Mon09152014

News

Council approves directional signs for Los Altos' Woodland Plaza

Council approves directional signs for Los Altos' Woodland Plaza


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
The Los Altos City Council last week approved the installation of two new directional signs on Foothill Expressway pointing motorists to the Woodland Plaza Shopping District.

The Los Altos City Council voted unanimou...

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Schools

New head of curriculum’s ideologies align with LASD

New head of curriculum’s ideologies align with LASD


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Edsel Clark, new Los Altos School District assistant superintendent for curriculum and instruction, above, facilitates a junior high mathematics curriculum meeting last week.

Edsel Clark, Ed.D., new assistant superintend...

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Community

Closing reception caps Foothill photo show on rural China

Closing reception caps Foothill photo show on rural China


From IncredibleTravelPhotos.com
Jacque Kae’s “Mischievous” is one of the many photographs on display at Foothill College this month.

Photographs of the land and culture of Huangshan and Zhangjiajie, China, are on exhibit through Sept. 26 at t...

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Sports

Spartans shine in opener

Spartans shine in opener


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Mountain View High’s Frank Kapp snares a touchdown pass from quarterback Owen Mountford in Friday’s win.

Leading by a point at halftime, the Mountain View High football team outscored visiting Del Mar 20-0 the rest of...

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Comment

A look ahead to the Nov. 4 election: Editorial

Election season is upon us. In Los Altos, we have three major local races ahead – two seats on the Los Altos City Council, and three seats each on the Los Altos School District and Mountain View-Los Altos Union High School District boards of tr...

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Special Sections

Renovation complete,  Villa Siena looks to future

Renovation complete, Villa Siena looks to future


Above and Below Photos Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier; Left Photo Courtesy of Villa Siena
Villa Siena in Mountain View recently underwent a $35 million face-lift. The five-year project expanded their senior living community’s space and ability to serv...

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Business

Transitioning from postage to pets

Transitioning from postage to pets


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
A new Pet Food Express store is scheduled to open at the Blossom Valley Shopping Center this month.

A site that previously existed to meet postal service needs will soon have an entirely different purpose – serving pe...

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Books

‘The Humans’ transcends alien genre to glean human insights

‘The Humans’ transcends alien genre to glean human insights


A good story about aliens is always great fun to read – after all, it’s only by attempting to understand the human race from another perspective that we can see ourselves more objectively.

But readers who might be tempted to dismiss ye...

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People

JEANNE PACKARD

After suffering a stroke in May, Jeanne Packard died August 10, 2014 at age 83. She was born in 1931 in Berlin, Germany, the only child of Emily Channel and Frank Howe Packard of Chicago, IL. Jeanne is survived by 5 great grandchildren. She was a lon...

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Travel

LA photographer spends a night with cranes – and moose – in Alaska

LA photographer spends a night with cranes – and moose – in Alaska


Sandy Powell/Special to the Town Crier
Los Altos resident and bird photographer Sandy Powell recently visited Homer, Alaska, to photograph Sandhill cranes, below. While there, Powell also encountered moose, left.

Los Altos resident Sandy Powell, a...

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Stepping Out

'Trailer Park' opens in Los Altos

'Trailer Park' opens in Los Altos


Courtesy of Los
The cast of Los Altos Stage Company’s “The Great American Trailer Park Musical” includes, from left, Mylissa Malley as Lin, Vanessa Alvarez as Betty, and Christina Bolognini as Pickles. Altos Stage Company

Los Altos Stage Company...

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Spiritual Life

9/11 survivor Michael Hingson finds purpose

Imagine walking down 78 flights of stairs – 1,463 individual steps. You are in imminent danger as you walk, unsure whether you can make it out of the building before it collapses or explodes. Struggling for each breath, you smell the heavy sten...

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Magazine

Los Altos Hills home showcases resort-inspired living

Los Altos Hills home showcases resort-inspired living


Courtesy of Spectrum Interior Design
In place of a more traditional fireplace, this modern living room features a linear-flame firebox that emits heat while offering a sculpturelike design element.

After traveling the world and visiting a host...

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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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