Fri10242014

News

Council hosts study session on downtown parking garage

Council hosts study session on downtown parking garage


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
The Los Altos City Council continues to explore options to address parking constraints in the downtown triangle.

The Los Altos City Council last week held the first of two study sessions to discuss the potential construct...

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Schools

LAHS Science and Technology Week features medical examiner

LAHS Science and Technology Week features medical examiner


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
A Los Altos High School student learns how to use robotic surgical equipment at the school’s Science and Technology Week event last year. Students can also attend hands-on presentations at this year’s event, w...

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Community

Ahoy, matey: Pirate Manor ramps up Halloween display

Ahoy, matey: Pirate Manor ramps up Halloween display


Town Crier File Photo
Pirate Manor is once again scheduled to arrive in the front yard of Dane and Jill Glasgow’s home on Manor Way in Los Altos, just in time for Halloween.

Although not the Walking Dead, pirate skeletons have been brought to li...

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Sports

Lancers rule the pool against Spartans

Lancers rule the pool against Spartans


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
St. Francis High’s Eric Reitmeir launches the ball over Mountain View High driver David Niehaus (2) and goalie Kenny Tang. The host Lancers won Friday’s non-league game 9-3.

There wasn’t a lot on the line Friday when ...

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Comment

Reeder, Fung for El Camino HCD: Editorial

The good news for the El Camino Healthcare District (formerly the El Camino Hospital District, for those still getting used to the new name) is that there is a contested election Nov. 4 for the district’s board of directors. Three candidates are runn...

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Special Sections

Plant-based diet offers benefits

Plant-based diet offers benefits


Photo by Ramya Krishna
Los Altos resident Nandini Krishna prepares a meat-free dish According to author Caldwell B. Esselstyn Jr., M.D., a plant-based diet can help prevent cancer.

Shirley Okita of Los Altos has found that adhering to a mostly plant...

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Business

New shop offers haute couture for girls

New shop offers haute couture for girls


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
The Girls @ Los Altos at 239 State St. offers clothing lines such as Nellystella as well as toys and other items for girls.

Cecilia Chen opened The Girls @ Los Altos as a tribute to the party dress. Whether it’s for...

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Books

Helping kids catch a few Zs: Local dental hygienist pens meditative bedtime book

Helping kids catch a few Zs: Local dental hygienist pens meditative bedtime book


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Mimi Sommers, who works at a Los Altos dentist’s office, recently wrote a children’s book.

A local dental hygienist recently published a book that aims to ease parents and children during a sometimes anxious e...

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People

BARBARA DARLING MERIDETH

1946-2014

Born in Palo Alto, raised in Los Altos, retired in southern Oregon. Survived by Peter James Merideth, sons Matthew, Jacob and John Merideth, the loves of her life.

She was a housewife who took great pride in her home, her surroundings and...

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Travel

Falling leaves: Four places in California to see autumn colors

Falling leaves: Four places in California to see autumn colors


Courtesy of Castello di Amorosa
Castello di Amorosa in Calistoga, above, boasts a beautiful setting for viewing fall’s colors – and sampling the vineyard’s wines.

Yes, Virginia, there is fall in California.

The colors pop out in...

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Stepping Out

'Sleepy Hollow' awakens at Bus Barn

'Sleepy Hollow' awakens at Bus Barn



Los Altos Youth Theatre’s production of “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow,” a musical based on Washington Irving’s classic story, is set to run through Nov. 2 at Bus Barn Theater. The cast comprises 27 young actors, directed by Cindy Powell. Courtesy o...

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Spiritual Life

Magazine

Local events add color to autumn calendar

Local events add color to autumn calendar


Van Houtte/town crier Visitors make their way through the Children’s Alley.

As Los Altos’ signature Chinese Pistache trees exchange their summer green for vibrant hues of yellow, orange and red in the fall, an abundance of local events also ad...

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Beating the back-to-school blues

As summer vacation draws to a close, I am reminded of the plight of squirmy students – the ones who wriggle in their seats and cannot sit still as the teacher talks. Even if these students try to pay attention, they are easily distracted by a fly on the wall or the child in the back corner and then – What was the lesson again? What was the homework assignment? Is there really a book report due next week?

Transitioning back to school can be especially difficult for students who need a certain high level of activity to maintain their concentration and focus.

Many children go from a summer filled with sports camps where they run around all day to a classroom environment where they must sit for several hours in a row. Their daily steps, if tracked on a pedometer, could plummet from 30,000 to 7,000 in a matter of days, and that makes for a good deal of unused energy, which could translate into squirminess, boredom and/or unhappiness.

In honor of such students, I offer the following tips for a smooth transition to the school year.

• Sample breakfasts. A recent study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that nearly 14 percent of high school girls and 13 percent of high school boys don’t eat breakfast at all – and many more skip breakfast one or several days a week – which contributes to irritability, lack of focus and general annoyance.

Before school starts, collaborate with your children to develop three to five tasty breakfast options that include protein and complex carbohydrates. At least two should be grab-and-go options for those late mornings that they can take and eat during their morning break. Breakfast bars made with rolled oats, flaxseed and almond butter can be prepared ahead of time.

• Vigorous exercise. Several years ago, I worked with a high school sophomore who started jogging 15-20 minutes before getting ready for school. He quickly saw a marked difference in his ability to focus and concentrate during his morning classes.

Many students exercise or play sports after school, but for those who struggle to pay attention in class, a short burst of exercise before school may be helpful. If that is not an option, it can also prove effective for students to prioritize a short spurt of activity before sitting down to do homework in the afternoon.

• Collaborate on family guidelines. Perhaps your family has already done this, but each school year can be different – and it’s useful to initiate a proactive conversation before the school year begins, especially if your child is transitioning to junior high or high school. Sample topics: homework (when, where and how it will be completed), technology (rules for proper use/abuse), sleep, etc.

Last year, a high school freshman admitted to me that he wished his parents would take away his phone when he did his homework, because it was such a distraction and he couldn’t regulate himself. (I guarantee that student had never told his parents that!)

• Schedule playtime. Play is crucial for creativity, problem solving and stress relief. Too many children stop playing too soon – high school students still need playtime. Play is often confused with obligations like sports and extracurricular activities. As part of that family conversation, devote a few hours a week to play.

Ana Homayoun is founder and director of the Los Altos-based Green Ivy Educational Consulting. She is the author of “That Crumpled Paper Was Due Last Week: Helping Disorganized and Distracted Boys Succeed in School and Life” (Perigee Trade, 2010) and the upcoming “The Myth of the Perfect Girl: Helping Our Daughters Find Success and Happiness.” For more information, visit www.greenivyed.com.

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