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News

Obama's coming to town

Obama's coming to town

The president is scheduled to make a stop about noon today at a private residence in Los Altos Hills. He and his entourage are expected to travel south from San Francisco to the event, then head back north for San Francisco International Airport and ...

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Schools

MVLA rolls out laptop integration this fall

MVLA rolls out laptop integration this fall


Town Crier File Photo
Starting in the fall, daily use of laptops in the classroom will be standard operating procedure for students at Los Altos and Mountain View high schools as the Mountain View Los Altos Union High School District launches a pil...

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Community

Generations blend behind the scenes at 'Wizard of Oz'

Generations blend behind the scenes at 'Wizard of Oz'


Altos Youth Theatre and Los Altos Stage Company rehearse a scene from “The Wizard of Oz.” ELIZA RIDGEWAY/ TOWN CRIER

A massive troupe of young people and grownups gathered in Los Altos this summer to stage the latest iteration of a childhood sta...

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Sports

Football in July

Football in July


Town Crier file photo
Mountain View High’s Anthony Avery is among the nine local players slated to play in tonight’s Silicon Valley Youth Classic.

Tonight’s 40th annual Silicon Valley Youth Classic – also known as the Charlie...

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Comment

Pools should be included: Editorial

Los Altos residents should be receiving calls this week from city representatives conducting a survey to determine priorities for a revamped Hillview Community Center.

Notice that we did not say “civic center” – chastened by a lack of public support...

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Special Sections

Looking for life without lows, local diabetic tests artificial pancreas

Looking for life without lows, local diabetic tests artificial pancreas


Photo by Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Dr. Trang Ly, left, reviews blood sugar readings on a smartphone with Los Altos resident Tia Geri, right, and fellow participant Noa Simon during a closed-loop artificial pancreas study for Type 1 diabetics.
...

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Business

Palo Alto law firm coming to 400 Main

Palo Alto law firm coming to 400 Main


Ellie Van Houtte/ Town Crier
Longtime Palo Alto law firm Thoits, Love, Hershberger & McClean plans to open an office at 400 Main St. in Los Altos after construction is complete in November.

A longtime Palo Alto law firm plans to expand into L...

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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

RICHARD PATRICK BRENNAN

RICHARD PATRICK BRENNAN

Resident of Palo Alto

Richard Patrick Brennan, journalist, editor, author, adventurer, died at his Palo Alto home on July 4, 2014 at age 92. He led a full life, professionally and personally. He was born and raised in San Francisco, joined the Arm...

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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

PYT stages 'Shrek'

PYT stages 'Shrek'


Lyn Healy/Spotlight Moments Photography
Dana Cullinane plays Fiona in Peninsula Youth Theatre’s “Shrek The Musical.”

Peninsula Youth Theatre presents “Shrek The Musical” Saturday through Aug. 3 at the Mountain View Center for the Performing Arts...

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Spiritual Life

Foothills Congregational: 100 years and counting

Foothills Congregational: 100 years and counting


Courtesy of Carolyn Barnes
The newly built Los Altos church in 1914 featured a bell tower and an arched front window. Both continue as elements of the building as it stands today.

Foothills Congregational Church – the oldest church building ...

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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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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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