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News

SPLAT targets data, outreach as airplane noise continues

SPLAT targets data, outreach as airplane noise continues


Graphic courtesy of Don Gardner
Activists claim that a new SFO flight path leaves a “sound shadow” that impacts Los Altos and Los Altos Hills.

Sky Posse Los Altos Team – more simply known as SPLAT – seeks to squelch the noise...

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Schools

Los Altos High student-run charity plans '5 Gallon Gala'

Los Altos High student-run charity plans '5 Gallon Gala'


Courtesy of Lia Evard
Water by Youth members gave Egan students a chance to carry a 40-pound Jerry can, to see how difficult it is to obtain water in developing nations.

Water by Youth, a club at Los Altos High School, is making a splash by pla...

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Community

What would you do with a box of cookies? Local Girls Scouts help Tanzanian orphanage

What would you do with a box of cookies? Local Girls Scouts help Tanzanian orphanage


Courtesy of Alicia Madden
Sales of local Girl Scout cookies support service projects, such as funding an orphanage in the village of Mto wa Mbu in Tanzania.

Girl Scout cookies – whether you think of them as a treat, a tradition or a diet comp...

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Sports

Scoreless spells sink LA boys

Scoreless spells sink LA boys


Megan V. Winslow/Town Crier
Los Altos High point guard Nolan Brennan attempts a shot in Friday’s game versus Palo Alto. He scored eight points in the loss.

There have been several games this season in which the Los Altos High boys basketball t...

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Comment

New 'York' values

New 'York' values


Hughes

 

As we have witnessed California suffer through one of its worst droughts in history over the past few years, all of us, I’m sure, have been keenly aware of our surroundings and have done a small part in trying to conserve wa...

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Special Sections

Getting a charge  out of the Volt

Getting a charge out of the Volt


Courtesy of Chevrolet
The 2016 Chevrolet Volt can be driven up to 50 miles on the power stored in its batteries.

Just five years ago, we wondered in this column what the power supply would be for the car of the future. Gasoline, diesel, electric ba...

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Business

Nearing V-Day: Shops stock sweets, treats

Nearing V-Day: Shops stock sweets, treats


Megan V. Winslow/Town Crier
Los Altos resident Ella Roosakos, 11, with her mother, Gail, puzzles over which Gourmet Works sweets to buy as a valentine for Ella’s friend.

The gift-buying rush isn’t exclusive to Christmas. It may jump over...

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People

ALAN RODNEY MILLS

ALAN RODNEY MILLS

Alan Rodney Mills, PhD, 83, of Los Altos passed away peacefully on Saturday, January 30th, 2016. He was born in Rochdale, England in 1933 and came to California in 1962. He was a proud alumni of Manchester Grammar in England, University of Liverpoo...

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Stepping Out

PYT 'Gets Famous'

PYT 'Gets Famous'


Lyn Flaim Healy/Spotlight Moments Photography
Renee Vetter of Palo Alto, left, and Megan Foreman of Los Altos star in Peninsula Youth Theatre’s “Judy Moody Gets Famous.” Performances are scheduled Friday and Saturday.

Peninsula...

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Spiritual Life

A time to prepare: Fasting for Lent isn't limited to food

 

Today is Ash Wednesday, which in the Christian calendar marks the beginning of Lent – the 40 days of preparation for Resurrection Sunday, otherwise known as Easter.

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Inside Mountain View

New right-to-lease ordinance promises relief for renters

New right-to-lease ordinance promises relief for renters


Mountain View Tenants Coalition/Facebook
Residents gather in the fall to protest Mountain View’s rising rents. Rent relief is on the way in the form of a new ordinance.

A controversial Mountain View law requiring landlords to provide lease opt...

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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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