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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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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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