Wed10222014

News

Council hosts study session on downtown parking garage

Council hosts study session on downtown parking garage


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
The Los Altos City Council continues to explore options to address parking constraints in the downtown triangle.

The Los Altos City Council last week held the first of two study sessions to discuss the potential construct...

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Schools

LAHS Science and Technology Week features medical examiner

LAHS Science and Technology Week features medical examiner


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
A Los Altos High School student learns how to use robotic surgical equipment at the school’s Science and Technology Week event last year. Students can also attend hands-on presentations at this year’s event, w...

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Community

Ahoy, matey: Pirate Manor ramps up Halloween display

Ahoy, matey: Pirate Manor ramps up Halloween display


Town Crier File Photo
Pirate Manor is once again scheduled to arrive in the front yard of Dane and Jill Glasgow’s home on Manor Way in Los Altos, just in time for Halloween.

Although not the Walking Dead, pirate skeletons have been brought to li...

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Sports

Lancers rule the pool against Spartans

Lancers rule the pool against Spartans


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
St. Francis High’s Eric Reitmeir launches the ball over Mountain View High driver David Niehaus (2) and goalie Kenny Tang. The host Lancers won Friday’s non-league game 9-3.

There wasn’t a lot on the line Friday when ...

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Comment

Reeder, Fung for El Camino HCD: Editorial

The good news for the El Camino Healthcare District (formerly the El Camino Hospital District, for those still getting used to the new name) is that there is a contested election Nov. 4 for the district’s board of directors. Three candidates are runn...

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Special Sections

Plant-based diet offers benefits

Plant-based diet offers benefits


Photo by Ramya Krishna
Los Altos resident Nandini Krishna prepares a meat-free dish According to author Caldwell B. Esselstyn Jr., M.D., a plant-based diet can help prevent cancer.

Shirley Okita of Los Altos has found that adhering to a mostly plant...

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Business

New shop offers haute couture for girls

New shop offers haute couture for girls


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
The Girls @ Los Altos at 239 State St. offers clothing lines such as Nellystella as well as toys and other items for girls.

Cecilia Chen opened The Girls @ Los Altos as a tribute to the party dress. Whether it’s for...

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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

BARBARA DARLING MERIDETH

1946-2014

Born in Palo Alto, raised in Los Altos, retired in southern Oregon. Survived by Peter James Merideth, sons Matthew, Jacob and John Merideth, the loves of her life.

She was a housewife who took great pride in her home, her surroundings and...

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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

'Sleepy Hollow' awakens at Bus Barn

'Sleepy Hollow' awakens at Bus Barn



Los Altos Youth Theatre’s production of “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow,” a musical based on Washington Irving’s classic story, is set to run through Nov. 2 at Bus Barn Theater. The cast comprises 27 young actors, directed by Cindy Powell. Courtesy o...

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Spiritual Life

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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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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