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News

Police stress need for low speed in school zones

Police stress need for low speed in school zones


Town Crier File Photo
After two recent accidents involving cyclists and motorists, police urge caution – on both sides.

After two recent incidents of vehicles striking student bicyclists, Los Altos Police urge residents to exercise caution whe...

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Schools

Gardner Bullis School debuts new Grizzly Student Center

Gardner Bullis School debuts new Grizzly Student Center


Photo by Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Students line up to check books out of the library in the new Grizzly Student Center at Gardner Bullis School.

Gardner Bullis School opened its new Grizzly Student Center earlier this month, introducing a lea...

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Community

Home improvement workshop scheduled Wednesday (Oct. 29)

The County of Santa Clara is hosting a free informational workshop on 6:30 p.m. Wednesday at Los Altos Hills Town Hall, 26379 Fremont Road.

The workshop will offer ways single-family homeowners can increase their homes’ energy efficiency. Eligible i...

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Comment

Off the fence: TC recommends 'yes' on N

The Town Crier initially offered no position on the controversial $150 million Measure N bond on Tuesday’s ballot. But some of the reasons we gave in our Oct. 15 editorial were, on reflection, overly critical and based on inaccurate information.

We ...

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Special Sections

Long-term solutions emerge as water conservation goes mainstream

Long-term solutions emerge as water conservation goes mainstream


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Forrest Linebarger, right, installed greywater and rainwater harvesting systems at his Los Altos Hills home.

With more brown than green visible in her Los Altos backyard, Kacey Fitzpatrick admits that she’s a little e...

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Business

Local realtors scare up money for charity

Local realtors scare up money for charity


Photo courtesy of SILVAR
Realtors Gary Campi and Jordan Legge, from left, joined Nancy Domich, SILVAR President Dave Tonna and Joe Brown to raise funds for the Silicon Valley Realtors Charitable Foundation.

Los Altos and Mountain View realtors raise...

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Books

Helping kids catch a few Zs: Local dental hygienist pens meditative bedtime book

Helping kids catch a few Zs: Local dental hygienist pens meditative bedtime book


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Mimi Sommers, who works at a Los Altos dentist’s office, recently wrote a children’s book.

A local dental hygienist recently published a book that aims to ease parents and children during a sometimes anxious e...

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People

DAVID S. NIVISON

DAVID S. NIVISON

David S. Nivison, 91 years old, and a resident of Los Altos, California since 1952, died Oct. 16, 2014 at home.  His neighbors had recently honored him as the “Mayor of Russell Ave., in recognition of 62 years of distinguished living” on that ...

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Travel

Falling leaves: Four places in California to see autumn colors

Falling leaves: Four places in California to see autumn colors


Courtesy of Castello di Amorosa
Castello di Amorosa in Calistoga, above, boasts a beautiful setting for viewing fall’s colors – and sampling the vineyard’s wines.

Yes, Virginia, there is fall in California.

The colors pop out in...

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Stepping Out

ECYS opens season Sunday

ECYS opens season Sunday


Ramya Krishna/Special to the Town Crier
The El Camino Youth Symphony rehearses for Sunday’s concert, above.

The El Camino Youth Symphony – under new conductor Jindong Cai – is scheduled to perform its season-opening concert 4 p.m....

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Spiritual Life

Christian Science Reading Room hosts webinar on prayer and healing

Christian Science practitioner and teacher Evan Mehlenbacher is scheduled to present a live Internet webinar lecture, “Prayer That Heals,” 7:30 p.m. Nov. 14 in the Christian Science Reading Room, 60 Main St., Los Altos.

Those interested ...

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Magazine

Local events add color to autumn calendar

Local events add color to autumn calendar


Van Houtte/town crier Visitors make their way through the Children’s Alley.

As Los Altos’ signature Chinese Pistache trees exchange their summer green for vibrant hues of yellow, orange and red in the fall, an abundance of local events also ad...

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Local resident MacVicar intensifies effort to support returning veterans


Photo By:
MacVicar

Los Altos resident Duncan MacVicar, a West Point graduate who served in Vietnam, has supported veterans’ and their causes for years. Following his retirement from the high-tech industry, MacVicar has advocated on behalf of veterans in areas ranging from counseling to lobbying legislators.

“I was in the process of retiring from a high-tech career, and it was an easy decision for me to devote my time to veterans’ issues as much as possible,” MacVicar said.

Many of today’s returning veterans suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder, which can lead to impaired memory, language difficulties and psychiatric disorders resulting from head injuries suffered on and off the battlefield.

A supporter of court-supervised therapy in lieu of jail sentences for mentally ill veterans, MacVicar lobbied for an amendment to state law that allows for treatment rather than jail. The bill passed unanimously and was signed into law in 2011.

“Today, mental issues are two to three times greater than those for Vietnam veterans – and Vietnam was bad,” MacVicar said. “More soldiers are surviving due to better body armor and equipment, and the ratio of wounded to killed is higher today than in Vietnam. Traumatic brain injury is a signature mood of these conflicts.”

According to MacVicar, damage from the use of improvised explosive devices in the long-running conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan, coupled with multiple tours of duty, have caused service members major psychological and neurological trauma.

In addition to the physical and mental challenges they confront, once veterans return from deployment and re-enter civilian life, another difficulty awaits: finding employment. Many vets enlist in the U.S. Armed Forces directly out of high school. And while serving their country, few vets are able to accumulate college credits or vocational skills to help in the challenging job market.

MacVicar volunteers at Foothill College’s Veterans Resource Center, a nonprofit organization attempting to address veterans’ job prospects. MacVicar holds workshops at the center, which offers career counseling and academic support for vets returning to college. The Rotary Club of Los Altos donated funds to purchase each veteran at the center a Smartpen, a ballpoint pen with an embedded computer that records a class instructor’s voice and synchronizes the lecture with notes that users write in a designated notebook. A form of assistive technology, the Smartpen is especially helpful to those suffering from PTSD.

MacVicar is a longtime volunteer for a variety of local agencies, including the Methodist Church, the American Cancer Society, El Camino Hospital, the Craigs- list Foundation, the Career Action Center and the Community Services Agency, which last year honored him as a “Hometown Hero.” He co-founded the North County Homeless Housing Coalition and the California Veterans Legal Task Force.

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