Sat12202014

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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Resident raises funds for veterans’ educations


Courtesy of Chris White/ Foothill College
Ron Labetich, right, and fellow Los Altos Rotarian Jack Kelly, left, flank four Foothill College veterans prior to an on-campus Fourth of July celebration. Labetich helped secure 16 scholarships at $1,500 each for veterans returning to school.

The struggle to balance the costs of living while attending school may become a little easier for some local veterans enrolled at Foothill College.

The Friends of American Veterans, a local fundraising entity established by Los Altos resident Ron Labetich, recently surpassed its goal of providing 10 scholarships of $1,500 each for military veterans continuing their education at Foothill. To date, Labetich has secured 16 scholarships for the 2013-2014 year simply by asking for – and receiving – sponsorships from several friends and acquaintances, including a number of Los Altos residents.

“We needed 10, but people still wanted to contribute, so it’s been fantastic,” Labetich said. “For me to get the whole thing kind of started, it’s really quite rewarding. The main thing is that it benefits the veterans – that’s the ultimate goal here.”

A Los Altos Rotarian who serves on the organization’s Veterans Support Committee, Labetich said he found inspiration for his work in the son of a family friend – U.S. Marine Corps Capt. Matt Manoukian. A Los Altos Hills resident who attended St. Francis High School, Manoukian was one of three Marines ambushed and killed during an August 2012 security meeting in southern Afghanistan.

The Foothill-De Anza Community College District recently established an endowment in honor of Manoukian to provide scholarships to future generations of student veterans. Labetich said he wanted to “span the gap” between the endowment’s creation and the wait for its funds to grow to enable doling out scholarships to veterans in need.

“With an endowment, you have to raise several thousand dollars, and you take the interest return on that for your scholarships,” noted Labetich, who added that the Rotary Club of Los Altos funded one of the $1,500 scholarships. “There are a lot of veterans here at Foothill who need help now. That’s the reason for moving ahead with (the Friends of American Veterans).”

Gratitude

Labetich’s efforts have not gone unnoticed by those at Foothill College who know the student veterans best.

Veterans Resource Specialist Carmela Xuereb, who manages the Veterans Resource Center, said the scholarships would go a long way toward helping some students achieve their educational goals.

Xuereb estimated that the school currently has more than 600 veterans enrolled in classes. Like other students, she said, they often struggle with the costs of buying textbooks while balancing basic living needs.

“Here in the Bay Area, rents keep going up, and it’s expensive for them to live here. … The cost of living can be a burden on them,” said Xuereb, noting that her center is just one of 12 established in the California junior college system to help veterans transition back to civilian life. “That $1,500 can assist them with books or other things. It’s going to help sustain them and allow them to continue their education.”

Foothill College publicity and publications coordinator Lori Thomas said that while the Montgomery G.I. Bill covers many costs for veterans returning to school, some expenses fall solely on the student.

“If you’re studying something that requires you to purchase computer-aided drafting software, that money doesn’t fall out of the sky,” she said.

Thomas said Labetich’s approaching the donors has removed some obstacles for at least 16 scholarship recipients.

“The scholarships will help streamline the experience so that student veterans can stay in the academic programs that they want to instead of having to make that hard (financial) decision,” she said.

Xuereb agreed, adding that the school’s involvement with local Rotarians like Labetich has made a positive impact on the students they collectively seek to help.

“Since I’ve been involved with the (Los Altos) Rotarians, they’ve been like a godsend to us,” she said. “They are the most generous people and friends that I’ve met. Our community, the people here, have been extremely open and generous.”

Labetich continues his efforts to add more scholarships before the 2013-2014 school year begins. He also aims to make a similar impact through his work as a Rotarian, such as helping veterans secure local jobs while they attend school.

Above all, Labetich seeks to spread awareness of the issues affecting veterans who return home from active duty.

“Once you have awareness, that makes other things possible,” he said. “We’re just trying to get more people involved.”

To donate to the Friends of American Veterans or for more information, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

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