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News

Street crack-sealing project begins Monday, May 4

The City of Los Altos is beginning a city-wide street crack-sealing project on Monday (May 4).

City officials said the traffic impact for this project will be minimal. No streets will be closed and vehicles can resume normal traffic flow shortly aft...

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Schools

Homestead students use projects  to solve environmental problems

Homestead students use projects to solve environmental problems


Alisha Parikh/Special to the Town Crier
Homestead High School junior Maya Dhar, a Los Altos resident, left, and classmate Carolyn MacDonald support the school’s AP Environmental Science classes at the Arbor Day Festival April 23.

As summer app...

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Community

CHAC appoints new leader

CHAC appoints new leader

Naomi Nakano-Matsumoto, LCSW, has been named the new executive director of the Community Health Awareness Council (CHAC). A seasoned nonprofit leader, Nakano-Matsumoto is scheduled to assume duties July 1. She takes over for outgoing executive direct...

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Sports

St. Francis swimmers shine

St. Francis swimmers shine


Megan V. Winslow/Town Crier
St. Francis High’s Benjamin Ho competes against Sacred Heart Cathedral Thursday. The junior swam on all three victorious relays at the home meet, which the Lancers won easily.

Flexing its power in the pool, host St....

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Comment

Halsey House deserves preservation: Other Voices

Halsey House deserves preservation: Other Voices


Many contributing supporters to the Friends of Historic Redwood Grove believe that the Halsey House, designated a historic landmark by the Los Altos City Council in 1981, deserves to be saved and renovated for adapted use by the community.

Set in ...

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Special Sections

Sneaky shots: A photographer’s guide to capturing the proposal

Sneaky shots: A photographer’s guide to capturing the proposal


Elliott Burr/Special to the Town Crier
A stealthy photographer scouts locations ahead of time to find not just a place to perch, but also the ideal position for the subjects.

It’s showtime.

You’re about to ask the person in front of...

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Business

Pharmaca celebrates grand opening over weekend

Pharmaca celebrates grand opening over weekend


Megan V. Winslow/Town Crier
Pharmaca is coming to 400 Main St. with a grand-opening celebration scheduled Saturday and Sunday.

If natural health and beauty products are your cup of tea, expect to find them – and hot tea – this weekend at the gran...

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Books

People

JANE BUTTERFIELD PRINGLE LYND

JANE BUTTERFIELD PRINGLE LYND

October 30, 1924 - April 8, 2015

Jane Butterfield Pringle Lynd, daughter to Liebert and Elise Butterfield of San Francisco, passed away quietly at her home in Palo Alto surrounded by her family, following a short illness. Jane was a proud third ge...

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Travel

Cuba libre: Local residents join mad rush of travelers

Cuba libre: Local residents join mad rush of travelers


Natalie Elefant/Special to the Town Crier
Los Altos resident Natalie Elefant noted the vibrant street performances as a traveler in Cuba.

The U.S. restored diplomatic relations with Cuba late last year, enabling Americans to import $100 worth of cig...

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Stepping Out

'Birds' landing in Mtn. View

'Birds' landing in Mtn. View


Ray Renati/Special to the Town Crier
The Pear Avenue Theatre production of Paul Braverman’s “Birds of a Feather” stars Troy Johnson as mafia boss Sean Kineen, left, and Diane Tasca as private eye Frankie Payne.

Pear Avenue Theatre’s world premi...

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Spiritual Life

Magazine

Practice prudent pruning: Maintaining manzanita, ceanothus and toyon

Practice prudent pruning: Maintaining manzanita, ceanothus and toyon


tanya kucak/Special to the Town Crier
Shrub manzanitas are known for their sinuous mahogany trunks and branches. If the foliage hides the bark, prune selectively to open the center so that the bark is visible year-round. This Montara manzanita is ...

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Inside Mountain View

Up to the challenge: Local leaders unite to help at-risk youth

Up to the challenge: Local leaders unite to help at-risk youth


Courtesy of Challenge Team
Jeanette Freiberg, bottom of pile, has fun with family members. The Challenge Team named Freiberg, a student at Mountain View High School, its 2015 Youth Champion.

There’s an ongoing joke among members of the Challenge...

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Trapped: Haugh About That?

Searing heat swirled in a whirling mass, engulfing my soaking body like an overzealous sauna even the devil couldn’t handle. Looking into the mirror, penny-sized droplets of perspiration trickled down my face. Choking from the intensity, I was sure I was about to die.

It started as a typical Wednesday morning in July. Not wanting to miss a minute of our precious time together, I rode along with my daughter, Michelle, to her various business appointments in Los Angeles.

“Mom, are you sure you’re going to be OK?” my sweet child asked, parking the car. “You can come in with me.”

“Yeah, honey,” I responded confidently. “I have calls to make. Just leave the window open.”

“So, you’ll watch my purse?”

As I tipped an affirmative nod in her direction, she closed the door, aimed her key in my direction and jaunted off.

At first, a cool breeze tickled my head and lazily danced with my hair. But 15 minutes later, I found myself wondering how much longer she was going to take. The Southern California sun was now blazing directly overhead, turning the car’s interior into a firebox.

“Man, I’m getting hot,” I stewed. “Maybe I should get out.”

Just 4 feet away, a bright forest of multicolored impatiens flourished in the cool shade of the towering building. Flipping the button to release the lock, I recalled something about a purse and Michelle pointing her key at the car. Sure she’d armed it, I knew a horrendous sound would blare if I opened the door, so I changed my mind.

“Oh, God! Now what do I do?” I cried, liquefying further into a puddle of profuse sweat.

Fifteen minutes became 30, then 45. Thoughts of being incinerated slapped me silly as I poured bottled water down the front of my dress and shoulders. No sooner did it hit my skin than it evaporated into the sweltering air.

Believing I’d go completely loony if I didn’t do something quickly, I pulled my upper body through the window, but the high-noon temperature was just as hot outside as it was in. Sliding back in, the feeling of entrapment terrified me. Just as I was about to have a panic attack, I noticed Michelle casually exiting the building.

“Hurry!” I screamed. “Unlock the door. I can’t stand it any longer.”

Now, I’ve been told I’m crazy at times, but the look on her face said I was certifiable.

“What’s the matter?” she yelled, running to let me out. Tumbling first into the gutter, I quickly ran for shade.

“Mom, the car was unlocked this whole time!” she giggled.

“What? But I saw you lock it,” I yelped, horrified.

Bursting into laughter, she wiped the drenched wisps of hair out of my eyes, and said, “I was unlocking it. I thought you might want to walk around.”

Driving away with the air conditioner blasting my face, I thought about all the times I’ve allowed myself to get trapped either emotionally or physically just because I didn’t want to bother someone. Worrying about my effect on another has a debilitating way of crippling my decisions, thus blocking me from reaching my highest potential. A need for change was overdue. While I can’t control what others may think, I can be true to myself.

To reach my divine destiny, I have to be authentic to my God-given wings. It’s possible some nerves may be wrangled with the way I flutter, but if I can soar among the flowers of life’s beautiful garden, in and out of the shade, then it’s well worth it.

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