Thu07242014

News

Downtown green park pops up again in August

Downtown green park pops up again in August


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
The Third Street Green debuts Aug. 3 on the 300 block of State Street in downtown Los Altos.

Another temporary park is poised to pop up in downtown Los Altos this summer.

According to Brooke Ray Smith, community devel...

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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 int...

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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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Something special

Most engaged couples want their wedding to be fun and personal, anything but a cookie-cutter ceremony and reception. They look at blogs and bridal magazines for ideas to make their day special but often aren’t sure how to make it all happen.

A host of resources provide suggestions and opinions on what makes a wedding unique, but the answer is not that complicated – what makes a wedding unique is you. There is no one else like you, no other couple like you. So the goal is to create a wedding experience that reflects you as a couple. The concept may be simple, but the translation can sometimes be challenging.

Just the two of you

            As a wedding planner and designer, I recently worked with a couple on their destination wedding in Hawaii. They wanted a beautiful wedding that was unique, fun and intimate. As their guests traveled from all over the country to attend, they aimed to create an atmosphere that would allow them to rekindle relationships and spend quality time with family and friends.

            The key advice I offered the couple: Make sure every decision is a reflection of the two of you.

            The bride and groom were an active, outdoorsy pair who enjoyed everything from kayaking to rock climbing. So, we selected a private estate on the beach as the wedding location so that guests could savor the natural beauty of Hawaii. The estate was quiet and secluded, ensuring that the space felt intimate and casual.

            As the couple were simple, no-fuss, happy people, I designed the wedding to highlight natural elements, combining sun-bleached wooden dining tables with printed runners and mason jars lined with lemons and filled with purple and yellow flowers – a nod to the couple’s favorite colors and the jars they use in their home together.

            The bottom line: When making wedding decisions, couples should focus on what feels like them. If every element included represents their personalities and lives, then none of it will seem forced or contrived.

Share your love story

            A wedding is a celebration of love, so sharing the couple’s story is an important part of the day. The story doesn’t necessarily have to be about how they met or got engaged, but it should illuminate their relationship.

            This couple who married in Hawaii, for example, had a ritual of taking pictures of flowers when they were apart and sending them to one another. Because the groom was in the military and the bride traveled for work, their tradition reminded them that they were thinking of one another and that they loved one another wherever they were. Over time, they began to take photos of flowers when they were together, too.

            To share the custom with wedding guests, we printed the flower photos they collected over the years onto tiles and displayed them in the cocktail area. Each tile had a story to accompany it, allowing guests to share in the couple’s journey. After the wedding, the couple kept the tiles to display in their home.

            Every couple has a story, even if it’s not grand, crazy, complicated or long. To help them find their story, I encourage them to think about the special things they do as a couple – traditions, silly names they call one another, dreams they share, what they love about each other.

            The bottom line: Sharing a couple’s love story not only makes the wedding more memorable, but it also celebrates the reason everyone has gathered and includes the guests in that experience.

More than a pretty look

            Designing a personalized wedding is about more than aesthetics – it’s about the emotions a wedding evokes, those special touches that really create an experience.

            To bring personality to the wedding in Hawaii, guests received multicolored sunglasses with tags that read, “Our love is so bright … Wear some shades!” when they arrived at the celebration.

            The small number of guests attending the wedding, as well as the beauty of a natural tree formation on the property, enabled us to stage the ceremony in the round, with the couple at the center and guests fanning out around them. The unusual ceremony design fit perfectly in the area and allowed guests to be near the couple as they said their vows.

            We took advantage of an adjacent pathway to make the bride’s entrance a surprise. As guests proceeded from a grassy area to the ceremony location, the bride emerged from the beach. This fun surprise allowed the bride to enjoy a special moment with her father before reciting her vows.

            The bride and groom had close-knit families, so much so that the bride’s mother was her matron of honor and the groom’s father was his best man. During the ceremony, the couple exchanged rings made from family wedding rings, a touch that was not only symbolic, but also special and meaningful.

            The bottom line: Create an experience for guests right from the beginning and share what is important as a couple. Make the wedding both personal and meaningful, in whatever way makes sense for you.

         Jamie Chang is a Los Altos-based event and wedding consultant for Mango Muse Events. For more information, visit mangomuseevents.com.

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