Tue01272015

Schools

MVLA revisits prospect of ninth-grade PE exemptions

MVLA revisits prospect of ninth-grade PE exemptions


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
The Mountain View Los Altos Union High School District Board of Trustees is scheduled to vote on a proposal to exempt ninth-grade student-athletes from taking PE. Students take part in a physical education class at Mount...

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Community

Midnight Express offers late-night rides from SF

Midnight Express offers late-night rides from SF


From Midnight Express Instagram
A group of millennial-aged Santas celebrating a night on the town prepare for a safe ride from San Francisco to their South Bay homes, courtesy of Cory Althoff’s new Midnight Express shuttle.

It’s no understatemen...

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Comment

More open than ever: Editorial

One of the Los Altos City Council’s objectives for 2015 is implementing an open-government policy. The title of the policy may be somewhat misleading, because it’s not as if the city has had a closed-government policy. But the new proposal goes beyon...

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Business

Cassidy Turley, DTZ plan to combine

Cassidy Turley, DTZ plan to combine


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Cassidy Turley, which has offices at 339 S. San Antonio Road, is combining with DTZ following its recent acquisition.

Commercial real estate services companies DTZ and Cassidy Turley have joined forces to operate as a sin...

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Books

Gawande's

Gawande's "Being Mortal" proves an important book on aging


Books about death and dying are usually not on my list of “must reads.”

I couldn’t resist, however, the best-selling “Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End” (Metropolitan Books, 2014) by Atul Gawande.

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People

JUDY HOFFMANN

JUDY HOFFMANN

Judy Hoffmann passed away unexpectedly October 17, 2014 in New York City. It was only fitting Judy would be traveling and enjoying special adventures in so many different places until the very end.

Judy has lived since 1969 in Los Altos with her h...

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Travel

Cuban photographer slated to appear at Foothill

Cuban photographer slated to appear at Foothill


Courtesy of Raúl Cañibano
Cuban photographer Raúl Cañibano is set to appear at Foothill College tonight. His work – including the image “Series: Guajira’s Land, Viñales, 2007,” right – is on display at the KCI Gallery t...

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Stepping Out

TheatreWorks launches '2 Pianos' in Mtn. View

TheatreWorks launches '2 Pianos' in Mtn. View


Suellen Fitzsimmons/Special to the Town Crier
Christopher Tocco stars in TheatreWorks’ “2 Pianos 4 Hands,” which opened last week.

TheatreWorks’ production of “2 Pianos 4 Hands” is scheduled to run through Feb. 15 at the Mountain View Center fo...

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Spiritual Life

Start something great by ringing in the new year with prayer

There is a tradition, which I’m told originates in the Midwest, that calls for people to pray in the new year. A few years ago, I was invited to a friend’s house and a number of people stayed up until midnight (approximately two hours pa...

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Magazine

Christmas At Our House home tour celebrates 26 years

Christmas At Our House home tour celebrates 26 years


Courtesy of Christopher Stark
Homes on the St. Francis High School Women’s Club’s Christmas at Our House Holiday Home Tour showcase a variety of architectural styles.

The days grow short on sunshine but long on nostalgia as the holidays approach...

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Holiday book drive benefits children in need

I walked into my office last week and saw a huge box of children’s books donated anonymously for our annual book drive. It was a wonderful surprise, a reminder of how supportive the Los Altos community has been in our efforts to promote local literacy, confidence and creativity.

Books are at once a great escape and an even greater equalizer. When I was younger and had moved across the country with my family, I didn’t know many people. I spent hours reading, poring over biographies, historical fiction and narrative nonfiction. I would stay up half the night finishing a book started on a whim in the middle of the afternoon.

These days, I find my habit of needing to finish what I start to be an occasional handicap. Recently, Jojo Moyes, author of the best-sellers “Me Before You” (Penguin Books, 2013) and “The Last Letter from Your Lover” (Penguin Books, 2012), has been known to unintentionally thwart my afternoon plans after I innocently peruse the first few pages of one of her novels.

With the omnipresence of technological gadgets and interactive devices, we must continue promoting the simple act of reading more than ever. The social, emotional and economic impacts are hard to ignore. Research has uncovered a correlation between the amount of time children read for fun on their own and an increased level of reading achievement. Children who have not developed some basic literacy skills by the time they enter school are three to four times more likely to drop out in later years. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services estimates that more than $2 billion is spent each year on students who repeat a grade because of reading problems.

At my Green Ivy Educational Consulting office, I can quickly tell when students read regularly for fun. Parents often ask me how to improve test scores on standardized tests such as the ISEE, SSAT, HSPT, SAT or ACT (enough acronyms?). Typically, my answer is to encourage students to read more – even math skills are improved with increased reading, especially on tests with word problems. Reading helps with critical thinking, problem solving and creativity, in addition to offering a great way to relax and escape from the stresses of being a preteen or adolescent.

We are collecting books 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Thursdays through Sundays through Dec. 19 at our Los Altos office, 302 Main St., Suite 201, on the second floor above US Bank. There is a drop-off container in our front waiting room.

In the past, we have had entire elementary school classrooms clean out their bookshelves to participate. We are gathering books in new or gently used condition for children and young adults. All books are donated to The Children’s Project, which distributes them to hospitals, homeless shelters and the homes of children in need in the Bay Area.

Help us reach this year’s goal of 500 books.

Ana Homayoun is founder and director of Green Ivy Educational Consulting. For more information, call 472-0617 or visit greenivyed.com.

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