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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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Local photojournalist graphically depicts persecution refugees face

COMM dianamatarPhotojournalist Diana Matar captures refugees in a new light.

The Los Altos native attended the Royal College of Arts in London and has worked with the Associated Press and galleries and museums worldwide. She has exhibited and published in North America, Latin America, Europe, the Middle East and Southeast Asia.

Matar integrates photography and testimony as she focuses on establishing a personal connection with her subjects.

Her work involves a several-part collaborative process: meeting for an entire day, creating a text from the interview and then reviewing the text with her subjects to ensure accuracy.

“Often text produced from the interviews doesn’t have the same meaning,” Matar said. “I always work with my subjects to see if it’s what they mean in that context.”

Matar’s photojournalism is unique in its aim to paint an intimate image of the individual rather than the overall issue.

“I was trying to get away from those images of black-and-white huddling masses crossing borders. I wanted to focus on someone who’s an individual with (his or her) own story and life and background,” she said. “When you’re a journalist, you’re often working on something that is a large, very important issue, and you may use individuals to illustrate that. But my real purpose was to break it down to each individual and not have it be about the issue.”

Much of Matar’s inspiration stems from her personal and universal interest in the cause of world justice. One project, “Leave to Remain,” comprising 50 photographs of refugees in the United Kingdom, is inspired by the press coverage of asylum-seekers.

“The wording of the rhetoric in the press was very problematic to me. ... I was reminded of how we use language to demonize people,” she said. “What I didn’t see were the voices of the people who were being talked about.”

Her powerful, large-scale portraits toured the House of Parliament and 10 museums in the UK.

Matar’s most personal project, a three-part series – “Disappearance,” “Evidence” and “Witness” – prompted by her father-in-law’s disappearance in Libya, portrays that nation’s day-to-day political atrocities. The second section, “Evidence, reflects how specific archaeological sites can become evidence of the missing people for whom there are no records or evidence. In “Evidence,” buildings become metaphors for a Libyan reign of terror and state-sponsored depravity. “Witness,” the third section, features photographs of trees around the world that mark the sites of the assassinations of Libyan dissidents.

“That project came about by historical events unfolding in Libya, but also by very personal events in my husband’s family and how that affected us. It was a project very close to home and very difficult to work on,” Matar said.

The project, which took five years to complete, was on display at London’s Saatchi Gallery and won acclaim from Deutsche Bank and Critical Mass.

“Photography is the way I walk through the world,” she said. “I feel very lucky to have the opportunity to do what I love.”

For more information, visit dianamatar.com.

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