Thu10302014

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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The benefits of blogging: LAH student’s travel diary opens doors


Photos Courtesy of Ronda Breier
Los Altos Hills resident Corey Breier blogged about his travels abroad, including his adventures communing with camels in Morocco.

Los Altos Hills resident Corey Breier, 22, chronicled his year abroad in Barcelona on his blog, Spain WhatUp. An international studies major at UC San Diego who returned home in June, Breier used couchsurfing.org to make his way across Europe and Northern Africa. His tales of his travels and his anecdotes about adjusting to continental customs drew attention from Matador Network, an online travel magazine. Following is Breier’s account of the benefits of blogging his travel experiences.

At first I started Spain WhatUp as an easy way to keep mom updated about what I was doing, but this thing took on a life of its own. Here’s a noncomprehensive list of things this blog has done:

• Gotten me hired as a paid writer! My blog is linked to in my Twitter bio, and I think Matador Network was led to it through that window when I carelessly tweeted some such nonsense at them back in December. They liked what they saw, and now I am a regular contributor, in case you were not aware. And they pay me! (not much). You never know what will happen when you put a bit of yourself on the Internet.

• Helped Spanish speakers practice English. I know more than a few young “hispanohablantes” (Spanish speakers) who took enough of an interest in my affairs to read this blog, and it was a fantastic opportunity for them to get some real unadulterated “American.” I play fast and loose with phrases and slang they may never have encountered before, so besides normal grammar practice, it’s a street education, so to speak. Heck, I learned Spanish vocabulary reading my own words through Google Translate, so it goes both ways.

• Provided travel tips and advice to many friends. If I know someone is headed to a city I have been to, all I have to do is send them a link to the week when I was visiting there, and it usually offers a rough guide for them to get started on. I’m no expert, but I know if an attraction is good or not, which sometimes is better than the reviews from strangers on TripAdvisor. I love hearing stories from friends who went somewhere based off advice from me and the blog.

• Inspired more than one other personal travel blog. Off the top of my head, I can think of at least two blogs that were directly inspired by SpainWhatup: my friend Sarina’s in Seville, and Melissa’s in Alicante. Their work has taken on a life of its own, and it’s great to think I had a part in that.

• Served as the catalyst for helpful tips. I complained about Barcelona being all party, all the time in one post way back when, and one of my friends messaged me out of the blue afterwards to give me a stellar list of resources that helped point me to more intellectual pursuits, like TED talks and startup space in the city. I’m eternally thankful to her for that, and for a few others who gave me more attractions to see when they found my semester one Barcelona guide lacking.

• Improved my writing ability. You can see this just by reading my older posts – ouch. The more you write, the better you write, no matter what you’re writing about, that is for sure.

• Amassed 30-odd random Tumblr followers. Yes, I see you all – looks like mostly young girls who have probably found my blog from the geographical tags I put at the bottom of whichever post I wrote about their country or city. Your Tumblrs are, well, typical Tumblrs – primarily composed of wistful quotes, Pinterest-style pictures and soft erotica that is so oddly common in this corner of the Internet. I’m not sure if this is what you were expecting when you clicked on that tag, but I hope you enjoyed the ride.

Not bad for what was basically a weekly email to mom! I’d highly encourage you to start your own blog, whether or not you are traveling. And don’t just rebblog cat photos, like I did with my first Tumblr – create something of your own, even if you think your life is boring. Somebody finds it interesting. If you are traveling, you definitely should – this will be a powerful and unfailing reminder of my time in Spain forevermore. I have every single week right here, written fresh off of my mind right after it happened. Far better than my finicky memory – I’ve already found things from my September posts that I had forgotten about. So do it!

May your roads be long and meandering.

To read Breier’s blog, visit spainwhatup.tumblr.com or matadornetwork.com/author/coreybreier.

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