Wed04012015

News

Police Blotter

Car thief arrested

The San Mateo County Vehicle Theft Task Force arrested an East Palo Alto man traced to Los Altos in a stolen vehicle March 30.

Matthew Garcia, 29, was stopped just after midnight in the stolen vehicle and booked into the San Mate...

Read more:

Loading...

Schools

Schools Briefs

Schools Briefs


Town Crier File Photo
Students and families view student artwork at Springer School during last year’s Los Altos School District Art Docent Art Show.

Los Altos Art Docents display student artwork

The Los Altos Art Docents are scheduled to di...

Read more:

Loading...

Community

Community Briefs

Docent spotlights de Young exhibition

Fine-arts docent Kay Payne is scheduled to present a free illustrated lecture, “Botticelli to Braque: Masterpieces from the National Galleries of Scotland,” 7:30 p.m. April 8 in the Program Room of the Los Altos...

Read more:

Loading...

Sports

Sports on the Side

Hop over to Cupertino for ‘Big Bunny 5K’

People of all fitness levels are invited to participate in the “Big Bunny 5K,” scheduled 9 a.m. Saturday at the Cupertino Civic Center, 10300 Torre Ave. Children can join in the Kids F...

Read more:

Loading...

Comment

Letters to the Editor

Teen suicide resources lacking in community

Dr. Meg Durbin’s excellent column on teen suicide touched on the fact that “(n)ot all hospitals can admit patients for psychiatric issues, which might require transfer to another facility”...

Read more:

Loading...

Special Sections

SUV or plus-size sedan?

SUV or plus-size sedan?


Photos courtesy of BMW
The BMW X4 xDrive28i can span approximately 20 miles in combined driving on a single gallon of gas. On the highway, the sedan averages 28 mpg.

The recent moves by BMW and Mercedes-Benz to shave the rear roof line of their mid...

Read more:

Loading...

Business

Transactions

Los Altos/Los Altos Hills

100 First Street No. 109, Los Altos8 Limited to Hyman Trust for $978,000

100 First Street No. 307, Los Altos8 Limited to Carroll Trust for $1,055,500

Read more:

Loading...

Books

'Pope Joan' Book weaves tale around legend of female pontiff

'Pope Joan' Book weaves tale around legend of female pontiff


The idea that there may have a female pope at one time in history has generated much speculation throughout the centuries. “Pope Joan” (Crown, 1996) by Donna Woolfolk Cross, does not answer the question; rather, the author has created a detai...

Read more:

Loading...

People

JOHN BATISTICH

JOHN BATISTICH

John Batistich of Los Altos Hills died peacefully on March 12 surrounded by his family. John is survived by his wife Claire Batistich (Vidovich) of 67 years and children Gary Batistich of Lodi and Gay Batistich Abuel-Saud of Menlo Park. He is also ...

Read more:

Loading...

Travel

Eat, hike, soak: Cavallo Point Lodge offers Marin experience

Eat, hike, soak: Cavallo Point Lodge offers Marin experience


Eren Göknar/ Town Crier
Cavallo Point Lodge comprises former U.S. Army buildings, like the Mission Blue Chapel, repurposed for guests seeking a luxurious getaway.

It used to be a place where batteries of soldiers lived, with officers’ quarter...

Read more:

Loading...

Stepping Out

'Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf?' Not LA Stage Company

The Los Altos Stage Company production of “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?” is scheduled to open next week and run through May 3 at Bus Barn Theater, 97 Hillview Ave.

Edward Albee’s Tony Award-winning play is a dark comedy about a couple embroiled i...

Read more:

Loading...

Magazine

Food for thought: Hidden Villa programs offer teens training in sustainability on the farm

Food for thought: Hidden Villa programs offer teens training in sustainability on the farm


/Town Crier It’s not all cute and cuddly for teens participating in the eight-week Animal Husbandry Apprenticeship program at Hidden Villa in Los Altos Hills. Mia Mosing of Palo Alto, left, and Sophia Jackson of Los Altos clean the pigpens – one of...

Read more:

Loading...

Furry Friends: Los Altos hosts mixer for priests and pups


Crockett communes with Simba the shih tzu, visiting Maryknoll with the nonprofit Furry Friends.

Visit the Maryknoll community on Cristo Rey Drive in Los Altos on the right day of the month, and you’ll witness a spectacle of playing dogs and reminiscing priests.

The sanctuarylike acreage just across from Rancho San Antonio Open Space Preserve houses two dozen retired brothers and priests from the Catholic Foreign Mission Society. First established in 1911, it drew men who wanted to serve their faith by building social welfare programs in developing economies in Asia, Latin America and Africa.

The assembled pets and their human chaperones visit from Furry Friends Pet Assisted Therapy Services. The Bay Area group sends volunteer teams to visit people living in nursing homes, health facilities and shelters – the folks who aren’t able to keep pets themselves.

Los Altos resident Judy Brigham, who heads up the team that visits Maryknoll each month, explained that they practice pet therapy – the application, quite literally, of pets to the people who need some time with a loving animal. Take one snuggle from a shih tzu, and then return to your regular health regimen. Any animal that enjoys human companionship is welcome to join the group, but the Maryknoll posse was strictly canine, including a German shepherd, a greyhound and two shih tzus.

Priests hold their visitors (or get a full-body lean, from the larger dogs) and, with little prompting, share their stories of animal encounters past. From rabid dogs in the Philippines to mongoose-hunting island dogs in Hawaii, the fathers and brothers have seen their share of canines while serving around the world.

Brother Duane Crockett found himself enfolded in the lengthy curve of Liberty, a retired racing greyhound who melted against his legs. Crockett has lived at Mary- knoll for more than a decade, after serving around the world and, more recently, at the Veterans Affairs Palo Alto Health Care System.

“Our group has been in 32 countries in the world. We bring the word of God through assisting in projects to better their lives,” he said of the communities they’ve served in.

On a typical day now, the retired men see rabbits, wild turkeys, perhaps coyotes during the right season – but they lack the steady presence of loved pets.

Finding a canine calling in volunteer visits

On a visit this summer, everyone gathered in the shade underneath cedar trees in Maryknoll’s garden to scritch ruffs and watch the pups perform. Liberty demonstrated her speed on command, a streak of gray racing across the lawn at up to 40 mph.

When she isn’t at Maryknoll working the crowd, Liberty visits a school in Santa Clara where students practice their literacy by reading to her.

Bella, one of Brigham’s shih tzus, began life as show dog before retiring and finding her new, adoptive, home.

“She misses the ring,” Brigham said of Bella’s glory days. “Show dogs and greyhounds from the track get used to being handled from birth.”

Bella’s counterpart, Simba, “tolerates everything,” Brigham said, recounting a time when he stayed calm in the arms of a Parkinson’s patient whose grip became involuntarily rigid, pinning the dog in place.

Dogs interested in joining Furry Friends only need basic obedience training and undergo a screening process with their owners. A volunteer role-plays the use of a wheelchair and canes. Trainers watch for the pup’s reaction – for instance, when an exuberant young golden retriever jumped on a wheelchair’s (simulated) occupant, they decided the dog should head toward juvenile hall, where young people yearn for that kind of lively energy.

The group, a nonprofit, is always open to new members.

For more information, visit furryfriends.org.

Schools »

Schools
Read More

Sports »

sports
Read More

People »

people
Read More

Special Sections »

Special Sections
Read More

Photos of Los Altos

photoshelter
Browse and buy photos