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News

Street crack-sealing project begins Monday, May 4

The City of Los Altos is beginning a city-wide street crack-sealing project on Monday (May 4).

City officials said the traffic impact for this project will be minimal. No streets will be closed and vehicles can resume normal traffic flow shortly aft...

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Schools

Homestead students use projects  to solve environmental problems

Homestead students use projects to solve environmental problems


Alisha Parikh/Special to the Town Crier
Homestead High School junior Maya Dhar, a Los Altos resident, left, and classmate Carolyn MacDonald support the school’s AP Environmental Science classes at the Arbor Day Festival April 23.

As summer app...

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Community

CHAC appoints new leader

CHAC appoints new leader

Naomi Nakano-Matsumoto, LCSW, has been named the new executive director of the Community Health Awareness Council (CHAC). A seasoned nonprofit leader, Nakano-Matsumoto is scheduled to assume duties July 1. She takes over for outgoing executive direct...

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Sports

St. Francis swimmers shine

St. Francis swimmers shine


Megan V. Winslow/Town Crier
St. Francis High’s Benjamin Ho competes against Sacred Heart Cathedral Thursday. The junior swam on all three victorious relays at the home meet, which the Lancers won easily.

Flexing its power in the pool, host St....

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Comment

Halsey House deserves preservation: Other Voices

Halsey House deserves preservation: Other Voices


Many contributing supporters to the Friends of Historic Redwood Grove believe that the Halsey House, designated a historic landmark by the Los Altos City Council in 1981, deserves to be saved and renovated for adapted use by the community.

Set in ...

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Special Sections

Sneaky shots: A photographer’s guide to capturing the proposal

Sneaky shots: A photographer’s guide to capturing the proposal


Elliott Burr/Special to the Town Crier
A stealthy photographer scouts locations ahead of time to find not just a place to perch, but also the ideal position for the subjects.

It’s showtime.

You’re about to ask the person in front of...

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Business

Pharmaca celebrates grand opening over weekend

Pharmaca celebrates grand opening over weekend


Megan V. Winslow/Town Crier
Pharmaca is coming to 400 Main St. with a grand-opening celebration scheduled Saturday and Sunday.

If natural health and beauty products are your cup of tea, expect to find them – and hot tea – this weekend at the gran...

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Books

People

JANE BUTTERFIELD PRINGLE LYND

JANE BUTTERFIELD PRINGLE LYND

October 30, 1924 - April 8, 2015

Jane Butterfield Pringle Lynd, daughter to Liebert and Elise Butterfield of San Francisco, passed away quietly at her home in Palo Alto surrounded by her family, following a short illness. Jane was a proud third ge...

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Travel

Cuba libre: Local residents join mad rush of travelers

Cuba libre: Local residents join mad rush of travelers


Natalie Elefant/Special to the Town Crier
Los Altos resident Natalie Elefant noted the vibrant street performances as a traveler in Cuba.

The U.S. restored diplomatic relations with Cuba late last year, enabling Americans to import $100 worth of cig...

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Stepping Out

'Birds' landing in Mtn. View

'Birds' landing in Mtn. View


Ray Renati/Special to the Town Crier
The Pear Avenue Theatre production of Paul Braverman’s “Birds of a Feather” stars Troy Johnson as mafia boss Sean Kineen, left, and Diane Tasca as private eye Frankie Payne.

Pear Avenue Theatre’s world premi...

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Spiritual Life

Magazine

Practice prudent pruning: Maintaining manzanita, ceanothus and toyon

Practice prudent pruning: Maintaining manzanita, ceanothus and toyon


tanya kucak/Special to the Town Crier
Shrub manzanitas are known for their sinuous mahogany trunks and branches. If the foliage hides the bark, prune selectively to open the center so that the bark is visible year-round. This Montara manzanita is ...

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Inside Mountain View

Up to the challenge: Local leaders unite to help at-risk youth

Up to the challenge: Local leaders unite to help at-risk youth


Courtesy of Challenge Team
Jeanette Freiberg, bottom of pile, has fun with family members. The Challenge Team named Freiberg, a student at Mountain View High School, its 2015 Youth Champion.

There’s an ongoing joke among members of the Challenge...

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The graduation: Haugh About That?

Looking into the sweet, blue eyes of 10-year-old innocence, I wasn’t sure how to answer the question Kaitlyn Ecklund asked.

“Jackie,” she began, “I still don’t understand why you have to retire. You can easily teach a few more years. I’m not ready for you to quit.” And then, with complete certainty in her tone, she added, “You’re not that old!”

On so many levels, she was right. Over the past 20 years, I’ve shared a lovely afternoon activity with more than a thousand children (1,800 to be exact). It was in 1992 when the director of Mountain View’s Dance Attack, Sioux Lehner, first offered me a job as a “baby teacher.” Being a sucker for cherubs still in diapers, how could I resist? That was the easy part. Imagining myself as an instructor was harder. At first, the idea left me incredulous.

While I’ve always loved to dance, at the age of 8, I was expelled from my class. Apparently, I was a behavioral problem. Already a free spirit in an arena of strict ballet, it didn’t help that I was an excessive talker. The combination did not sit well with the dance master in 1960. But with Sioux’s faith in me, and many private lessons, my comeback story began.

For the first 10 years, I pranced around the Dance Attack studio with feathers in my hair, plastic jewels on my arms and my first tutu. The latter 10 have been at the El Camino YMCA. There, I created a program that focused on expression, not perfection. Who cares about talent when you’re so damn cute? But like all lovely things that run their course, April 30 it became time to hang up my toe shoes.

This time of year we see an abundance of graduations, from preschool to college. It is the moment we celebrate the ending of something rich and rewarding so that a new phase can begin. This graduation season, I’ve been thinking about the true meaning of the commencement process and realized that this commemorative step shouldn’t be limited to our education.

In our youth, we graduated from school and entered the workforce. Next, maybe we married or traveled the world. And, no matter how hard we try to deny it, we must move on from our children as they get ready to explore their own lives, all while watching our parents make their final journey home. But, if we’re open to the possibility, wonderful things are waiting.

I have to admit, I’ll miss being told, “You look like a grown-up but don’t act like one,” or “You’re the silliest big person I’ve ever known.”

And when it comes to Stanford University half-time shows, where my babies flitted and fluttered across the court in bright colors and sparkles in their hair, I’m sure a tear will escape my eye as I watch someone else’s group take center stage. But in the end, I’ll carry the memory of each precious child who made me giggle, allowed me to be the nutty person I truly am without criticism and loved me without any hesitation.

Kaitlyn, you’re right! I am too young to retire. Instead I’m graduating to explore new adventures while filled with the love you and so many others gave me. I may be hanging up my toe shoes, but never my tutu. My inner child will remain alive and dance will always be a wonderful part of my soul.

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