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News

Electrical shutdown scheduled today, tomorrow

PG&E is installing new electrical service to the 400 Main St. development project today, which will require the temporary interruption of electric services to several businesses located on First, Main and State streets in downtown Los Altos. PG&a...

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Schools

Community support pays dividends

Community support pays dividends


As a recent cover story in The New York Times Magazine revealed, getting low-income students into college is not enough to close the achievement/income gap. The percentage of low-income students entering college who actually earn a degree lags far ...

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Community

War veteran to visit D.C. memorial on Honor Flight

War veteran to visit D.C. memorial on Honor Flight


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Los Altos resident and World War II vet Earl Pampeyan is preparing for an Honor Flight trip to Washington, D.C., next month.

Los Altos resident Earl Pampeyan is scheduled to fly to Washington, D.C., next month to vis...

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Sports

Making a splash

Making a splash


Courtesy of Clarke Weatherspoon
Stanford Water Polo Club’s under-14 boys team earned the bronze medal at the Junior Olympics. Front row, from left: Corey Tanis, Larsen Weigle, Nathan Puentes, Walker Seymour, Alan Viollier and Jayden Kunwar. B...

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Comment

Whom can you trust?: Haugh About That?

Waving my pink poodle skirt with all the fervor of a matador preparing to tease a raging bull, I blinked my 20-year-old eyes and gave a come-hither look to indicate, “I’m ready!” Little did I know that the blind trust I had in this ...

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Special Sections

Getting right by eating right: PAMF doctor's book addresses South Asian health risks

Getting right by eating right: PAMF doctor's book addresses South Asian health risks


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Dr. Ronesh Sinha, a physician at Palo Alto Medical Foundation, promotes healthful living among the South Asian population. His new book, “The South Asian Health Solution,” includes nutritious recipes.

When you think o...

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Business

From Google to First Street: Massage therapist sets up studio in downtown Los Altos

From Google to First Street: Massage therapist sets up studio in downtown Los Altos


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Upuia Ahkiong is slated to open Kua Body Studios next month at 106 First St. Ahkiong is sharing space with Evolve Classical Pilates.

A massage therapist with ties to Google Inc. is slated to open a new – and shared...

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Books

"Jack London" chronicles author's adventurous life


Much has been written about American author Jack London, primarily known for his early-20th-century Western adventure novels, including the classics “White Fang” and “The Call of the Wild.”

In Earle Labor’s biography of the literary icon, “Jac...

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People

TIMOTHY WARREN WATSON (TIM)

TIMOTHY WARREN WATSON (TIM)

Born June 2, 1935, died peacefully on August 11, at home in Mountain View, surrounded by his family. He died of complications of Parkinson’s Disease after a courageous 15-year battle.

Tim was the beloved husband of 55 years to his college sweethea...

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Travel

Bergama bound: A visit to newest World Heritage site

Bergama bound: A visit to newest World Heritage site


Photo Eren GÖknar/ Special to the Town Crier
The amphitheater in Turkey’s ancient city of Pergamon, now known as Bergama, overlooks the Bakirçay River valley, left. The city’s ruins also include the Temple of Trajan.

It was 90 F during t...

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Stepping Out

TheatreWorks offers 'Spoonful' of drama beginning this week

TheatreWorks offers 'Spoonful' of drama beginning this week


Kevin Berne/Special to the Town Crier
Three strangers – “Chutes & Ladders” (Anthony J. Haney, left), Odessa (Zilah Mendoza, center) and “Orangutan” (Anna Ishida, right) – come together in an online support group in TheatreWorks’ regional premie...

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Spiritual Life

Spiritual Briefs

Meditation group meets at Foothills Congregational

A Weekly Meditation Practice group meets 7-8:15 a.m. Tuesdays at Foothills Congregational Church, 461 Orange Ave., Los Altos.

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Magazine

Festival features fun for everyone

Festival features fun for everyone


TOWN CRIER FILE PHOTO
The Los Altos Arts & Wine Festival boasts more than 375 craft and arts booths.

This weekend’s 35th annual Los Altos Arts & Wine Festival promises to be jam-packed with fun activities for just about everyone. The eve...

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Los Altos native writes ‘Myth of the Perfect Girl’


Photo By: Courtesy of Ana Homayoun
Photo Courtesy Of Ana Homayoun

Ana Homayoun, right, works with a student in her office at Green Ivy Educational Consulting in downtown Los Altos. Homayoun is author of the newly released “The Myth of the Perfect Girl.”

When Los Altos native Ana Homayoun, founder of Green Ivy Educational Counseling, began seeing successful girls with doubts about their achievements, she realized there was a conversation that needed to start.

“So many girls were coming into our office, who were doing so many wonderful things, but they never felt they were good enough – that there were all sorts of external expectations they weren’t meeting,” she said.

Homayoun works with approximately 150 local families at her office at 302 Main St., helping students with schoolwork and promoting overall wellness as they plan for college.

“The Myth of the Perfect Girl: Helping Our Daughters Find Authentic Success and Happiness in School and Life” (Perigee Trade, 2012), Homayoun’s second book released Dec. 31, addresses how parents and the community can help girls navigate the difficulties they face.

She has received positive feedback since the book’s release.

Homayoun said two college interns in her office finished the book within three days and concurred that it addressed “what so many of us deal with but no one wants to talk about.”

“My experiences with girls inspired me to write the book, because I felt there is so much out there that we are not talking about right now that needs to be addressed in a positive way,” Homayoun said. “I want to shift the conversation from just achievement to overall wellness.”

She said girls feel immense pressure to be picture-perfect, earn good grades and participate in all the appropriate activities – but many aren’t taking the time to involve themselves in something they enjoy.

“I saw so many girls come in for college counseling with similar résumés,” Homayoun said. “They were great people, but they were clearly anxious they weren’t good enough, and they were exhausted and overwhelmed. There is something wrong with that.”

Her book addresses girls’ tendency to accept others’ expectations rather than to generate and pursue their own version of personal success and fulfillment. As a result, many are left feeling empty and develop mental-health problems.

The book includes exercises for parents and daughters that challenge the reader to focus on specific aspects of wellness that can increase the enjoyment of life. One exercise, the Game of Threes, encourages girls to list new things they want to try, examine what they enjoy doing and do more things they wish they had time for.

On Homayoun’s “Myth of the Perfect Girl” Facebook page, girls nationwide are playing the Game of Threes and sharing their experiences baking or trying knitting for the first time.

“Let’s look at how you want to be spending your time and improve your enjoyment of activities,” she said.

The book touches on academics and how to balance the pressures for achievement with overall wellness.

“I always talk about the wellness piece with students – it’s not just about getting better grades,” Homayoun said. “We focus on the habits you want to change. If you change the habits, the results will come – and they will often be better than you imagine.”

Homayoun also addresses social issues like bullying but wants to shift the conversation to ask why it is happening.

“When you don’t feel good about yourself, you often try to find ways to assuage that,” she said. “Sometimes being mean to others is a quick fix.”

The book encourages parents to stay involved with their daughters, asking them to share how they use technology and discuss the television shows they watch.

Homayoun suggested that parents and their daughters read the book in tandem and start a conversation. Her Facebook page features helpful questions designed to spark discussion.

“The Myth of the Perfect Girl” is available on Amazon.com and at major book retailers. Purchase it locally at Main Street Cafe & Books or Linden Tree Books.

Homayoun is scheduled to appear 7:30 p.m. Thursday at Kepler’s Books, 1010 El Camino Real, Menlo Park.

For more information, visit www.facebook.com/mythoftheperfectgirl.

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