Fri12192014

News

Council seeks more options for community center

Council seeks more options for community center


Town Crier File Photo
The Los Altos City Council approved an appropriation to examine options for a new community center to replace the aging Hillview facility.

The Los Altos City Council last week voted narrowly in favor of examining further opti...

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Schools

Local schools participate in  national Hour of Code activities

Local schools participate in national Hour of Code activities


Ellie Van HOutte/Town Crier
Himan Shu Raj, a volunteer from Microsoft, advises Los Altos High ninth-graders, from left, Serhat Suzer, Jamie Bennett and Chris Yang as they participate in the school’s Hour of Code Showcase.

Local schools participa...

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Community

Take a dive into the holiday archive

Take a dive into the holiday archive

Town Crier staff made a quick cruise back through the newspaper's archives to find some late-December reading as inspiration for eating, drinking, decorating and more:

Beloved holiday books build the spirit of the season and staff at Los Altos’ Li...

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Sports

Pinewood poised for another title run

Pinewood poised for another title run


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Pinewood’s girls basketball team is receiving contributions from several new players, including freshman Stella Kailahi, above.

Complacency shouldn’t be a problem for the defending Division V state champion Pinewood S...

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Comment

Letters to the Editor

Ticket motorists for U-turns on Main Street

As I was walking downtown on Main Street recently, something came to me out of the blue. The town of Los Altos is missing out on a huge revenue stream. I realized that if all the cars – there were th...

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Special Sections

Looking Ahead

Looking Ahead


s in line to be mayor of Mountain View in 2015.

Mountain View anticipates the following changes in 2015:

• Beginning Jan. 1, Mountain View City Councilmembers will receive a raise to $1,000 per month as a result of the passage of Measure A in...

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Business

Your 2015 stock market game plan

It’s been a maddening month because of oil and gas, especially in stocks and bonds. Then, consumer spending pushed stocks higher Thursday, easing investors’ jitters about the global economy and prompting them to consider how to invest in ...

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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

SANGEETA SACHDEVA

SANGEETA SACHDEVA

Sangeeta Sachdeva, 55, wife of Subhash Sachdeva and mother to Natasha and Tanya, died at 8:54pm, Sunday, December 7, 2014 from respiratory failure.

Sangeeta was born on October 18, 1959 in Delhi, India. She was born to Moti Sagar and Raj Kapoor an...

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Travel

South Tahoe renovations enhance off-mountain seasonal fun

As any enthusiast knows well, there is more to the enjoyment of winter sports than skiing or snowboarding.

While many winter resorts make minor upgrades each season, the off-mountain attractions and amenities can be as enticing as the activities on ...

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Stepping Out

Aurora Singers to emit 'Musical Glow' Friday

Aurora Singers to emit 'Musical Glow' Friday


courtesy of Aurora Singers
The Aurora Singers are scheduled to perform a seasonal concert Friday night in Palo Alto.

The Aurora Singers’ “Winter’s Musical Glow” holiday concert is set for 7 p.m. Friday at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Pal...

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Spiritual Life

Enter the superhero: Finding the God who loves you

In my life-coaching practice, I see a lot of pain. Much of it stems from fear and guilt, often expressed as low self-esteem, anxiety, a lack of forgiveness both for oneself and others, anger – and so on.

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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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Child Advocates: Transforming lives, one step at a time


Photo By: Ellie Van Houtte/ Town Crier
Photo Ellie Van Houtte/ Town Crier

By all accounts, Dana (not her real name) is a model student. The 17-year-old high school senior is scheduled to graduate a semester early. The U.S. Marine Corps has accepted her into boot camp to prepare for service. An articulate and thoughtful young woman, she is involved in the Vietnamese Student Union, the Filipino Club and the school choir.

Dana’s accomplishments belie the six tumultuous years she has spent in the foster care system, frequently shifted from school to school and family to family. In elementary and middle schools, Dana said, she “didn’t care much about education,” which was reflected in poor academic performance. During her high school years, she has attended three different schools as a result of her unstable home environment, which forced her into foster care.

What was the impetus for the transformation in Dana’s life? Six years ago, when she entered the foster care system, Child Advocates, a nonprofit Silicon Valley-based organization, intervened to support her case. She met Ineke Ligtenberg, a retired ESL teacher and Los Altos resident who serves as an Advocate. The Court Appointed Special Advocates are trained to counsel foster children and advance their interests in court, serving both as friend and personal mentor. For many young people, the assistance of an Advocate can make the difference between a life characterized by constant movement from one foster home to another and a life with a loving and supportive permanent family.

During the process of counseling and forming relationships, Advocates become trusted adults, often offering parental guidance. Dana and Ligtenberg have developed such a rapport, exchanging easy smiles and laughter as they recount shared experiences.

“I talk to Ineke like my mom,” Dana said.

As a result of Ligtenberg’s guidance, Dana’s academic performance has improved significantly, allowing her to graduate early and pursue her dream of serving in the Marines.

Reviewing the past several years of her life, Dana said, “When Ineke came in, I saw that I needed to change - to care more about my education, to keep in contact with my brothers and sisters and to figure out what to do after I finish school.”

Dana is just one of many individuals whose lives have been transformed through the work of Child Advocates. In fact, while only 50 percent of foster children nationwide complete high school, 85 percent of Child Advocates’ high school seniors earn high school diplomas or the equivalent.

By recruiting and training Court Appointed Special Advocates to serve the best interests of its child clients, Child Advocates has assisted more than 15,000 Silicon Valley children in their transitions to a stable home and more positive future.

Child Advocates Executive Director Karen Scussel said Town Crier Holiday Funds go directly to general support – recruiting, training and aiding advocates.

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