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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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Unlikely relationship inspires readers with twists and turns

I am drawn to unlikely heroes and inspiring characters wherever I find them, whether depicted in a great book of pure fiction or, best of all, in real life.

A case in point is Ron Hall’s story of his life-changing intersection with a homeless man named Denver Moore. Hall and Moore’s book, “Same Kind of Different as Me: A Modern-Day Slave, an International Art Dealer, and the Unlikely Woman Who Bound Them Together” (Thomas Nelson, 2006), chronicles how these two men are drawn into an unlikely relationship prompted by Ron’s saintly wife, Debbie. (It’s kind of like Kathryn Stockett’s “The Help” for men.)

The backstory of the wheeling-dealing, jet-setting Hall is as inspiring as Moore’s. At first blush, Hall seems like an ordinary guy. He was born on a ranch in Texas, attended school and graduated from college. He earned a master’s degree in business administration, went to work for a bank and married his college sweetheart.

One day, while on a business trip for the bank, he wandered into an art gallery and purchased an original oil painting on credit, much to his wife’s displeasure. He subsequently sold it for a $2,000 profit. From that small dip into the art world, Hall accidently launched an immensely successful career as an art dealer that lasted 25 years. He eventually left that profession to pursue his dream of being a cowboy, filling his days with ranching, roping, writing poetry and, in his words, “anything else Debbie asked me to do.”

It is a good story so far, but his life becomes a great story through a fiery trial that launches him into his most important work.

While volunteering at a homeless shelter, Hall is drawn into the life of Moore amid twists, turns and intersections that are stranger than fiction. Today, Hall continues his new life’s work by co-authoring this heartfelt book and advocating on behalf of the homeless.

As I write this, I am reminded that many of us are closer to the edge of our comfort and security than we ever dreamed possible. More and more “people like me” have slipped over the edge into homelessness. We would be wise to measure our success less by what we have achieved and more by what we have become. The demographics on that are invisible and challenge our assumptions. I’m just saying … we all really are the “same kind of different” in all the important ways.

Sharon Lennox-Infante, contributing editor for Book Buzz, is a Los Altos resident.

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