Tue07292014

News

LASD, BCS boards finalize 5-year agreement

Bullis Charter School board members unanimously approved a five-year agreement with the Los Altos School District just before midnight Monday. The agreement, also unanimously approved by LASD trustees earlier in the evening, outlines facilities uses ...

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Schools

MVLA rolls out laptop integration this fall

MVLA rolls out laptop integration this fall


Town Crier File Photo
Starting in the fall, daily use of laptops in the classroom will be standard operating procedure for students at Los Altos and Mountain View high schools as the Mountain View Los Altos Union High School District launches a pil...

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Community

Generations blend behind the scenes at 'Wizard of Oz'

Generations blend behind the scenes at 'Wizard of Oz'


Altos Youth Theatre and Los Altos Stage Company rehearse a scene from “The Wizard of Oz.” ELIZA RIDGEWAY/ TOWN CRIER

A massive troupe of young people and grownups gathered in Los Altos this summer to stage the latest iteration of a childhood sta...

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Sports

Football in July

Football in July


Town Crier file photo
Mountain View High’s Anthony Avery is among the nine local players slated to play in tonight’s Silicon Valley Youth Classic.

Tonight’s 40th annual Silicon Valley Youth Classic – also known as the Charlie...

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Comment

Pools should be included: Editorial

Los Altos residents should be receiving calls this week from city representatives conducting a survey to determine priorities for a revamped Hillview Community Center.

Notice that we did not say “civic center” – chastened by a lack of public support...

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Special Sections

Looking for life without lows, local diabetic tests artificial pancreas

Looking for life without lows, local diabetic tests artificial pancreas


Photo by Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Dr. Trang Ly, left, reviews blood sugar readings on a smartphone with Los Altos resident Tia Geri, right, and fellow participant Noa Simon during a closed-loop artificial pancreas study for Type 1 diabetics.
...

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Business

Palo Alto law firm coming to 400 Main

Palo Alto law firm coming to 400 Main


Ellie Van Houtte/ Town Crier
Longtime Palo Alto law firm Thoits, Love, Hershberger & McClean plans to open an office at 400 Main St. in Los Altos after construction is complete in November.

A longtime Palo Alto law firm plans to expand int...

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Books

"Frozen in Time" chronicles harrowing WWII rescue attempts


Many readers can’t resist a true-life adventure story, especially those that shine a spotlight on people who exhibit supreme courage in the face of adversity and end up surviving – or not – against the odds.

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People

RICHARD PATRICK BRENNAN

RICHARD PATRICK BRENNAN

Resident of Palo Alto

Richard Patrick Brennan, journalist, editor, author, adventurer, died at his Palo Alto home on July 4, 2014 at age 92. He led a full life, professionally and personally. He was born and raised in San Francisco, joined the Arm...

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Travel

Travel Tidbit: Ritz-Carlton, Lake Tahoe offers spa getaway

Travel Tidbit: Ritz-Carlton, Lake Tahoe offers spa getaway


Courtesy of Ritz-Carlton
The Ritz-Carlton in Lake Tahoe offers fall getaway packages that include spa treatments and yoga classes.

Fall in North Lake Tahoe boasts crisp mornings and opportunities to spend quality time in the mountains. Specially ...

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Stepping Out

PYT stages 'Shrek'

PYT stages 'Shrek'


Lyn Healy/Spotlight Moments Photography
Dana Cullinane plays Fiona in Peninsula Youth Theatre’s “Shrek The Musical.”

Peninsula Youth Theatre presents “Shrek The Musical” Saturday through Aug. 3 at the Mountain View Center for the Performing Arts...

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Spiritual Life

Foothills Congregational: 100 years and counting

Foothills Congregational: 100 years and counting


Courtesy of Carolyn Barnes
The newly built Los Altos church in 1914 featured a bell tower and an arched front window. Both continue as elements of the building as it stands today.

Foothills Congregational Church – the oldest church building in L...

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Magazine

Festival features fun for everyone

Festival features fun for everyone


TOWN CRIER FILE PHOTO
The Los Altos Arts & Wine Festival boasts more than 375 craft and arts booths.

This weekend’s 35th annual Los Altos Arts & Wine Festival promises to be jam-packed with fun activities for just about everyone. The eve...

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Honest, humble answers could hasten new era of medicine

My question to the accomplished psychologist and research scientist following her presentation to a large crowd at Stanford University – a presentation highlighting the link between mental and physical health – seemed simple enough.

“There’s plenty of evidence showing the impact that our thoughts can have on our brain,” I said. “But is there any evidence that these thoughts actually originate in the brain? And if not, then where do these thoughts come from?”

Her answer: “We don’t know.”

The rather brief and somewhat matter-of-fact response elicited a fair amount of chuckles from the audience. I guess most of us expected a more detailed explanation. But as the laughter died down, I considered the significance of what was just said.

Could it be that this woman’s honest and humble answer had inadvertently engaged the audience in a new line of medical inquiry, perhaps hastening a radically new view – even a new era – of medicine?

When it comes to our thoughts – the consciousness, the brain, the mind, whatever you want to call it – there’s a lot that we already know. For instance, we know that there’s a link between what we think and the way our bodies act. You get embarrassed, your face turns red; you become frightened, your heart beats faster.

We’re also learning that certain types of thoughts such as gratitude, forgiveness and compassion can be particularly beneficial to our health. Negative thoughts tend to have the opposite effect.

What remains to be discovered, however, is where all these thoughts begin.

One of the most provocative suggestions comes from Dr. Larry Dossey, author of the best-selling “Reinventing Medicine: Beyond Mind-Body to a New Era of Healing” (HarperOne, 1999) and the forthcoming “One Mind: How Our Individual Mind Is Part of a Greater Consciousness and Why It Matters” (Hay House). Dossey believes that “consciousness is not confined to one’s individual body,” but that there’s a singular, “nonlocal mind” governing one and all.

This presents a bit of a dilemma, particularly for those who consider this mind to be divine. If an ever-present, all-powerful God is the source of such health-inducing thoughts as gratitude and compassion, does this mean that He or She is also the source of those thoughts that produce mental and physical suffering, both for ourselves and others? Is God both good and evil?

So far, the best answer I’ve heard predates Dossey by at least a couple of thousand years.

“‘I know the thoughts that I think toward you,’ saith the Lord, ‘thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end,’” it says in the Bible (Jeremiah 29:11).

In other words, our health doesn’t depend so much on our differing views of the Divine, but on our willingness to adopt as our own His or Her view of us – a view that we’re assured includes a decidedly secure future.

Assuming for the moment that this is true, it would mean that any evil thoughts that happen to cross our mental radar screens are nothing more than an opportunity to get to know the Divine a little better – and for our lives to become a lot healthier.

Chances are this isn’t the answer that most of us are ready to accept. At the very least, however, it’s one we should all consider – and certainly one that could usher in an entirely new and exciting era of medicine.

Eric Nelson serves as media and legislative spokesman for Christian Science in Northern California. The Christian Science of Church in Los Altos is located at 401 University Ave., and the public Reading Room at 60 Main St. For more information, visit www.cschurchlosaltos.com.

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