Fri12192014

News

Council seeks more options for community center

Council seeks more options for community center


Town Crier File Photo
The Los Altos City Council approved an appropriation to examine options for a new community center to replace the aging Hillview facility.

The Los Altos City Council last week voted narrowly in favor of examining further opti...

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Schools

Local schools participate in  national Hour of Code activities

Local schools participate in national Hour of Code activities


Ellie Van HOutte/Town Crier
Himan Shu Raj, a volunteer from Microsoft, advises Los Altos High ninth-graders, from left, Serhat Suzer, Jamie Bennett and Chris Yang as they participate in the school’s Hour of Code Showcase.

Local schools participa...

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Community

Take a dive into the holiday archive

Take a dive into the holiday archive

Town Crier staff made a quick cruise back through the newspaper's archives to find some late-December reading as inspiration for eating, drinking, decorating and more:

Beloved holiday books build the spirit of the season and staff at Los Altos’ Li...

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Sports

Pinewood poised for another title run

Pinewood poised for another title run


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Pinewood’s girls basketball team is receiving contributions from several new players, including freshman Stella Kailahi, above.

Complacency shouldn’t be a problem for the defending Division V state champion Pinewood S...

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Comment

Letters to the Editor

Ticket motorists for U-turns on Main Street

As I was walking downtown on Main Street recently, something came to me out of the blue. The town of Los Altos is missing out on a huge revenue stream. I realized that if all the cars – there were th...

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Special Sections

Looking Ahead

Looking Ahead


s in line to be mayor of Mountain View in 2015.

Mountain View anticipates the following changes in 2015:

• Beginning Jan. 1, Mountain View City Councilmembers will receive a raise to $1,000 per month as a result of the passage of Measure A in...

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Business

Your 2015 stock market game plan

It’s been a maddening month because of oil and gas, especially in stocks and bonds. Then, consumer spending pushed stocks higher Thursday, easing investors’ jitters about the global economy and prompting them to consider how to invest in ...

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Books

Gawande's

Gawande's "Being Mortal" proves an important book on aging


Books about death and dying are usually not on my list of “must reads.”

I couldn’t resist, however, the best-selling “Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End” (Metropolitan Books, 2014) by Atul Gawande.

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People

SANGEETA SACHDEVA

SANGEETA SACHDEVA

Sangeeta Sachdeva, 55, wife of Subhash Sachdeva and mother to Natasha and Tanya, died at 8:54pm, Sunday, December 7, 2014 from respiratory failure.

Sangeeta was born on October 18, 1959 in Delhi, India. She was born to Moti Sagar and Raj Kapoor an...

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Travel

South Tahoe renovations enhance off-mountain seasonal fun

As any enthusiast knows well, there is more to the enjoyment of winter sports than skiing or snowboarding.

While many winter resorts make minor upgrades each season, the off-mountain attractions and amenities can be as enticing as the activities on ...

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Stepping Out

Aurora Singers to emit 'Musical Glow' Friday

Aurora Singers to emit 'Musical Glow' Friday


courtesy of Aurora Singers
The Aurora Singers are scheduled to perform a seasonal concert Friday night in Palo Alto.

The Aurora Singers’ “Winter’s Musical Glow” holiday concert is set for 7 p.m. Friday at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Pal...

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Spiritual Life

Enter the superhero: Finding the God who loves you

In my life-coaching practice, I see a lot of pain. Much of it stems from fear and guilt, often expressed as low self-esteem, anxiety, a lack of forgiveness both for oneself and others, anger – and so on.

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Magazine

Christmas At Our House home tour celebrates 26 years

Christmas At Our House home tour celebrates 26 years


Courtesy of Christopher Stark
Homes on the St. Francis High School Women’s Club’s Christmas at Our House Holiday Home Tour showcase a variety of architectural styles.

The days grow short on sunshine but long on nostalgia as the holidays approach...

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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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