Mon12222014

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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Hidden Villa board makes camp cut official

After an emotional meeting Thursday that lasted several hours, the Hidden Villa Board of Directors approved a 2007 budget that includes the suspension of its 12-day residential summer camp program and a staff reduction of 19 percent.

Board Chairman Tom Livermore said before the vote that the 2007 budget had to be cut by $350,000 and that the only way to do that was to reduce staff and adjust programs.

"Hidden Villa is what we call land rich and cash poor," he said of the preserve's 1,600 acres donated by Josephine and Frank Duveneck. "We simply don't have the cash in reserve to continue in our current direction, and it would be irresponsible of the board to allow that to occur."

Executive Director Beth Ross said that, in recent years, Hidden Villa has been evaluating programs and expanding development staff, hoping that this would add funding by bringing in more campers and improving fund raising. Instead, she said, those efforts increased Hidden Villa's operating costs without achieving significantly more revenue.

Livermore and Ross choked back tears as they discussed the necessity for staff reductions.

"Unfortunately, our plan for making Hidden Villa sustainable in years to come involves letting go of some amazing staff members who have brought incredible knowledge and expertise to Hidden Villa," said Ross. "And while there are many sentimental appeals to save Hidden Villa's 12-day summer camp, my job is to keep the whole operation going."

Hidden Villa will be able to continue most of its other 2007 school and community partnerships and can afford a modified residential camp next summer.

A number of concerned community members attended the meeting to oppose suspension of the camps. It would be only the second time the camps have closed since they began in 1945.

"To terminate these camps would be a huge mistake," said Ann Warren Smith, executive director at Hidden Villa from 1985 to 1993.

A group of former Hidden Villa campers and counselors are appealing to camp alumni and the public to help save the camps. The group successfully gathered more than $15,000 in pledges during a recent 11-day drive, and expressed concern that the board was not doing everything in its power to save the program.

"The board voted as part of the budget approval to continue trying to raise funds to save the camp," said Shana Barchas, who spent nine summers as a Hidden Villa camper and counselor. "But who's going to raise those funds - us kids? I know for a fact that there are people who donated $40,000 two years ago who were not even contacted for help during the current crisis.

"This camp is what made me the person I am today, and I'm afraid that now it's gone forever."

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