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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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Foothill fondly remembers supporter Smithwick


Photo By: Bill Frankeberger/ Special to the Town Crier
Photo Bill Frankeberger/ Special To The Town Crier

Richard Henning, former Foothill dean, praises the late Dr. Robert Smithwick at Friday’s service.

Friends, family and longtime educators painted an inspiring portrait of Dr. Robert Smithwick during his memorial service Friday at the Foothill College theater named in his honor. Dr. Smithwick, who played a major role in the creation of the Foothill-De Anza Community College District, died March 22 in his sleep. He was 92.

The Los Altos Hills resident, a strong advocate for higher education since the 1950s, opened the door to thousands of students who otherwise might not have attended college.

“It is not an exaggeration to say that Dr. Smithwick is the father of the Foothill-DeAnza Community College District,” said FHDA Chancellor Linda M. Thor. “He participated in the first conversations among area school district trustees and superintendents that led to the creation of an independent community college for our local communities.”

Dr. Smithwick nurtured the community college district to its nationally recognized success. The district is currently one of the largest in the U.S., providing credit classes for approximately 43,000 students each quarter.

By trade a dentist, Dr. Smithwick dedicated himself to ensuring greater access to higher education, said Richard Henning, former longtime Foothill dean and professor. His push for college opportunities for all came during a time when approximately 10 percent of high school graduates went on to college, Henning added.

Dr. Smithwick in July 1957 became chairman of the first elected board of trustees of what was then named the Foothill Junior College District. He continued his service on the board with distinction for more than three decades.

Beyond his accomplishments, Dr. Smithwick was known as a man who cared deeply about students and faculty members. Among those recalling his passion was Martha J. Kanter, former Foothill-De Anza chancellor and current U.S. Undersecretary of Education.

“Maybe it was his vision that everyone had the potential to succeed,” Kanter said. “Maybe it was his insistence that we could always do better. Maybe it was the gentle, soft-spoken way he asked those questions. And just maybe it was the transmission of the love of students and the love of learning – science, math, vocational programs and the arts – that inspired all of us to be the best we could be, to get our students to earn their certificates and degrees, to bring pride to their families and our Foothill-De Anza family. He went far beyond all of us here.”

Quiet by nature, Dr. Smithwick communicated often via the written word – especially when it came to doling out compliments.

“He wrote a lot of thank-you notes,” Henning said at the service. “If you did anything halfway decent or was recognized in the newspaper, you would get a complimentary note from him and often a clipping from the newspaper.”

Added Henning: “We can continue Bob’s presence on this earth into perpetuity by modeling ourselves after those virtures of commitment to the arts, to education and to ethical values. Day in day out, he lived these ideals.”

Dr. Smithwick was married for 60 years to his wife, Aileen, who died in 2002. He is survived by his children, Cathye and Michael Smithwick.

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