Wed04012015

News

Council eyes bond for Hillview center

Council eyes bond for Hillview center


The Los Altos City Council accepted an $87.5 million cost model for its preferred layout for replacing Hillview Community Center. 

Residents could cast their votes as soon as November on a bond measure to partially fund the redevelopment of...

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Schools

Oak students showcase creativity in Destination Imagination competitions

Oak students showcase creativity in Destination Imagination competitions


Courtesy of Jane Lee Choe
The Sharp Cheddars, a team of Oak Avenue School sixth-graders, perform at the Destination Imagination state competition Saturday in Riverside.

A team of seven Oak Avenue School sixth-graders traveled to Riverside last week...

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Community

Heising-Simons Foundation relocates to 400 Main St. property in Los Altos

Heising-Simons Foundation relocates to 400 Main St. property in Los Altos


Bruce Barton/Town Crier
All in the family: Mark Heising, from left, Caitlin Heising and Elizabeth Simons make up the board of the eight-year-old Heising-Simons Foundation, now in its new headquarters at 400 Main St. in downtown Los Altos.

The He...

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Comment

What would Bob do?: Editorial

The recent passing of an extraordinary Los Altos resident, Bob Grimm, has generated a range of heartfelt reaction, from sympathy to fond memories, from all corners. That’s because Bob did not discriminate in his desire to help others with his money, ...

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Special Sections

Cars that are right on track

Cars that are right on track


Courtesy of BMW
The BMW M4 is packed with power, featuring 425 horsepower and 406 pound-feet of torque.

There’s nothing more fun than driving a responsive automobile that feels alive in the curves and eager to go when given more than a touch ...

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Business

First Street's 'Fort Knox' up for sale

First Street's 'Fort Knox' up for sale


Megan V. Winslow/Town Crier
The Los Altos Vault and Safe Deposit Co. is on the market for $4.5 million. Its fortified steel and concrete structure has been compared to the U.S. Federal Reserve’s gold depository.

A downtown Los Altos structure “b...

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Books

'Pope Joan' Book weaves tale around legend of female pontiff

'Pope Joan' Book weaves tale around legend of female pontiff


The idea that there may have a female pope at one time in history has generated much speculation throughout the centuries. “Pope Joan” (Crown, 1996) by Donna Woolfolk Cross, does not answer the question; rather, the author has created a detai...

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People

JOHN BATISTICH

JOHN BATISTICH

John Batistich of Los Altos Hills died peacefully on March 12 surrounded by his family. John is survived by his wife Claire Batistich (Vidovich) of 67 years and children Gary Batistich of Lodi and Gay Batistich Abuel-Saud of Menlo Park. He is also ...

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Travel

Eat, hike, soak: Cavallo Point Lodge offers Marin experience

Eat, hike, soak: Cavallo Point Lodge offers Marin experience


Eren Göknar/ Town Crier
Cavallo Point Lodge comprises former U.S. Army buildings, like the Mission Blue Chapel, repurposed for guests seeking a luxurious getaway.

It used to be a place where batteries of soldiers lived, with officers’ quarter...

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Stepping Out

'Fire' ignites in Mtn. View

'Fire' ignites in Mtn. View


Courtesy of Kevin Berne
The cast of “Fire on the Mountain,” includes, from left, Tony Marcus, Harvy Blanks, Molly Andrews and Robert Parsons.

TheatreWorks is slated to present the regional premiere of the musical “Fire on the Mountain” this wee...

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Spiritual Life

Spiritual Life Briefs

Oshman JCC hosts Judaism and Science Symposium

The Oshman Family Jewish Community Center has scheduled its inaugural Judaism and Science Symposium, “An Exploration of the Convergence of Jewish & Scientific Thought,” 5 p.m. April 12 at the JCC’s ...

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Magazine

Food for thought: Hidden Villa programs offer teens training in sustainability on the farm

Food for thought: Hidden Villa programs offer teens training in sustainability on the farm


/Town Crier It’s not all cute and cuddly for teens participating in the eight-week Animal Husbandry Apprenticeship program at Hidden Villa in Los Altos Hills. Mia Mosing of Palo Alto, left, and Sophia Jackson of Los Altos clean the pigpens – one of...

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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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