Thu11272014

News

VTA plans for  El Camino Real prompt skepticism

VTA plans for El Camino Real prompt skepticism


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
A Valley Transit Authority proposal to convert general-use right lanes on El Camino Real to bus-only use received a chilly reception last week.

A Valley Transit Authority proposal that prioritizes public transit alo...

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Schools

MVHS students attempt Guinness World Record

MVHS students attempt Guinness World Record


Barry Tonge/Special to the Town Crier
Local residents participate in an attempt to break the Guinness World Record for making the most friendship braceletsNov. 9 at Mountain View High.

More than 300 Mountain View High School students gathered around...

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Community

Bigger, better days ahead for Foothill Veterans Resource Center

Bigger, better days ahead for Foothill Veterans Resource Center


Student veterans at Foothill College can seek support, access resources and socialize at the Veterans Resource Center.
Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier

Carmela Xuereb sees bigger things in store for the Foothill College Veterans Resource Center. One...

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Comment

Serving those who served us: Editorial

“Thank you for your service” often comes across as lip service to our veterans. As always, actions speak louder than words.

The Rotary Club of Los Altos has taken plenty of action, contributing time and money to improve opportunities for veterans th...

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Business

Report: Los Altos homes priciest in U.S.

Report: Los Altos homes priciest in U.S.


ToWn Crier File Photo
The average cost of a four-bedroom, two-bathroom home in Los Altos is 30 times more than the price of a similar home in Cleveland, according to a Coldwell Banker report.

The average cost of one Silicon Valley home can purchase ...

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Books

Children's author signs books at Linden Tree

Children's author signs books at Linden Tree


Author Tiffany Papageorge is scheduled to sign copies of new her book 11 a.m. Dec. 6 at Linden Tree Books, 265 State St., Los Altos.

Papageorge’s “My Yellow Balloon” (Minoan Moon, 2014) is a Mom’s Choice “Gold” winner. In the book, the Los Gat...

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People

RICHARD CAMPBELL WAUGH

RICHARD CAMPBELL WAUGH

Richard Campbell Waugh of Los Altos Hills, Ca. died at home October 31, 2014 surrounded by his family and caregivers.

Dick was born 1917, in Fayetteville, Arkansas. He earned a BS in chemistry from University of Arkansas and a PhD in organic chemi...

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Travel

Weekday Wanderlust highlights the joys of armchair travel

Weekday Wanderlust highlights the joys of armchair travel


Dan Prothero/Special to the Town Crier
Travel writers at the October gathering of the Weekday Wanderlust group include, from left, James Nestor, Kimberley Lovato, Paul Rauber, Marcia DeSanctis and Lavinia Spalding.

Travel writing should either ̶...

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Stepping Out

Pacific Ballet's 'Nutcracker' opens Friday in downtown Mtn. View

The Pacific Ballet Academy is back with its 24th annual production of “The Nutcracker,” scheduled this weekend in downtown Mountain View.

The story follows young Clara as she falls into a dream where her beloved nutcracker becomes the daring prince ...

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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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