Thu12182014

News

Council seeks more options for community center

Council seeks more options for community center


Town Crier File Photo
The Los Altos City Council approved an appropriation to examine options for a new community center to replace the aging Hillview facility.

The Los Altos City Council last week voted narrowly in favor of examining further opti...

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Schools

Local schools participate in  national Hour of Code activities

Local schools participate in national Hour of Code activities


Ellie Van HOutte/Town Crier
Himan Shu Raj, a volunteer from Microsoft, advises Los Altos High ninth-graders, from left, Serhat Suzer, Jamie Bennett and Chris Yang as they participate in the school’s Hour of Code Showcase.

Local schools participa...

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Community

Take a dive into the holiday archive

Take a dive into the holiday archive

Town Crier staff made a quick cruise back through the newspaper's archives to find some late-December reading as inspiration for eating, drinking, decorating and more:

Beloved holiday books build the spirit of the season and staff at Los Altos’ Li...

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Sports

Pinewood poised for another title run

Pinewood poised for another title run


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Pinewood’s girls basketball team is receiving contributions from several new players, including freshman Stella Kailahi, above.

Complacency shouldn’t be a problem for the defending Division V state champion Pinewood S...

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Comment

Letters to the Editor

Ticket motorists for U-turns on Main Street

As I was walking downtown on Main Street recently, something came to me out of the blue. The town of Los Altos is missing out on a huge revenue stream. I realized that if all the cars – there were th...

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Special Sections

Looking Ahead

Looking Ahead


s in line to be mayor of Mountain View in 2015.

Mountain View anticipates the following changes in 2015:

• Beginning Jan. 1, Mountain View City Councilmembers will receive a raise to $1,000 per month as a result of the passage of Measure A in...

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Business

Your 2015 stock market game plan

It’s been a maddening month because of oil and gas, especially in stocks and bonds. Then, consumer spending pushed stocks higher Thursday, easing investors’ jitters about the global economy and prompting them to consider how to invest in ...

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Books

Gawande's

Gawande's "Being Mortal" proves an important book on aging


Books about death and dying are usually not on my list of “must reads.”

I couldn’t resist, however, the best-selling “Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End” (Metropolitan Books, 2014) by Atul Gawande.

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People

SANGEETA SACHDEVA

SANGEETA SACHDEVA

Sangeeta Sachdeva, 55, wife of Subhash Sachdeva and mother to Natasha and Tanya, died at 8:54pm, Sunday, December 7, 2014 from respiratory failure.

Sangeeta was born on October 18, 1959 in Delhi, India. She was born to Moti Sagar and Raj Kapoor an...

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Travel

South Tahoe renovations enhance off-mountain seasonal fun

As any enthusiast knows well, there is more to the enjoyment of winter sports than skiing or snowboarding.

While many winter resorts make minor upgrades each season, the off-mountain attractions and amenities can be as enticing as the activities on ...

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Stepping Out

Aurora Singers to emit 'Musical Glow' Friday

Aurora Singers to emit 'Musical Glow' Friday


courtesy of Aurora Singers
The Aurora Singers are scheduled to perform a seasonal concert Friday night in Palo Alto.

The Aurora Singers’ “Winter’s Musical Glow” holiday concert is set for 7 p.m. Friday at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Pal...

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Spiritual Life

Enter the superhero: Finding the God who loves you

In my life-coaching practice, I see a lot of pain. Much of it stems from fear and guilt, often expressed as low self-esteem, anxiety, a lack of forgiveness both for oneself and others, anger – and so on.

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Magazine

Christmas At Our House home tour celebrates 26 years

Christmas At Our House home tour celebrates 26 years


Courtesy of Christopher Stark
Homes on the St. Francis High School Women’s Club’s Christmas at Our House Holiday Home Tour showcase a variety of architectural styles.

The days grow short on sunshine but long on nostalgia as the holidays approach...

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Pasadena offers more than roses


Traci Newell/Town Crier
Pasadena’s Huntington Library, Art Collections and Botanical Gardens boasts the scenic Japanese Garden.

Like many destinations in Southern California, Pasadena boasts some eccentricities, but the delights of its Old Town Historic District entertain and amuse visitors.

Old Town comes alive after dark with its fine-dining establishments and assortment of shops along Colorado Boulevard. That’s the same Colorado Boulevard that the Little Old Lady terrorized in the eponymous Beach Boys song.

Most people know Pasadena courtesy of the Tournament of Roses Parade, held annually on New Year’s Day. The tradition began in 1890 to draw attention to the city filled with roses – even on chilly Jan. 1.

But there’s more to the city than just roses.

What to do

• Vroman’s Bookstore, 695 E. Colorado Blvd. – the end of the main drag, has sold books since original proprietor Adam Vroman opened his doors in 1894. Vroman, who hailed from LaSalle, Ill., also sold photographic supplies. His passion for photography and his shots of the Wild West and Native Americans influenced Ansel Adams’ work.

The store carries an extensive selection of fine-writing tools and stationery as well.

If you visit, stock up on magazines you won’t find elsewhere. I spent $90 on everything from French Vogue to British photography publications.

• The Huntington Library, Art Collections and Botanical Gardens, 1151 Oxford Road in nearby San Marino, are worth at least a day trip. Founded by Henry E. Huntington and his wife, Arabella, the grounds became a nonprofit institution in 1919.

Huntington’s backstory included an apprenticeship under his uncle in the Southern Pacific railroad business. He had four children with his first wife, and then, at the age of 60, he married his uncle’s widow, Arabella, a wealthy woman who loved collecting art. Together, they grew the collection visitors see today.

The library is currently closed for remodeling, but there’s so much else to see that you won’t miss it much. For future reference, though, the library’s rare-book collection includes a Gutenberg Bible and early editions of Shakespeare’s works. Scholars from around the world visit to do research.

The surrounding 207-acre gardens are divided into 12 themes: Children’s, Australian, Camellia, Japanese, Shakespeare, Chinese, Subtropical, Desert, Rose, Herb, Palm and Lily Pond. There’s also a conservatory with orchids and jungle flowers.

Despite the hot day, we toured the Desert gardens, full of cacti from several different lands, and the humid conservatory of flowers. An exhibit of orchids mesmerized us. The Children’s Garden, with its sparkly cacti dotting the fences and arching gates, delighted youngsters going in and out.

We also entered the museum to browse the Huntington’s art collection, which includes Thomas Gainsborough’s “The Blue Boy,” Mary Cassatt’s “Breakfast in Bed” and Frederic Remington’s bronze sculpture “Bronco Buster.”

Summer hours are 10:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. daily, except Tuesdays. Admission is $20-$23 adults, $15-$18 seniors, $12-$13 students, $8 youth and free for children under 5. Parking is free.

For more information, visit www.huntington.org.

Where to stay

Check into the Courtyard Los Angeles Pasadena/Old Town Marriott, 180 N. Fair Oaks Ave., downtown for a family-friendly stay. Valet parking is expensive at $22 daily, but street parking is tough to find. Rooms are comfortable – ours had a king bed and sofa, a refrigerator to store snacks, plenty of drawer and closet space and a large bathroom. Outdoor amenities include a pool and whirlpool.

Rates start at $179 for a king, not including breakfast. Groupon offers discounts.

For reservations, call (888) 236-2427.

Where to eat

• For a hearty first meal of the day, I recommend the Zagat-rated Russell’s cafe, 30 N. Fair Oaks Ave. Just take a left turn after exiting the front door of the Marriott and walk two blocks or so.

The decor is rich, with heavy crystal chandeliers and Modigliani and Van Gogh prints on the walls.

I tried the cheese omelet and my companion had corned-beef hash. Portions were large and not greasy. It’s definitely a good breakfast stop, with moderate prices.

• We enjoyed a late dinner at Louise’s Trattoria, 2 E. Colorado Blvd., serving traditional handmade Italian fare.

• We followed dinner with a nightcap at The Melting Pot fondue restaurant and bar, 88 W. Colorado Blvd. The Melting Pot serves fondue on electric plates built into the bar, or you can eat at a booth. Dessert fondues start at $7.95.

For more information, visit oldpasadena.org.

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