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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The clean slate: Haugh About That?

Well trained from the moment my chubby legs could scramble up the bathroom sink to peer into the overhead mirror, I remained faithful to my mother’s schooling: “A woman never leaves the house without her face on.”

At 4 years old, this seemed like a strange concept. Did she peel it off at night, only to glue it back on in the morning? Being the eternal snoop, I determined to find out.

Spying on her every move throughout the day, her beauty captivated me. Unlike the other mommies who kept their hair in pink sponge curlers and wore stained, frumpy housecoats, my mom was stunning with her flaming auburn hair, sparkling blue eyes and lush cherry lips.

Then one day I caught her – au naturel.

“Yikes! Where did my pretty mommy go?” I wanted to cry. The vision before me was a dark, hollowed-eyed, frizzy-haired replica of the Bride of Frankenstein. No wonder she needed her face on.

But that moment of fear went deeper than worrying she had become some zombie from a horror film. My internal unraveling ignited from the terror that one day I’d look just like that.

So began a lifetime fascination with the artistic application of war paint. I applied it minimally in my teens but added thicker layers as time went on. Other than the dog and an unlucky few, no one has seen the real me in years, until recently.

“Jackie, I challenge you to go one day without any makeup,” my friend Libby Ackley dared.

Libby wasn’t pretending to be one of those mean girls in my youth who wanted a good laugh at my expense. Instead, we were on a journey exploring our innermost connection with our Creator this past Lent.

“Think how Christ suffered for us,” she said. “Maybe we should try to repay the favor by doing something out of our comfort zones for Him.”

How silly, I thought at first. If I were He, I’d prefer I kept the stuff on. But never saying no to a dare, I took the challenge.

One morning, after scrubbing my face clean, I stood before the magnifying mirror where I created my daily transformation. Staring at the bare image, I was horrified to see how my skin had aged from just the day before. But knowing this contest would mean nothing if I stayed indoors, I ventured out to test the reaction from the general public.

Initially, I found myself looking down as shoppers moved by in the grocery store. Gradually lifting my face, I was finally at eye level and proceeded to act as if all were right with the world. I smiled at passersby, despite my mounting insecurity.

What I discovered that day was that nobody cared. No one ran away, and faces smiled back just as they always did at a welcoming gesture.

While difficult, I’ll forever be grateful for this experiment in sacrifice. This is not to say I’m going to stop exploring new colors on my eyes and lips. Heaven forbid! But it’s another reminder that when I embrace my basic divine nature in its complete and perfect form, without all the bells and whistles, I find a sense of freedom that breaks through my rigid, mental limitations.

Allowing this feeling of peace to permeate, I can then explode in color, just as spring does after a quiet winter of self-reflection – only this time it comes from a place of creativity, not from self-limiting beliefs. Going forward, I plan to let those go and get back to discovering the blank and perfect slate within.

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