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News

Spooktacular moved indoors


Due to rain, today's downtown Los Altos Halloween activities have been moved to the indoor courtyard of Play! at 170 State St. Enter from the back on the parking lot side to participate in crafts, games and fun. Activities continue until 4 p.m.

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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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Child Advocates: Providing guidance for youth in foster system


Ellie Van Houtte/ Town Crier
Jacqueline Moreno, right, a teen in the foster-care system, receives support from Los Altos resident Jeannie Conner through Child Advocates of Silicon Valley.

In and out of the foster-care system from the age of 2, Jacqueline Moreno did not experience a carefree childhood.

In eighth grade, she attended school when her mother would allow. Usually, Moreno was too busy taking care of her four younger siblings while her mother slept off a night of partying.

But Moreno, now 18, was blessed with persistence and a desire for a better life. Although she attended only a quarter of her middle school classes, she graduated with straight As and received the only scholarship her school awarded.

After eighth grade, Moreno and her siblings were once again forced into foster care. The foster-care system is complex, with many different therapists and social workers appointed to oversee the welfare of the child.

Child Advocates of Silicon Valley pairs adults with children in the foster-care system to provide a voice for children in the courts and to guide them through the complicated process of being a dependent of the state.

A little more than a year ago, Child Advocates volunteer Jeannie Conner, a Los Altos resident, walked into Moreno’s life and helped her deal with a difficult problem regarding her living situation. They ended up in court, with Conner offering Moreno support through the process. But their relationship has blossomed beyond their courtroom collaboration.

“A lot of foster youth don’t really have a person they can go to,” Moreno said. “A lot of them don’t have relationships with parents or their families. It’s hard because you are alone a lot. So having an advocate fills in that hole, and you actually have someone you can go and talk to.”

Moreno explained that though there are many people looking out for children in the foster-care system, they are paid to do so. Conner is different because she volunteers to help, Moreno said, making their interactions more “comfortable.”

Moreno moved around a lot during her high school years, with Conner beside her to shepherd her through her graduation and help her transition to college. Moreno currently attends Foothill College.

“She can help me make decisions,” Moreno said of Conner. “It is so easy to make the wrong decision. I know she is there because she wants to be, and I know she will give me the best advice because she really does want what is best for me. I’ve learned a lot from her.”

And the relationship isn’t one-sided, either – Conner said she has benefited from her time as a Child Advocate as well.

“I love watching how well she is doing,” Conner said of Moreno. “It is such a pleasure getting to know her. Knowing what she has gone though, she is an inspiration to me. She is very much a part of me, and I think she will be for many, many years.”

Child Advocates plans to use contributions from the Town Crier Holiday Fund to help recruit and train new volunteers like Conner, with an aim to serve more children in Santa Clara County.

For more information, visit BeMyAdvocate.org.

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