Wed05042016

News

MV council adopts rent dispute ordinance, despite reservations

Despite criticism that it lacked teeth, the Mountain View City Council approved last week a second reading and adoption of a controversial program aimed at resolving rental-housing disputes between tenants and landlords.

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Schools

Local AAUW gives gift of science to junior high students

Local AAUW gives gift of science to junior high students


Courtesy of Jessica Harell
Blach Intermediate School seventh-grader Paris Harrell, who loves science and animals, recently received a scholarship from the local branch of the AAUW to attend Tech Trek camp.

It’s not every day that a junior hig...

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Community

At 98, former language teacher remains a lifelong learner

At 98, former language teacher remains a lifelong learner


Federici

Longtime Los Altos resident Mario Federici, who turned 98 Feb. 24, is a man of many languages. He shared his knowledge with thousands of students during his long career as a teacher.

Federici was born and raised in Italy, where he stud...

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Comment

Attend an event, get involved, have fun: Editorial

You don’t have to run for city council to get involved in the community. Sometimes it can be as simple as attending a Los Altos event. You’ll have plenty of opportunities, as the May and June calendars are bustling with activity.

The Dow...

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Special Sections

Racing around Monterey

Racing around Monterey


Gary Anderson/Special to the Town Crier
The easy handling of the VW Golf R, above, makes for an ideal ride along the Big Sur coast.

 

When automotive journalists are asked to list their favorite places in the world to drive, Monterey alwa...

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Business

'Steampunk' eatery toasts local libations

'Steampunk' eatery toasts local libations


Courtesy of Eureka
Eureka, a new restaurant in downtown Mountain View, highlights local craft beer and whiskeys on a menu of food spanning from sea to farm.

Craft beer and fancy whiskeys headline the menu at Eureka, the new restaurant that opene...

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People

Stepping Out

PA Players seek escape in 'Into the Woods'

PA Players seek escape in 'Into the Woods'


Courtesy of Palo Alto Players
The Baker’s Wife, left, and Cinderella’s erstwhile Prince stand out in the Palo Alto Players production of “Into the Woods.”

Little Red Riding Hood sets forth at the outset of “Into the...

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Spiritual Life

Los Altos United Methodist Church service salutes Heifer International

Los Altos United Methodist Church service salutes Heifer International


Courtesy of Los ALtos United Methodist Church
Hidden Villa will bring some of its farm animals to Los Altos United Methodist Church Sunday to support the nonprofit Heifer International.

Los Altos United Methodist Church is scheduled to salute th...

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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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