Tue07292014

News

Downtown green park pops up again in August

Downtown green park pops up again in August


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
The Third Street Green debuts Aug. 3 on the 300 block of State Street in downtown Los Altos.

Another temporary park is poised to pop up in downtown Los Altos this summer.

According to Brooke Ray Smith, community devel...

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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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The art of communication: Haugh About That?

Staring at the lump of flesh passed out on the couch, pressure within the magma chamber of my brain began to boil. Within seconds, my anger couldn’t be contained and an explosive stream of words erupted over my sleeping child.

“Tim, I didn’t travel halfway around the world to watch you sleep!”

Slowly rotating his 6-foot-tall frame, he pulled the blanket over his face and grunted a phrase I hadn’t heard in a long time: “Mom, relax! We have all day.”

Immediately, my quest for a fabulous vacation billowed in front of my eyes like a puff of smoke from a bad cigar.

For the past 20 months, Tim, the 25-year-old heir apparent to the Haugh dynasty, has been living the life of a bohemian. Based in Barcelona, he tutors English by day and explores Europe on the weekends. Positive he missed me, I made the 15-hour trip to visit.

“Things start late around here,” the hairy creature grumbled, sporting a full beard and long, disheveled Shirley Temple curls that cascaded down his back.

Wondering which I was more upset with, this new caveman-on-steroids look or his lax attitude about wanting to please his mother, I hissed, “This was no cheap excursion, you know.”

Leaving our apartment, it quickly became apparent that traveling with a son was going to be quite different from traveling with a daughter. There would be no stopping to browse cute shops along the boulevard. Lunch was just a pit stop, and resting at a cafe for a glass of wine late in the afternoon to discuss feelings was wishful thinking on my part. No, the plans I had for this trip went spinning in a swirling vortex down a Spanish toilet.

But remembering the saying “When in Rome, do as the Romans do,” I thought perhaps an attitude adjustment was in order. While I wasn’t in Italy, I was on my son’s turf – and who better than Tim to decide how the day should flow?

It wasn’t long before eating dinner at 10 p.m. and sleeping until noon became as natural as eating strawberries on shortcake. Shopping could wait until I got back to the U.S., but I was still having problems with our communication. While I spoke in flowery, melodic narratives that dragged on forever, Tim conversed in staccato beats of black and white, leaving much to the imagination. And then, without warning, it happened.

Tipping his hand one evening, he briefly displayed his cards revealing all he valued as private before drawing them back to his chest. My job, should I want to continue to stay in the game, was to listen quietly and ask no questions. Thankfully, I did.

Leaving Barcelona eight days later, I did what I always do when saying goodbye to one of my kids. I blubbered. But these were sobs of a different kind.

By allowing my child to converse in his special dialect, without my annoying constant interruptions, he opened up his heart and let me into his world. I became a witness to the incredible person he’s become while still maintaining the sweetness he possessed as a child. Tim is no longer a little boy – he’s an independent, deep-thinking and kind young man. His values are solid, and he remains true to himself, following his path, always authentic.

I traveled to Spain for an adventure but got more than I bargained for. By crossing the threshold that had blocked us in his youth, communication was allowed to flow easily. I arrived as his mother, but I left as his friend.

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