Fri10242014

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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Remembering the mysterious Tom Clancy

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p>As you may know, popular and respected author Tom Clancy died recently at age 66. I confess, I have not read his books, but I have really enjoyed the movies based on his books, including, “The Hunt for Red October” (1990), “Patriot Games” (1992) and “Clear and Present Danger” (1994).

Clancy was deep into technology, military tactics and geopolitical maneuvering – things best shown to me on the big screen rather than recounted in detailed writing. (I would just glaze over, thrilling as it is.) His final book, “Command Authority” (Penguin Books, 2013) is due out in December.

I especially related to Clancy because he wasn’t a best-selling writer from the get-go. In fact, for a while, like myself, he was an insurance salesman. He wrote “The Hunt for Red October” (Naval Institute Press, 1984) in his spare time and sold it to a publisher for $5,000. The story goes that he had hoped to sell 5,000 copies and was thrilled when it sold 45,000 copies. And then it gets really good. President Ronald Reagan picked up a copy and called it “my kind of yarn,” which sent sales through the roof. (I hope he had a good royalties clause written into that book contract!)

There are still a few outstanding mysteries in Clancy’s backstory that will probably be recounted in due time. Where did he get all that intricate military knowledge? The Naval Institute Press had to cut 100 pages of technology from his first book. He joined the Army Officer Training Corp but was ultimately unable to serve because of his nearsightedness.

Following his initial literary success, he developed friends in high military places, but, frankly, I try not to picture them giving him sophisticated, detailed military information. Maybe he had a mole. OK, that’s just me being jealous of his brilliance. Forget I said that.

And then there is the mystery of his rather sudden death and the secrecy surrounding the cause. His adoring public doesn’t technically need to know the cause, but reassurance that he wasn’t murdered for his conservative political views might help those of a like mind sleep a little better. What if he himself became “a clear and present danger?” Now I’m scaring myself. (I’m done with the Internet on that topic.)

On a lighter note, did you know that quite a few famous people (that we know of) started out in the insurance industry? To name a few, television producer Mark Burnett once worked in an insurance office. Anne Rice, the queen of vampire literature, including her novel “Interview with the Vampire” (Ballantine, 1997), worked as an insurance claims processor before writing her first best-seller. Harland “Colonel” Sanders’ was also once a very successful insurance salesman. Olympian Bruce Jenner held a job selling insurance outside of training hours, which supported him in the years prior to winning at the Olympics.

I’m just saying ... it’s comforting to know that sometimes really talented people have to straddle two worlds to become famous in one. Salespeople everywhere, take heart! Make your quota early and then devote yourself to your passion. When Plan A doesn’t work out, it’s good to have Plan A/B in place.

Sharon Lennox-Infante is a Certified Life Coach who lives and works in Los Altos. For more information, visit SharonLennox.com.

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