Mon09152014

News

Council approves directional signs for Los Altos' Woodland Plaza

Council approves directional signs for Los Altos' Woodland Plaza


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
The Los Altos City Council last week approved the installation of two new directional signs on Foothill Expressway pointing motorists to the Woodland Plaza Shopping District.

The Los Altos City Council voted unanimou...

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Schools

New head of curriculum’s ideologies align with LASD

New head of curriculum’s ideologies align with LASD


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Edsel Clark, new Los Altos School District assistant superintendent for curriculum and instruction, above, facilitates a junior high mathematics curriculum meeting last week.

Edsel Clark, Ed.D., new assistant superintend...

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Community

Closing reception caps Foothill photo show on rural China

Closing reception caps Foothill photo show on rural China


From IncredibleTravelPhotos.com
Jacque Kae’s “Mischievous” is one of the many photographs on display at Foothill College this month.

Photographs of the land and culture of Huangshan and Zhangjiajie, China, are on exhibit through Sept. 26 at t...

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Sports

Spartans shine in opener

Spartans shine in opener


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Mountain View High’s Frank Kapp snares a touchdown pass from quarterback Owen Mountford in Friday’s win.

Leading by a point at halftime, the Mountain View High football team outscored visiting Del Mar 20-0 the rest of...

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Comment

A look ahead to the Nov. 4 election: Editorial

Election season is upon us. In Los Altos, we have three major local races ahead – two seats on the Los Altos City Council, and three seats each on the Los Altos School District and Mountain View-Los Altos Union High School District boards of tr...

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Special Sections

Renovation complete,  Villa Siena looks to future

Renovation complete, Villa Siena looks to future


Above and Below Photos Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier; Left Photo Courtesy of Villa Siena
Villa Siena in Mountain View recently underwent a $35 million face-lift. The five-year project expanded their senior living community’s space and ability to serv...

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Business

Transitioning from postage to pets

Transitioning from postage to pets


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
A new Pet Food Express store is scheduled to open at the Blossom Valley Shopping Center this month.

A site that previously existed to meet postal service needs will soon have an entirely different purpose – serving pe...

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Books

‘The Humans’ transcends alien genre to glean human insights

‘The Humans’ transcends alien genre to glean human insights


A good story about aliens is always great fun to read – after all, it’s only by attempting to understand the human race from another perspective that we can see ourselves more objectively.

But readers who might be tempted to dismiss ye...

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People

JEANNE PACKARD

After suffering a stroke in May, Jeanne Packard died August 10, 2014 at age 83. She was born in 1931 in Berlin, Germany, the only child of Emily Channel and Frank Howe Packard of Chicago, IL. Jeanne is survived by 5 great grandchildren. She was a lon...

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Travel

LA photographer spends a night with cranes – and moose – in Alaska

LA photographer spends a night with cranes – and moose – in Alaska


Sandy Powell/Special to the Town Crier
Los Altos resident and bird photographer Sandy Powell recently visited Homer, Alaska, to photograph Sandhill cranes, below. While there, Powell also encountered moose, left.

Los Altos resident Sandy Powell, a...

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Stepping Out

'Trailer Park' opens in Los Altos

'Trailer Park' opens in Los Altos


Courtesy of Los
The cast of Los Altos Stage Company’s “The Great American Trailer Park Musical” includes, from left, Mylissa Malley as Lin, Vanessa Alvarez as Betty, and Christina Bolognini as Pickles. Altos Stage Company

Los Altos Stage Company...

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Spiritual Life

9/11 survivor Michael Hingson finds purpose

Imagine walking down 78 flights of stairs – 1,463 individual steps. You are in imminent danger as you walk, unsure whether you can make it out of the building before it collapses or explodes. Struggling for each breath, you smell the heavy sten...

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Magazine

Los Altos Hills home showcases resort-inspired living

Los Altos Hills home showcases resort-inspired living


Courtesy of Spectrum Interior Design
In place of a more traditional fireplace, this modern living room features a linear-flame firebox that emits heat while offering a sculpturelike design element.

After traveling the world and visiting a host...

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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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