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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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Realtor panel discusses local challenges

A panel of members of the Silicon Valley Association of Realtors discussed their lead-generation strategies and the challenges they face in their business at a recent meeting in Mountain View.

The panel included Diyar Essaid from Coldwell Banker, Michael Galli from Alain Pinel Realtors, Beth Tomkins from Sereno Group and David Kim from Intero Real Estate Service.

According to panelists, due to the shortage of inventory, the housing market has become highly competitive for agents and homebuyers. With mortgage interest rates inching upward, many buyers see the window of opportunity for homeownership but face a short supply of homes for sale and competition from all-cash buyers and investors.

The panelists practice lead generation in many ways, from open houses to door knocking, direct mailing and print and Internet advertising.

They advised other agents to find a niche in which they are comfortable.

Galli said he spends a great deal on print advertising, which generates referrals indirectly. This type of marketing takes time, effort and money to administer, but it works for him, he added.

The greatest challenge for Tomkins is balancing business with family. Although many enter the real estate field because they want more flexibility time-wise, a highly competitive market can be a big challenge for agents with young children. Her advice to those with growing families is to make sure that they are organized and maintain a schedule.

Kim said the emotional drama of real estate could be a challenge for agents. He noted that due to the limited inventory, buyers get very stressed and frustrated when other buyers, particularly those presenting all-cash offers, win out every time they place a bid on a house.

A major challenge facing agents is managing buyer expectations, Essaid said. She noted that some buyers don’t take rejection well and will either bow out of the market or make the wrong move.

Essaid added that she first educates her clients about the market, preparing buyers by showing them homes for approximately six to eight weeks. They discuss the houses – what they like and don’t like, and review the disclosures. During this time, they will see which homes sell and for what price, learning more about the market and preparing for when they decide to jump in. It also increases the trust level between her and the clients, Essaid said.

“Trust is paramount,” she emphasized.

Galli said agents should be honest with their clients and “tell them like it is.” He also indicated that it’s important for agents to “get up to speed” with technology, because high-tech tools enable efficiency. The file-hosting system Dropbox, for example, facilitates business when synced to a smartphone or a computer.

Tomkins advised agents to get to know one another, because they will one day be sitting across from each other at the negotiating table.

“There is strength in knowing each other,” she said.

Galli summarized the panel’s definition of success as “having happy clients and a balanced life.” Kim added that it’s important to “be happy and do the best you can.”

The Silicon Valley Association of Realtors provided information for this article. For more information, email Rose Meily at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

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