Thu10302014

News

Police stress need for low speed in school zones

Police stress need for low speed in school zones


Town Crier File Photo
After two recent accidents involving cyclists and motorists, police urge caution – on both sides.

After two recent incidents of vehicles striking student bicyclists, Los Altos Police urge residents to exercise caution whe...

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Schools

Gardner Bullis School debuts new Grizzly Student Center

Gardner Bullis School debuts new Grizzly Student Center


Photo by Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Students line up to check books out of the library in the new Grizzly Student Center at Gardner Bullis School.

Gardner Bullis School opened its new Grizzly Student Center earlier this month, introducing a lea...

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Community

Home improvement workshop scheduled Wednesday (Oct. 29)

The County of Santa Clara is hosting a free informational workshop on 6:30 p.m. Wednesday at Los Altos Hills Town Hall, 26379 Fremont Road.

The workshop will offer ways single-family homeowners can increase their homes’ energy efficiency. Eligible i...

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Comment

Off the fence: TC recommends 'yes' on N

The Town Crier initially offered no position on the controversial $150 million Measure N bond on Tuesday’s ballot. But some of the reasons we gave in our Oct. 15 editorial were, on reflection, overly critical and based on inaccurate information.

We ...

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Special Sections

Long-term solutions emerge as water conservation goes mainstream

Long-term solutions emerge as water conservation goes mainstream


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Forrest Linebarger, right, installed greywater and rainwater harvesting systems at his Los Altos Hills home.

With more brown than green visible in her Los Altos backyard, Kacey Fitzpatrick admits that she’s a little e...

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Business

Local realtors scare up money for charity

Local realtors scare up money for charity


Photo courtesy of SILVAR
Realtors Gary Campi and Jordan Legge, from left, joined Nancy Domich, SILVAR President Dave Tonna and Joe Brown to raise funds for the Silicon Valley Realtors Charitable Foundation.

Los Altos and Mountain View realtors raise...

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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

DAVID S. NIVISON

DAVID S. NIVISON

David S. Nivison, 91 years old, and a resident of Los Altos, California since 1952, died Oct. 16, 2014 at home.  His neighbors had recently honored him as the “Mayor of Russell Ave., in recognition of 62 years of distinguished living” on that ...

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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

ECYS opens season Sunday

ECYS opens season Sunday


Ramya Krishna/Special to the Town Crier
The El Camino Youth Symphony rehearses for Sunday’s concert, above.

The El Camino Youth Symphony – under new conductor Jindong Cai – is scheduled to perform its season-opening concert 4 p.m....

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Spiritual Life

Christian Science Reading Room hosts webinar on prayer and healing

Christian Science practitioner and teacher Evan Mehlenbacher is scheduled to present a live Internet webinar lecture, “Prayer That Heals,” 7:30 p.m. Nov. 14 in the Christian Science Reading Room, 60 Main St., Los Altos.

Those interested ...

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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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House of Grace empowers women from the inside


Photo By: Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Photo Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier Melanie, a resident of CityTeam International’s House of Grace, has benefited from the program’s holistic approach, particularly its spiritual element.

Melanie might call it a blessing – the phone call notifying her that a bed was available for her at CityTeam International’s House of Grace, a 12- to 14-month residential program in San Jose dedicated to helping women rebuild their lives after addiction, abuse or homelessness.

Although Melanie had struggled with opiate addiction since first experimenting with drugs at the age of 13, House of Grace has given her a new lease on life after a yearlong prison term. When she started the program in June, she was afraid to search for a job, fearing how employers might judge her history of substance abuse and incarceration.

With support from the team at House of Grace, Melanie landed a job five months later. When she delivered her first rent check to staff at the facility, she said she was not only elated, but also filled with self-confidence and integrity.

“I’ve had the opportunity to love myself for the first time at 22,” Melanie said.

The community of residents and staff support at House of Grace are life altering for Melanie and many other women who discover hope and a newfound opportunity to redefine their lives through the program.

“We see her as who she is today, not who she was yesterday,” said Honili Sema, director of women’s ministries at House of Grace.

In addition to safe housing for 24 women and eight children, the program provides continuing-education courses, life-skills classes, counseling and, most importantly, a supportive community that emphasizes holistic healing – physical, emotional and spiritual.

Unlike some recovery programs that last only 30 days, House of Grace gives women’s wounds time to heal. According to Sema, it costs $35 per person per day to run the nonprofit organization. Previous Town Crier Holiday Fund donations have enabled the agency to support participants with housing, food, clothing, furniture, recovery classes, medical and dental care, GED classes, career and money management programs and legal support.

“They want you to be healthy all around and give you support while you’re on that journey,” Melanie said.

When she graduates from House of Grace next summer, Melanie said she plans to attend seminary school to become a youth pastor.

She hopes to turn her past mistakes into something good.

“I always had things I wanted to do with my life but never had the lifestyle to do so,” she said. “I hope God is able to use me to bring light to the world.”

For an album of photos of Melanie and the House of Grace, click here.

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