Mon01262015

Schools

MVLA revisits prospect of ninth-grade PE exemptions

MVLA revisits prospect of ninth-grade PE exemptions


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
The Mountain View Los Altos Union High School District Board of Trustees is scheduled to vote on a proposal to exempt ninth-grade student-athletes from taking PE. Students take part in a physical education class at Mount...

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Community

Midnight Express offers late-night rides from SF

Midnight Express offers late-night rides from SF


From Midnight Express Instagram
A group of millennial-aged Santas celebrating a night on the town prepare for a safe ride from San Francisco to their South Bay homes, courtesy of Cory Althoff’s new Midnight Express shuttle.

It’s no understatemen...

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Comment

More open than ever: Editorial

One of the Los Altos City Council’s objectives for 2015 is implementing an open-government policy. The title of the policy may be somewhat misleading, because it’s not as if the city has had a closed-government policy. But the new proposal goes beyon...

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Business

Cassidy Turley, DTZ plan to combine

Cassidy Turley, DTZ plan to combine


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Cassidy Turley, which has offices at 339 S. San Antonio Road, is combining with DTZ following its recent acquisition.

Commercial real estate services companies DTZ and Cassidy Turley have joined forces to operate as a sin...

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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

JUDY HOFFMANN

JUDY HOFFMANN

Judy Hoffmann passed away unexpectedly October 17, 2014 in New York City. It was only fitting Judy would be traveling and enjoying special adventures in so many different places until the very end.

Judy has lived since 1969 in Los Altos with her h...

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Travel

Cuban photographer slated to appear at Foothill

Cuban photographer slated to appear at Foothill


Courtesy of Raúl Cañibano
Cuban photographer Raúl Cañibano is set to appear at Foothill College tonight. His work – including the image “Series: Guajira’s Land, Viñales, 2007,” right – is on display at the KCI Gallery t...

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Stepping Out

TheatreWorks launches '2 Pianos' in Mtn. View

TheatreWorks launches '2 Pianos' in Mtn. View


Suellen Fitzsimmons/Special to the Town Crier
Christopher Tocco stars in TheatreWorks’ “2 Pianos 4 Hands,” which opened last week.

TheatreWorks’ production of “2 Pianos 4 Hands” is scheduled to run through Feb. 15 at the Mountain View Center fo...

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Spiritual Life

Start something great by ringing in the new year with prayer

There is a tradition, which I’m told originates in the Midwest, that calls for people to pray in the new year. A few years ago, I was invited to a friend’s house and a number of people stayed up until midnight (approximately two hours pa...

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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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Accessorize the garden for beauty and personality


Photo By: Courtesy of Julie Orr
Photo Courtesy Of Julie Orr Plants act as ideal focal points in the garden. This Phormium ‘Yellow Wave’ and antique birdbath give the yard depth and personality.

Accessories are important to any outfit. Choosing the right scarf, belt, tie, hat or jewelry can add that certain panache and personality to our daily attire. The same is true for our gardens.

Garden accessories come in all sizes, shapes and styles. Obvious garden accessories include furniture, fountains, arbors and containers. But creating a garden accessory is limited only by your imagination.

Accessories are wonderful when used as focal points. A simple, brightly colored ceramic container set at the end of a pathway adds architectural interest and draws your eye to the garden.

Collections can also create a focal point. I recently saw a group of antique watering cans displayed on a patio wall. The wall created a beautiful frame and unified the various styles and colors.

How do you get started? First, think about a location where a focal point or two would enhance your garden. Second, determine the style of your home. Does it have a Mediterranean feel, a modern bent or an eclectic style? Third, take inventory of what you already have that you can incorporate in the garden. Is there a collection of antique tools rusting in your garage? Pull them out and arrange them on a fence panel or use them to create a structure in the garden. I once saw an arbor constructed from rakes and shovels form a wonderful home for a climbing rose. Finally, consider what you like to see in a garden. Art? Sculpture? What hobbies do you have that could be expressed in the garden? Bird-watching is a natural for accessorizing. Fountains or a simple birdbath nestled between roses are obvious additions for a birder’s garden, and birdhouses come in every shape and size. Start a collection of houses and group them around the garden as focal points.

When thinking of accessorizing, remember the adage “Think outside the box.” Old window frames, backed with a mirror and tucked in a corner of the garden, not only reflect light, but also add mystery and depth to the garden view. Hang lanterns and candelabras from exposed branches or a pergola to bring the eye up from the garden floor. The new battery-powered candles are a natural in these situations.

Specimen plants are ideal as focal points, and variegated and colored leaves create interest and dimension. A tall Sempervirens ‘Tiny Towers’ planted in low-growing shrubs or a twisted, silver Cedrus atlantica glauca surrounded by Pittosporum variegata creates drama for the eye.

Finding accessories can be as easy as exploring your own home or browsing at the local nurseries. For the truly adventurous, try the Alameda Flea Market, scheduled the first Sunday of every month. It’s a treasure trove of art and collectibles for every taste. Another great source for garden ornaments is your local thrift shop. I recently found two iron wall sconces that now adorn a small garden patio.

Accessories can add a sense of mystery and wonder to a garden, so explore and find that treasure you’ll enjoy for years to come.

Julie Orr is a landscape designer and member of the Association of Professional Landscape Designers. For more information, call 468-8020 or visit www.julieorrdesign.com.

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