Wed10222014

News

Council hosts study session on downtown parking garage

Council hosts study session on downtown parking garage


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
The Los Altos City Council continues to explore options to address parking constraints in the downtown triangle.

The Los Altos City Council last week held the first of two study sessions to discuss the potential construct...

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Schools

LAHS Science and Technology Week features medical examiner

LAHS Science and Technology Week features medical examiner


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
A Los Altos High School student learns how to use robotic surgical equipment at the school’s Science and Technology Week event last year. Students can also attend hands-on presentations at this year’s event, w...

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Community

Ahoy, matey: Pirate Manor ramps up Halloween display

Ahoy, matey: Pirate Manor ramps up Halloween display


Town Crier File Photo
Pirate Manor is once again scheduled to arrive in the front yard of Dane and Jill Glasgow’s home on Manor Way in Los Altos, just in time for Halloween.

Although not the Walking Dead, pirate skeletons have been brought to li...

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Sports

Lancers rule the pool against Spartans

Lancers rule the pool against Spartans


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
St. Francis High’s Eric Reitmeir launches the ball over Mountain View High driver David Niehaus (2) and goalie Kenny Tang. The host Lancers won Friday’s non-league game 9-3.

There wasn’t a lot on the line Friday when ...

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Comment

Reeder, Fung for El Camino HCD: Editorial

The good news for the El Camino Healthcare District (formerly the El Camino Hospital District, for those still getting used to the new name) is that there is a contested election Nov. 4 for the district’s board of directors. Three candidates are runn...

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Special Sections

Plant-based diet offers benefits

Plant-based diet offers benefits


Photo by Ramya Krishna
Los Altos resident Nandini Krishna prepares a meat-free dish According to author Caldwell B. Esselstyn Jr., M.D., a plant-based diet can help prevent cancer.

Shirley Okita of Los Altos has found that adhering to a mostly plant...

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Business

New shop offers haute couture for girls

New shop offers haute couture for girls


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
The Girls @ Los Altos at 239 State St. offers clothing lines such as Nellystella as well as toys and other items for girls.

Cecilia Chen opened The Girls @ Los Altos as a tribute to the party dress. Whether it’s for...

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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

BARBARA DARLING MERIDETH

1946-2014

Born in Palo Alto, raised in Los Altos, retired in southern Oregon. Survived by Peter James Merideth, sons Matthew, Jacob and John Merideth, the loves of her life.

She was a housewife who took great pride in her home, her surroundings and...

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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

'Sleepy Hollow' awakens at Bus Barn

'Sleepy Hollow' awakens at Bus Barn



Los Altos Youth Theatre’s production of “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow,” a musical based on Washington Irving’s classic story, is set to run through Nov. 2 at Bus Barn Theater. The cast comprises 27 young actors, directed by Cindy Powell. Courtesy o...

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Spiritual Life

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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Until next summer: The Rockey Road

It’s 2 a.m. and I can’t sleep because one of my children will be leaving in two days and I won’t see him for a year. Or so it seems.

In January 2012, I read an email that said, “Marceau is 13, lives in France and is looking to stay as an exchange student.” I thought it would be fun for my son to have someone around who also enjoys sports and is the same age. I spoke with my husband, who agreed, and immediately responded to the email.

Two months later, Marceau and his family were at our front door to meet us. They were a lovely family, and while Marceau was quiet and just learning to speak English, I could tell he was a sweet boy, as described in the email. They returned to France, and via Skype and email we planned for his stay with us in the coming summer.

July 2012 brought warm weather, my son’s birthday and Marceau. The morning Marceau and his parents arrived, I learned that my friend was moving out of the neighborhood, and I knew deep down that the friendship was also moving out of my life. But in some cosmic way, one relationship was being exchanged for another.

I remember Marceau’s mother’s face as she said goodbye to her son. Leaving her child in the home of perfect strangers rendered her excited, but sad and unsure. Just as they were about to walk away, I told her that I would care for him as if he were my own and that he was in good hands. I watched as relief washed over her face, and that was when my attachment to Marceau took root.

We were excited to show Marceau as much as we could while trying not to cram too much American culture down his throat. At first I tried to figure out things he liked to do and eat, but I quickly realized that he just wanted to experience life as we do.

Each day unveiled more of his personality, and each day wove him closer into our family. The morning kisses I delivered to my children were followed by cheek kisses, one side then the next, to Marceau. And each night ended the same way.

We were bonding with this sweet-natured boy. With very few words spoken between us, we could feel the connection that would be undeniably difficult to let go in the coming weeks. But the time came to send Marceau back to France. At the airport, we checked him in and stayed until the flight escort arrived. Walking through security, he looked back often while our hearts grew heavy with sadness for missing him.

We kept in touch with Marceau and his family through Skype and invited him to stay with us again this summer. As the day of his arrival approached, I felt as if my child were coming home.

It’s incredible that people living nearly 6,000 miles apart, who have spent only a few months together, can love each other like family. I didn’t know what to expect when I answered the original email – I took a chance – but I certainly wasn’t expecting to feel this way about another child. It’s not easy for me to let another soul close to mine, but once the bond is made, it’s nearly impossible to break.

Marceau leaves for France in two days. His English has improved, and I know he feels at home with us. I will miss him and his sweet laugh. Several days will follow before we adjust to our home without him, but in my motherly heart, there will always be a spot reserved for Marceau.

It’s 2:50 a.m. I should try to get some sleep.

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