of Peninsula Youth Theatre
Peninsula Youth Theatre’s production of “Pecos Bill: A Tall Tale” is slated to open March 20 in Mountain View.

For families seeking a break from the daily routine, events abound this month and next in Los Alto...

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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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