Tue09162014

News

Council approves directional signs for Los Altos' Woodland Plaza

Council approves directional signs for Los Altos' Woodland Plaza


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
The Los Altos City Council last week approved the installation of two new directional signs on Foothill Expressway pointing motorists to the Woodland Plaza Shopping District.

The Los Altos City Council voted unanimou...

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Schools

New head of curriculum’s ideologies align with LASD

New head of curriculum’s ideologies align with LASD


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Edsel Clark, new Los Altos School District assistant superintendent for curriculum and instruction, above, facilitates a junior high mathematics curriculum meeting last week.

Edsel Clark, Ed.D., new assistant superintend...

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Community

Closing reception caps Foothill photo show on rural China

Closing reception caps Foothill photo show on rural China


From IncredibleTravelPhotos.com
Jacque Kae’s “Mischievous” is one of the many photographs on display at Foothill College this month.

Photographs of the land and culture of Huangshan and Zhangjiajie, China, are on exhibit through Sept. 26 at t...

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Sports

Spartans shine in opener

Spartans shine in opener


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Mountain View High’s Frank Kapp snares a touchdown pass from quarterback Owen Mountford in Friday’s win.

Leading by a point at halftime, the Mountain View High football team outscored visiting Del Mar 20-0 the rest of...

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Comment

A look ahead to the Nov. 4 election: Editorial

Election season is upon us. In Los Altos, we have three major local races ahead – two seats on the Los Altos City Council, and three seats each on the Los Altos School District and Mountain View-Los Altos Union High School District boards of tr...

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Special Sections

Renovation complete,  Villa Siena looks to future

Renovation complete, Villa Siena looks to future


Above and Below Photos Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier; Left Photo Courtesy of Villa Siena
Villa Siena in Mountain View recently underwent a $35 million face-lift. The five-year project expanded their senior living community’s space and ability to serv...

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Business

Transitioning from postage to pets

Transitioning from postage to pets


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
A new Pet Food Express store is scheduled to open at the Blossom Valley Shopping Center this month.

A site that previously existed to meet postal service needs will soon have an entirely different purpose – serving pe...

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Books

‘The Humans’ transcends alien genre to glean human insights

‘The Humans’ transcends alien genre to glean human insights


A good story about aliens is always great fun to read – after all, it’s only by attempting to understand the human race from another perspective that we can see ourselves more objectively.

But readers who might be tempted to dismiss ye...

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People

JEANNE PACKARD

After suffering a stroke in May, Jeanne Packard died August 10, 2014 at age 83. She was born in 1931 in Berlin, Germany, the only child of Emily Channel and Frank Howe Packard of Chicago, IL. Jeanne is survived by 5 great grandchildren. She was a lon...

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Travel

LA photographer spends a night with cranes – and moose – in Alaska

LA photographer spends a night with cranes – and moose – in Alaska


Sandy Powell/Special to the Town Crier
Los Altos resident and bird photographer Sandy Powell recently visited Homer, Alaska, to photograph Sandhill cranes, below. While there, Powell also encountered moose, left.

Los Altos resident Sandy Powell, a...

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Stepping Out

'Trailer Park' opens in Los Altos

'Trailer Park' opens in Los Altos


Courtesy of Los
The cast of Los Altos Stage Company’s “The Great American Trailer Park Musical” includes, from left, Mylissa Malley as Lin, Vanessa Alvarez as Betty, and Christina Bolognini as Pickles. Altos Stage Company

Los Altos Stage Company...

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Spiritual Life

9/11 survivor Michael Hingson finds purpose

Imagine walking down 78 flights of stairs – 1,463 individual steps. You are in imminent danger as you walk, unsure whether you can make it out of the building before it collapses or explodes. Struggling for each breath, you smell the heavy sten...

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Magazine

Los Altos Hills home showcases resort-inspired living

Los Altos Hills home showcases resort-inspired living


Courtesy of Spectrum Interior Design
In place of a more traditional fireplace, this modern living room features a linear-flame firebox that emits heat while offering a sculpturelike design element.

After traveling the world and visiting a host...

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Tape the pieces: The Rockey Road

Let’s try something. Grab a piece of paper and write your name on it in big letters. Around your name, list things that make you happy: an activity, a person, a place, whatever you’d like.

Next, ask someone – a co-worker, a family member, a stranger on the street, anyone – to suggest things that might upset you, for example, if someone criticized you or put you down or if your team lost because of something you did or did not do.

Some of the ideas mentioned may bother you and some may not. If one of them might have a negative impact and really upset you, tear off a sizable piece of the paper. If something might bother you a little, tear off a small piece. After five to 10 scenarios, ask the person to suggest things that might have a positive impact. If anything mentioned would make you feel better, tape a piece of torn paper back onto the sheet: a large piece for something important to you and a small piece if it matters, but not too much.

What you now have in your hand is a representation of yourself: once whole, then torn and then put back together. You may look a little different, maybe some of the pieces don’t fit exactly and maybe some are still missing.

As we go through life, bits of who we are inevitably get torn off along the way. When big pieces are ripped off and we’re left with a gaping hole in our souls, it can feel as though no tape in the world would be strong enough to put us back together. But we have to find a way. If we don’t, we will continue to live with anger, frustration, sadness, embarrassment or whatever it was that caused us to come undone.

Finding peace within you usually takes a fair amount of understanding and forgiveness. You have to recognize what’s important and choose your methods for mending accordingly. Although the scars may be hard to hide, they are the bonds that remind us of our achievements.

So how is it that some people seem to carry tape around and some never seem to have any? Well, the truth is that everyone has tape on them. You just have to know where to find it and how to use it properly.

I can’t tell you exactly where yours is, but I do know that you have to focus to find it. However you choose to focus is up to you. It helps to get into a zone, tune the world out and concentrate on one thing, whether it’s a physical exercise, something artistic or perhaps simple deep breathing. Whatever you do, you have to be mindful of that intention and allow whatever has wounded you and blurred the vision of what’s important to you to be obliterated and dismissed. Only then will you have a clear view of the big picture, and only then will you find your tape.

We are all walking around in a taped-up state, some more than others. It’s what gives us character and compassion. I’m glad for my tape, and I don’t mind if the seams show, because I know they give me strength.

If you are looking at your piece of paper, you’ve completed an exercise in self-esteem that was administered in a seventh-grade class a few weeks ago. When my daughter explained this to me, I asked if there were a take-home message.

“Yes,” she said. “It was to show that we might get our feelings hurt and torn, but we can be put back together, and even though we may not look the same, at least we’re still in one piece.”

It seems to me that all of us – seventh-graders and grownups alike – could benefit from this nifty little exercise.

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