Sat12202014

News

Council seeks more options for community center

Council seeks more options for community center


Town Crier File Photo
The Los Altos City Council approved an appropriation to examine options for a new community center to replace the aging Hillview facility.

The Los Altos City Council last week voted narrowly in favor of examining further opti...

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Schools

Local schools participate in  national Hour of Code activities

Local schools participate in national Hour of Code activities


Ellie Van HOutte/Town Crier
Himan Shu Raj, a volunteer from Microsoft, advises Los Altos High ninth-graders, from left, Serhat Suzer, Jamie Bennett and Chris Yang as they participate in the school’s Hour of Code Showcase.

Local schools participa...

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Community

Take a dive into the holiday archive

Take a dive into the holiday archive

Town Crier staff made a quick cruise back through the newspaper's archives to find some late-December reading as inspiration for eating, drinking, decorating and more:

Beloved holiday books build the spirit of the season and staff at Los Altos’ Li...

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Sports

Pinewood poised for another title run

Pinewood poised for another title run


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Pinewood’s girls basketball team is receiving contributions from several new players, including freshman Stella Kailahi, above.

Complacency shouldn’t be a problem for the defending Division V state champion Pinewood S...

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Comment

Letters to the Editor

Ticket motorists for U-turns on Main Street

As I was walking downtown on Main Street recently, something came to me out of the blue. The town of Los Altos is missing out on a huge revenue stream. I realized that if all the cars – there were th...

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Special Sections

Looking Ahead

Looking Ahead


s in line to be mayor of Mountain View in 2015.

Mountain View anticipates the following changes in 2015:

• Beginning Jan. 1, Mountain View City Councilmembers will receive a raise to $1,000 per month as a result of the passage of Measure A in...

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Business

Your 2015 stock market game plan

It’s been a maddening month because of oil and gas, especially in stocks and bonds. Then, consumer spending pushed stocks higher Thursday, easing investors’ jitters about the global economy and prompting them to consider how to invest in ...

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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

SANGEETA SACHDEVA

SANGEETA SACHDEVA

Sangeeta Sachdeva, 55, wife of Subhash Sachdeva and mother to Natasha and Tanya, died at 8:54pm, Sunday, December 7, 2014 from respiratory failure.

Sangeeta was born on October 18, 1959 in Delhi, India. She was born to Moti Sagar and Raj Kapoor an...

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Travel

South Tahoe renovations enhance off-mountain seasonal fun

As any enthusiast knows well, there is more to the enjoyment of winter sports than skiing or snowboarding.

While many winter resorts make minor upgrades each season, the off-mountain attractions and amenities can be as enticing as the activities on ...

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Stepping Out

Aurora Singers to emit 'Musical Glow' Friday

Aurora Singers to emit 'Musical Glow' Friday


courtesy of Aurora Singers
The Aurora Singers are scheduled to perform a seasonal concert Friday night in Palo Alto.

The Aurora Singers’ “Winter’s Musical Glow” holiday concert is set for 7 p.m. Friday at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Pal...

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Spiritual Life

Enter the superhero: Finding the God who loves you

In my life-coaching practice, I see a lot of pain. Much of it stems from fear and guilt, often expressed as low self-esteem, anxiety, a lack of forgiveness both for oneself and others, anger – and so on.

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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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Community support bolsters Veterans Resource Center


Eliza Ridgeway/Town Crier
Foothill College student Charles Viajar, a U.S. Navy veteran, takes advantage of the school’s Veterans Resource Center in pursuit of training as a respiratory therapist.

The Veterans Resource Center at the heart of Foothill College’s Los Altos Hills campus feels like a low-key clubhouse, with noodle soup packets, a worn couch and a steady flow of students coming to and from classes.

On a recent Tuesday, Wayne Barton passed through – he’s in his third quarter, studying enterprise networking and other IT specialties. Barton had cut college short to return to work after leaving the military. But now, between jobs, he’s taking advantage of a Veterans Administration program that offers retraining for vets.

Brian Go stopped by, too – until recently a health inspector in the Army, he’s now studying to be a veterinary technician. He’s left the world of overseeing slaughterhouses to tend to animals.

Charles Viajar, a firefighter in the Navy, hadn’t known what he wanted to do when he left the service in January. As of this week, he was working his way through a chemistry textbook at the center’s corner desk.

Viajar ultimately concluded that after watching his grandfather die of lung cancer, he’d like to do something that helps people breathe.

Viajar learned about chemical and biological warfare over his four deployments, but he returned to the civilian world unused to the freedom – and attendant chaos – of solo adult life. As a veteran, he has access to funding for his training as a respiratory therapist, but navigating the paperwork and bureaucracy that stands between a veteran and his or her benefits requires help.

That’s where the Veterans Resource Center comes in.

“As soon as I came in, Carmela was very helpful,” Viajar said of Carmela Xuereb, the director at the heart of the center. “Carmela helps you get your benefits to work, so you can actually use them.”

Not only does the Veterans Resource Center serve as a comfortable place for vets to find each other and pool their limited resources, it is also an organizing force within the college, collaborating with other departments to help them transition to academic life.

Donations from sources such as the Town Crier Holiday Fund help supply equipment like computers and printer paper, and this year the center has been fundraising to offset the cost of textbooks. This fall, financial concerns became particularly pronounced during the government shutdown.

“We went through a hard time during the furlough – the guys got pretty nervous,” Xuereb said. “They depend on their VA benefits to pay rent, buy books, even buy food.”

She serves as a protective den mother to the 250 veterans studying at Foothill, who often find their way to her via word of mouth. They can print papers in the office, pick up extra Scantrons for an upcoming test or just grab a subsidized snack.

“All those little five cents here, 10 cents there, it adds up for them,” Xuereb said. “It’s the little things.”

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