Wed05062015

News

LASD, city move toward land discussions

The ice may be thawing a bit as the Los Altos School District and the city of Los Altos consider resurrecting discussions on the potential use of public land as a school site.

The city voted to discontinue conversations about civic land with the sch...

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Schools

Mental health expert dispels myths

Mental health expert dispels myths


Megan V. Winslow/Town Crier
Palo Alto University Professor Paul Marcille addresses a crowd of psychology students and mental health activists last week about myths surrounding mental illness and violence.

In the wake of the 2011 Sandy Hook Elementa...

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Community

Q&A: Meet the city's new public works and administrative services directors

The city of Los Altos has hired three new department directors in the past ten months. The Town Crier recently profiled new Recreation Director Manny Hernandez. This week, the Town Crier profiles Susana Chan, new public works director, and Kim Juran-...

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Comment

Familiar icon pops up in Los Altos: A Piece of My Mind

I was walking to my car parked on State Street when my eye fell on an old familiar acquaintance from my early childhood, totally unexpected to meet in Los Altos. It was the “Steinway” logo over the door of the new Steinway Piano Gallery,...

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Special Sections

New Los Altos shop brews milk tea for gourmands

New Los Altos shop brews milk tea for gourmands


Eliza Ridgeway/Town Crier
Teaspoon, the milk tea shop at Village Court in Los Altos, above, serves a range of bubble teas and snow ice drinks, right.

Los Altos made it onto the milk tea map this spring with the opening of Teaspoon, a new bubble tea ...

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Business

Ed center scores spot in Foothills Crossing

Ed center scores spot in Foothills Crossing


Alicia Castro/ Town Crier
C2 Los Altos tutor Max Shih, left, instructs Homestead High School student Rajesh Suresh.

Los Altos families have a new resource for helping their children ace the test.

C2 Los Altos – a recently opened education cente...

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Books

People

DOROTHY RUTH MATHIS PUDER

DOROTHY RUTH MATHIS PUDER

9/17/1918-4/15/2015

Dorothy Puder died on April 15th in Sunnyvale, California. She will be remembered for her gentle, loving, positive and caring ways and will be greatly missed by family and friends.

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Travel

Cuba libre: Local residents join mad rush of travelers

Cuba libre: Local residents join mad rush of travelers


Natalie Elefant/Special to the Town Crier
Los Altos resident Natalie Elefant noted the vibrant street performances as a traveler in Cuba.

The U.S. restored diplomatic relations with Cuba late last year, enabling Americans to import $100 worth of cig...

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Stepping Out

 PYT's comedic musical opens this weekend in Mtn. View

PYT's comedic musical opens this weekend in Mtn. View


Lyn Flaim/Spotlight Moments Photography
The cast of Peninsula Youth Theatre’s “Once Upon a Mattress” includes, from left, Sophia Graziani (of Los Altos) as Winnifred, Chris Gough (Sunnyvale) as the Prince and Reilly Arena (Palo Alto) as the Queen. ...

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Spiritual Life

Mercifully in His grip: Exploring our true position in Christ

I recently read a wonderful analogy about our true position in Christ. It was shockingly contrary to the messages impressed upon me in church, but deeply rooted in the Bible. The analogy is that of child and a parent. If you have ever taken a small ...

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Magazine

Practice prudent pruning: Maintaining manzanita, ceanothus and toyon

Practice prudent pruning: Maintaining manzanita, ceanothus and toyon


tanya kucak/Special to the Town Crier
Shrub manzanitas are known for their sinuous mahogany trunks and branches. If the foliage hides the bark, prune selectively to open the center so that the bark is visible year-round. This Montara manzanita is ...

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Inside Mountain View

Up to the challenge: Local leaders unite to help at-risk youth

Up to the challenge: Local leaders unite to help at-risk youth


Courtesy of Challenge Team
Jeanette Freiberg, bottom of pile, has fun with family members. The Challenge Team named Freiberg, a student at Mountain View High School, its 2015 Youth Champion.

There’s an ongoing joke among members of the Challenge...

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CSA nutrition program nourishes community members in need


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Although Los Altos and surrounding areas are affluent communities, not every local resident can afford life’s basic necessities, including food – particularly around the holidays.

“Last year, I wouldn’t have been able to have a turkey to share with my family,” said Barbara, a mother of two originally from Los Altos who found support from the Food and Nutrition Center at the Community Services Agency (CSA) when she encountered unexpected life challenges. “What’s Thanksgiving without a turkey? I can’t imagine the disappointment.”

The Food and Nutrition Center plays a pivotal role in making the holidays brighter for local families in need. LaDrea Clark, nutrition and health education assistant, said the center distributed 600 turkeys and boxes of packaged and fresh food for Thanksgiving this year – fulfilling its mission to serve as a year-round safety net for Los Altos, Los Altos Hills and Mountain View.

In addition to its food store, where people can select fresh and packaged foods donated by local stores and farms, CSA’s 14 programs support clients with emergency housing assistance, medications, computer access, social services and staff referrals to partner organizations in the community.

Poverty is frequently associated with less affluent communities or more urban environments, but CSA Executive Director Tom Myers said there are more people struggling with basic needs in the area than one might expect.

“There are pockets of poverty that are often invisible,” he said.

According to Myers, in any given year, the center serves an estimated 400 homeless people in Mountain View and Los Altos.

“We have people who never in their wildest dreams could imagine coming to us,” he said.

In addition to the working poor and homeless, CSA also serves young people, seniors, widows, women in domestic violence situations and people who encounter job loss, health problems or other unexpected circumstances.

Elba Landaverde, CSA emergency assistance program director, attributed the growing need in the community to the economic downturn and the cost of living in Silicon Valley. Her team handles approximately 120 emergency cases per week, including a growing number of domestic violence situations that leave people financially vulnerable and in need of housing and other support services.

She added that helping people makes her feel her work matters.

“I was ashamed at first. … I had a great job,” said Barbara, noting how difficult it was to admit her need for CSA services. “It’s not something you want to do.”

The staff’s kindness and respect was humbling, said Barbara, adding that CSA’s support was a lifesaver for her family during the experience.

“I’m so grateful for the little things,” she said. 

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