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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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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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