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News

Obama visits Los Altos area

Obama visits Los Altos area

President Obama made a fundraising stop today at a private residence in Los Altos Hills, an appearance that spurred traffic disruptions, helicopters scouting overhead and protesters. In the wake of his visit, unknown persons, apparently no fans of ...

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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 into L...

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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 ...

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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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No mistakes: Haugh About That?

After 30 years of retirement, I found myself once again working as a D.S.S. (Derriere Sanitation Specialist). In other words, I was back to changing diapers, only this time it wasn’t some sweet little baby – it was my 95-year-old father.

When my dad moved in with me in 2011, I knew there would be challenges for both of us. For him, it would be his complete loss of independence and the agonizing feeling that he was a burden. For me, it was the constant fear of making a mistake. Our time was limited, and I wanted his remaining days perfect.

All went without a hitch the day he arrived – until the caregiver left at 4 p.m. Then, I was in charge. Not only did my father need to be spoon-fed, medications administered and helped with his tooth brushing, but there was also that stack of Depends sitting next to his bed.

Standing over his crippled body, a powerful, cascading avalanche of fear crashed down. When I flunked with my first child, Michelle, my mom swooped in to the rescue. Now I was all alone.

Knowing his daughter was about to see him in his entirety, my poor father’s body stiffened and his face shriveled up like an apple doll drying too long in the hot sun. Hoping to make light of the situation, I giggled, “OK, Dad. Close your eyes and just think of me as some cute nurse. This will be over in no time.”

After detaching the plastic strips, I guided him onto his side and yanked off the old underwear with no problem. I struggled to get the clean one positioned just right. After several frustrating minutes that felt more like a lifetime, I was sure I had it.

Rolling him over, I easily fastened the left side, but when it came to the right, there was a gaping hole between the two ends and a huge expanse of white skin exposed.

“Now what do I do?” I cried inside.

Sweat dripped down my body like some form of Chinese water torture. The thought of redoing the entire thing became overwhelming. Not knowing what else to do, I quickly ran for the bolt of electrical tape and secured him back together.

“Dad, I’m so sorry,” my lip quivered, tears dribbling down my cheeks. “This will hold you together for now. I’ll get it right tomorrow.”

Smiling sweetly, he said, “Honey, you did just fine.”

His words hugged my heart as I left the room. I’d wanted each day to go smoothly from start to finish. Being my idiotic human self where blunders abound was not part of the plan. But I remembered his gentle words when I was too hard on myself.

“Your life is all part of a beautiful universal plan where God makes no mistakes,” he said. “The error comes in not seizing the opportunity to learn from your mishaps so that you can reach your highest potential.”

I know I’ll always cringe when I think I’ve done something stupid. Old habits die hard. But with each new faux pas (and there will be many), I hope to grab the opportunity to learn something new and spectacular.

The best classroom we ever attend is the one we wake up to each day – our life. Diapers, electrical tape and all.

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