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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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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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