Wed10222014

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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As a family, fit reading into each summer day


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Los Altos brothers Will and Jack Park read at the Los Altos main library. Longtime educator Elaine Sigal underscores the importance of encouraging children to read.

It almost doesn’t matter what we read as long as we are reading to ourselves and to our children.

Reading is the crux of all education and learning. Without superior reading skills, all other subjects will be harder, take more time to learn and might not interest us.

We read to our children when they are little, so why stop?

One of my favorite days when teaching school was reading a Shakespeare play in prose to my Advanced Placement students. I had them put their heads down on their desks and just listen. After they understood the format of the play and which morals, themes and characters were represented, we were able to read/act the play from a stronger stance.

Why do we stop reading to our children? Why do we not encourage them to read more? Why do we not insist that our children read for as many hours as they play video games?

Please don’t let your children spend a summer without books as their companions. Vegetation belongs in the ground, not in your children’s heads.

Following are a few suggestions to encourage your children’s reading skills.

• Read to them every day – it doesn’t matter how old they are.

• Require that they read at least an hour a day – it doesn’t need to be at one sitting.

• Help them select age-appropriate books they would enjoy.

• Use the library as a family.

• Schedule family reading time each day or night.

• Make it cool – dress up as characters, eat food from the time period, speak in accents. Enjoy it with them – you get to be a child again.

Do you remember the library reading contests? How many books did you read in a summer? Do you remember the star charts? How many of us read just to earn a star? You can offer stars to children of all ages. Encouragement doesn’t need to come in the form of a paper star, but ideally we should urge everyone to read.

I’m frequently asked whether it matters if students read a hard copy or an electronic book. My answer is that it is a personal preference. The advantage of a device is that you can travel with it. The advantage of a hard copy is that you can touch it. It doesn’t matter, as long as we all read.

Elaine Sigal is a Los Altos resident who has been an educator for more than 35 years. She is founder of MindLaunch, a tutoring, academic advising and college counseling company. For more information, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or visit mindlaunch.com.

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