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News

Street crack-sealing project begins Monday, May 4

The City of Los Altos is beginning a city-wide street crack-sealing project on Monday (May 4).

City officials said the traffic impact for this project will be minimal. No streets will be closed and vehicles can resume normal traffic flow shortly aft...

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Schools

Homestead students use projects  to solve environmental problems

Homestead students use projects to solve environmental problems


Alisha Parikh/Special to the Town Crier
Homestead High School junior Maya Dhar, a Los Altos resident, left, and classmate Carolyn MacDonald support the school’s AP Environmental Science classes at the Arbor Day Festival April 23.

As summer app...

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Community

CHAC appoints new leader

CHAC appoints new leader

Naomi Nakano-Matsumoto, LCSW, has been named the new executive director of the Community Health Awareness Council (CHAC). A seasoned nonprofit leader, Nakano-Matsumoto is scheduled to assume duties July 1. She takes over for outgoing executive direct...

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Sports

St. Francis swimmers shine

St. Francis swimmers shine


Megan V. Winslow/Town Crier
St. Francis High’s Benjamin Ho competes against Sacred Heart Cathedral Thursday. The junior swam on all three victorious relays at the home meet, which the Lancers won easily.

Flexing its power in the pool, host St....

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Comment

Halsey House deserves preservation: Other Voices

Halsey House deserves preservation: Other Voices


Many contributing supporters to the Friends of Historic Redwood Grove believe that the Halsey House, designated a historic landmark by the Los Altos City Council in 1981, deserves to be saved and renovated for adapted use by the community.

Set in ...

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Special Sections

Sneaky shots: A photographer’s guide to capturing the proposal

Sneaky shots: A photographer’s guide to capturing the proposal


Elliott Burr/Special to the Town Crier
A stealthy photographer scouts locations ahead of time to find not just a place to perch, but also the ideal position for the subjects.

It’s showtime.

You’re about to ask the person in front of...

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Business

Pharmaca celebrates grand opening over weekend

Pharmaca celebrates grand opening over weekend


Megan V. Winslow/Town Crier
Pharmaca is coming to 400 Main St. with a grand-opening celebration scheduled Saturday and Sunday.

If natural health and beauty products are your cup of tea, expect to find them – and hot tea – this weekend at the gran...

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Books

People

JANE BUTTERFIELD PRINGLE LYND

JANE BUTTERFIELD PRINGLE LYND

October 30, 1924 - April 8, 2015

Jane Butterfield Pringle Lynd, daughter to Liebert and Elise Butterfield of San Francisco, passed away quietly at her home in Palo Alto surrounded by her family, following a short illness. Jane was a proud third ge...

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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

'Birds' landing in Mtn. View

'Birds' landing in Mtn. View


Ray Renati/Special to the Town Crier
The Pear Avenue Theatre production of Paul Braverman’s “Birds of a Feather” stars Troy Johnson as mafia boss Sean Kineen, left, and Diane Tasca as private eye Frankie Payne.

Pear Avenue Theatre’s world premi...

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Spiritual Life

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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Prayer Breakfast speakers discuss the power of faith


Photo By: Town Crier Staff Photo
Photo Town Crier Staff Photo

Three speakers from different parts of the world and diverse careers came together at Thursday’s Silicon Valley Prayer Breakfast in Santa Clara to share a common thread: How faith has had a profound impact on their lives.

Sanjay Poonen, a high-tech executive born in India, discussed how prayer helps in his leadership role. Jaida Im, a native of Korea, revealed how healing through prayer inspired a new life committed to helping others as founder of Freedom House. And Mark Joseph, a film producer and author born and raised in Japan, talked of prayer working in big, small and often random ways, and how power, influence and money should be used in the service of others.

Poonen, a Los Altos resident and executive at SAP Inc., spoke of a 42-year-old friend who felt tired one day, lay down to rest and died of a heart attack. It reminded him to “live my every day as if it were the last of my life.” Our days, he said, should be fulfilling, productive and dedicated to God.

Im recalled her 10-year struggle with severe migraine headaches that led her to the brink of suicide.

“I lost hope and the will to live,” she said of the horrific time, just five years ago.

So she prayed. A week later, a pastor came to her and prayed for her healing. Within a short time, she was healthy again.

“Everything purged out of my body,” she said. “My mind was crystal clear for the first time in a decade.”

She has not had a headache since October 2008.

A pharmacist in her previous career, Im was inspired to pursue new work helping others. She took on the pervasive issue of human trafficking. Im said this “modern-day slavery” is quite common locally.

“The San Francisco Bay Area is a big hub for human trafficking activity,” she said.

So in 2010, she founded Freedom House, which provides homes and after-care services for women rescued from human trafficking. Her nonprofit organization provides basic needs – shelter, food and clothing, Im said, along with “lots of love and care.”

Joseph, who worked on the development and marketing of such films as “The Chronicles of Narnia” and “The Passion of the Christ,” recalled how prayer has worked for him in ways both big and small. He found himself reading about Mayan culture and thought “Maya” would be a good name for the latest addition to his family, a baby girl. When he brought it up to his wife, she gave him a strange look. It turns out, Joseph said, that God had told his wife to tell him their new daughter would be named Maya.

In another instance, Joseph received a speeding ticket in Dixon, Ill., and was ordered to appear in court in person. Dixon was former President Ronald Reagan’s hometown. While there, Joseph immersed himself in Reagan’s legacy. His latest project is a biopic of Reagan.

Joseph said God’s hand also guided him into fixing a stubborn piece of equipment just minutes before an important presentation to investors.

“I believe prayer changes circumstances,” he said.

Joseph spent much of his time talking about using power in the service of others, describing how influence naturally follows power.

“Without power, there is little ability to influence,” he said, paraphrasing from the Bible.

Noting that “God shakes his head” at the selfish, Joseph said, “Power, influence and money are not ends to themselves. They’re fleeting. They have to be used in the moment.”

Joseph urged the 430 or so guests at last week’s breakfast to patronize films that best reflect their own values. If enough people do so, he said, Hollywood would respond.

The Silicon Valley Prayer breakfast, in its 19th year, was founded by a group of Los Altos couples in 1995. Los Altos resident Skip Vaccarello, who hosted the event and served as master of ceremonies, is chairman of the Silicon Valley Prayer Breakfast Leadership Team.

For more information, visit www.svpb.net.

Speakers at the annual Silicon Valley Prayer Breakfast, from left, Jaida Im, Mark Joseph and Sanjay Poonen, shared how faith has profoundly influenced their lives and careers.

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