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News

"Brown is the new green," says local water district


Lina Broydo/Special to the Town Crier
Are downtown Los Altos flower pots getting too much water? The Santa Clara Valley Water District plans to hire “water cops” to discourage overwatering.

The Santa Clara Valley Water District is spending nearl...

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Schools

Foothill camps prepare local students for STEM careers

Foothill camps prepare local students for STEM careers


Photos Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Middle school students make robotic hands using 3-D printers during a STEM Summer Camp at Foothill College.

From designing roller coasters to developing biodegradable plastics, high school students received an i...

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Community

Local entrepreneur opens home to Afghan and Rwandan women

Local entrepreneur opens home to Afghan and Rwandan women


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Businesswomen Joan Mazimhaka of Rwanda, third from left, and Fakhria Ibrahimi of Afghanistan, in orange, traveled to the U.S. with a 26-woman delegation through the Peace Through Business program.

Employees scoop ice ...

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Comment

Moving on: The Rockey Road

Just over a month ago, we decided to put our house on the market. My husband and I had been tossing around the idea of moving back to the area where we grew up, which is only approximately 40 minutes from here. Of course, Los Altos is a great place t...

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Business

Halo heads to Los Altos: Blow-dry bar founder opens new First Street location Monday

Halo heads to Los Altos: Blow-dry bar founder opens new First Street location Monday


ElLie Van Houtte/ Town Crier
Armed with blow dryers, Halo founder Rosemary Camposano, left, and store manager Nikki Thomas prepare for the blow-dry bar’s grand opening on First Street Monday.

A blow-dry bar is set to open downtown Monday, and i...

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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

DR. ALFRED HUGHES

Long time Los Altos resident, Dr. Alfred Hughes, died May 1st after a long illness. Dr. Hughes was born in 1927 in Maspeth, NY. He served in the US Army from 1945-6, attended Brooklyn Polytechnic University, then graduated from Reed College in Portla...

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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

'Wizard' winds down at Bus Barn

'Wizard' winds down at Bus Barn


Town Crier file photo
Local actors rehearse a scene from “The Wizard of Oz.”

Los Altos Youth Theatre and Los Altos Stage Company’s collaborative production of “The Wizard of Oz” is slated to close Sunday at Bus Barn Theater, 97 Hillview Ave.

T...

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Spiritual Life

Stanford University appoints new dean for religious life

Stanford University appoints new dean for religious life


Shaw

Stanford University named the Very Rev. Dr. Jane Shaw, dean of Grace Cathedral in San Francisco, its new dean for religious life.

Provost John Etchemendy announced Shaw’s appointment July 21, adding that she also will join the faculty in...

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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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Parents and teachers frustrated, but empathetic after learning disability simulation

"I want to you to think of yourself as fourth-graders," said Steven John Corelis, of Educational Therapy Services, to a group of parents and teachers last Thursday night at Los Altos Christian School.

The role playing did not end there, as participants were asked to perform a series of tests, part of a learning disability simulation.

The simulation was sponsored by "Parents Helping Parents," a Santa Clara-based organization that offers support and services for children with special needs and their families. Corelis facilitated the event.

"You are going to be experiencing distraction, confusion, and pressure," Corelis said. "All of these things are typical to what the student who is learning different faces every day."

The two-hour simulation is divided into three parts: a five-minute introduction, a six-part simulation, and a debriefing.

Participants join small groups and attend a "class" at each station, designed to focus on particular learning difficulties. Classes are held by moderators or "teachers" who guide participants through the exercises.

For example, the "spelling test" is designed to simulate hearing loss or auditory hearing problems. Participants are asked to take a spelling test while getting their spelling words from a muffled and garbled audio tape.

"They do have a difficult time even with just the easy things we take for granted," said parent Janie Pollano, who has a daughter with a learning disability. "I think all of these exercises were valid. I could not do any of them."

The "mirror writing" exercise simulated problems with visual or motor tasks. Participants had to try and trace shapes, and write numbers and letters while looking at their writing hand through a mirror.

"It was hard to get your hand to go the opposite way. I couldn't get my hand to do what I wanted it to," said parent Julian Cervantes.

After an 90 minutes of participating in their fourth-grade learning disabled environment, parents and teachers were ready to call it a school day. After everyone had participated in each exercise and had a chance to talk about their feelings after each simulation, it was time for the group to meet and discuss their feelings as a whole.

Corelis asked people to give one-word answers as to how they felt during the simulation, which he then wrote on a white board. Words like frustration, tired, embarrassed, hopeless, stressed and unintelligent, made the list.

"You came into this room as parents and teachers, hopefully with a very high self-image," Corelis said. "After putting you through the stations, you can see how self-image can drop over the years out of these kids."

He said students with learning disabilities sometimes cannot help acting out or engaging in habits like fidgeting or being easily distracted.

It is important for parents and teachers to recognize the different learning needs of children and to accommodate them, Corelis said.

For more information about Learning Disability Simulations, call Parents Helping Parents at (408) 727-5775.

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