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News

Obama visits Los Altos area

Obama visits Los Altos area

President Obama made a fundraising stop today at a private residence in Los Altos Hills, an appearance that spurred traffic disruptions, helicopters scouting overhead and protesters. In the wake of his visit, unknown persons, apparently no fans of ...

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Schools

MVLA rolls out laptop integration this fall

MVLA rolls out laptop integration this fall


Town Crier File Photo
Starting in the fall, daily use of laptops in the classroom will be standard operating procedure for students at Los Altos and Mountain View high schools as the Mountain View Los Altos Union High School District launches a pil...

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Community

Generations blend behind the scenes at 'Wizard of Oz'

Generations blend behind the scenes at 'Wizard of Oz'


Altos Youth Theatre and Los Altos Stage Company rehearse a scene from “The Wizard of Oz.” ELIZA RIDGEWAY/ TOWN CRIER

A massive troupe of young people and grownups gathered in Los Altos this summer to stage the latest iteration of a childhood sta...

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Sports

Football in July

Football in July


Town Crier file photo
Mountain View High’s Anthony Avery is among the nine local players slated to play in tonight’s Silicon Valley Youth Classic.

Tonight’s 40th annual Silicon Valley Youth Classic – also known as the Charlie...

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Comment

Pools should be included: Editorial

Los Altos residents should be receiving calls this week from city representatives conducting a survey to determine priorities for a revamped Hillview Community Center.

Notice that we did not say “civic center” – chastened by a lack of public support...

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Special Sections

Looking for life without lows, local diabetic tests artificial pancreas

Looking for life without lows, local diabetic tests artificial pancreas


Photo by Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Dr. Trang Ly, left, reviews blood sugar readings on a smartphone with Los Altos resident Tia Geri, right, and fellow participant Noa Simon during a closed-loop artificial pancreas study for Type 1 diabetics.
...

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Business

Palo Alto law firm coming to 400 Main

Palo Alto law firm coming to 400 Main


Ellie Van Houtte/ Town Crier
Longtime Palo Alto law firm Thoits, Love, Hershberger & McClean plans to open an office at 400 Main St. in Los Altos after construction is complete in November.

A longtime Palo Alto law firm plans to expand into L...

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Books

"Frozen in Time" chronicles harrowing WWII rescue attempts


Many readers can’t resist a true-life adventure story, especially those that shine a spotlight on people who exhibit supreme courage in the face of adversity and end up surviving – or not – against the odds.

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People

RICHARD PATRICK BRENNAN

RICHARD PATRICK BRENNAN

Resident of Palo Alto

Richard Patrick Brennan, journalist, editor, author, adventurer, died at his Palo Alto home on July 4, 2014 at age 92. He led a full life, professionally and personally. He was born and raised in San Francisco, joined the Arm...

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Travel

Travel Tidbit: Ritz-Carlton, Lake Tahoe offers spa getaway

Travel Tidbit: Ritz-Carlton, Lake Tahoe offers spa getaway


Courtesy of Ritz-Carlton
The Ritz-Carlton in Lake Tahoe offers fall getaway packages that include spa treatments and yoga classes.

Fall in North Lake Tahoe boasts crisp mornings and opportunities to spend quality time in the mountains. Specially ...

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Stepping Out

PYT stages 'Shrek'

PYT stages 'Shrek'


Lyn Healy/Spotlight Moments Photography
Dana Cullinane plays Fiona in Peninsula Youth Theatre’s “Shrek The Musical.”

Peninsula Youth Theatre presents “Shrek The Musical” Saturday through Aug. 3 at the Mountain View Center for the Performing Arts...

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Spiritual Life

Foothills Congregational: 100 years and counting

Foothills Congregational: 100 years and counting


Courtesy of Carolyn Barnes
The newly built Los Altos church in 1914 featured a bell tower and an arched front window. Both continue as elements of the building as it stands today.

Foothills Congregational Church – the oldest church building ...

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Magazine

Festival features fun for everyone

Festival features fun for everyone


TOWN CRIER FILE PHOTO
The Los Altos Arts & Wine Festival boasts more than 375 craft and arts booths.

This weekend’s 35th annual Los Altos Arts & Wine Festival promises to be jam-packed with fun activities for just about everyone. The eve...

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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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