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News

Police stress need for low speed in school zones

Police stress need for low speed in school zones


Town Crier File Photo
After two recent accidents involving cyclists and motorists, police urge caution – on both sides.

After two recent incidents of vehicles striking student bicyclists, Los Altos Police urge residents to exercise caution whe...

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Schools

Gardner Bullis School debuts new Grizzly Student Center

Gardner Bullis School debuts new Grizzly Student Center


Photo by Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Students line up to check books out of the library in the new Grizzly Student Center at Gardner Bullis School.

Gardner Bullis School opened its new Grizzly Student Center earlier this month, introducing a lea...

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Community

Home improvement workshop scheduled Wednesday (Oct. 29)

The County of Santa Clara is hosting a free informational workshop on 6:30 p.m. Wednesday at Los Altos Hills Town Hall, 26379 Fremont Road.

The workshop will offer ways single-family homeowners can increase their homes’ energy efficiency. Eligible i...

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Comment

Off the fence: TC recommends 'yes' on N

The Town Crier initially offered no position on the controversial $150 million Measure N bond on Tuesday’s ballot. But some of the reasons we gave in our Oct. 15 editorial were, on reflection, overly critical and based on inaccurate information.

We ...

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Special Sections

Long-term solutions emerge as water conservation goes mainstream

Long-term solutions emerge as water conservation goes mainstream


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Forrest Linebarger, right, installed greywater and rainwater harvesting systems at his Los Altos Hills home.

With more brown than green visible in her Los Altos backyard, Kacey Fitzpatrick admits that she’s a little e...

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Business

Local realtors scare up money for charity

Local realtors scare up money for charity


Photo courtesy of SILVAR
Realtors Gary Campi and Jordan Legge, from left, joined Nancy Domich, SILVAR President Dave Tonna and Joe Brown to raise funds for the Silicon Valley Realtors Charitable Foundation.

Los Altos and Mountain View realtors raise...

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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

DAVID S. NIVISON

DAVID S. NIVISON

David S. Nivison, 91 years old, and a resident of Los Altos, California since 1952, died Oct. 16, 2014 at home.  His neighbors had recently honored him as the “Mayor of Russell Ave., in recognition of 62 years of distinguished living” on that ...

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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

ECYS opens season Sunday

ECYS opens season Sunday


Ramya Krishna/Special to the Town Crier
The El Camino Youth Symphony rehearses for Sunday’s concert, above.

The El Camino Youth Symphony – under new conductor Jindong Cai – is scheduled to perform its season-opening concert 4 p.m....

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Spiritual Life

Christian Science Reading Room hosts webinar on prayer and healing

Christian Science practitioner and teacher Evan Mehlenbacher is scheduled to present a live Internet webinar lecture, “Prayer That Heals,” 7:30 p.m. Nov. 14 in the Christian Science Reading Room, 60 Main St., Los Altos.

Those interested ...

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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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Face of Cuban fashion flourishes in spotlight


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Cuban fashion icon Natalia “Norka” Méndez, left, discusses the “Korda Moda” photography exhibition with Foothill College students and staff at an Oct. 23 event.

Natalia “Norka” Méndez knows a thing or two about being comfortable in her own body.

As the former Cuban model stood in front of a crowded room of students, instructors and media at Foothill College Oct. 23 on her 75th birthday, her composure offered glimpses of the confidence, perseverance and fiery attitude that helped her forge a place in history through the pages of international newspapers and fashion magazines.

Méndez gained international fame in the 1950s and ’60s as the favorite muse of renowned photographer Alberto Díaz Gutiérrez. Her success, she said, is all about being an “elegant and natural woman.”

Before blowing out the candles on her birthday cake, Méndez shared stories from her days modeling during Cuba’s golden age. With a Spanish father and an American mother, Méndez had a thin figure, a physical attribute that contrasted with the “thicker” image many in the Latino culture considered beautiful. It wasn’t in vogue for young women of her era to pursue creative careers, but her fate was sealed when she met Gutiérrez, the photographer behind “Heroic Guerrilla” – the iconic photo of Che Guevara the Victoria and Albert Museum identifies as the most reproduced image in the world.

“Being an artist was the last option to my family,” Méndez said.

Two artists, one heart

In what Foothill College photography and digital imaging instructor Ron Herman called the union of “two artists with one heart,” Méndez and Korda – the name Gutiérrez gave himself to mimic the sound and spelling of Eastman Kodak Co. – married and enjoyed success in the days before the Cuban Revolution.

But when Fidel Castro assumed power in 1959, extravagance and luxuries disappeared, along with fine fabrics and opportunities in fashion and modeling. After giving birth to two children, Méndez emigrated from Cuba to Germany, where she recalls struggling day-to-day to find work. She eventually made her way to Paris – fortuitously during a model strike, a circumstance that landed her the opportunity to model again.

In the years that followed, Méndez returned to Cuba to be with her family. Although many of Gutiérrez’s film negatives were destroyed in the Revolutionary Offensive of 1968, Foothill College Photography Department recently spent five months restoring some of the remaining images. It was during this process that the team organized Foothill’s “Korda Moda” exhibition, showcasing 30 of Gutiérrez’s couture fashion photos, including pictures of Méndez.

The exhibition is scheduled for display 7:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. weekdays and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturdays through Dec. 6 in the Krause Center for Innovation Gallery at Foothill College, 12345 S. El Monte Road, Los Altos Hills. The gallery is closed Sundays and Nov. 11 and 28.

For more information, visit kordamoda.wordpress.com.

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Cuban model "Norka" visist Foothill College - Photos by Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier

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