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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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Woman on a mission: Littlejohn wages campaign against gendercide

Reggie Littlejohn is a woman on a mission. Her life is an amazing journey from atheist to believer, from litigator to international-rights advocate, from a person with boundless energy to a bedridden patient for five years – then back again to world traveler, leader, screenwriter and public speaker.

She views her path as part of God’s plan to give her the passion and skills to shed light on abuses done to women and girls worldwide, especially in China.

From atheist to believer

Although Littlejohn grew up in a Christian home, at age 16 she announced to her parents that she was an atheist and refused to go to church. She moved from an atheist to an agnostic after she read the Bible for the first time in an ancient literature course in college.

“As I read the Gospel of John, I realized just who this person Jesus was and what he did,” she said. “I told myself, ‘This is not what I rejected.’”

Littlejohn married her college sweetheart. Following graduation, she enrolled at Yale Law School and her husband attended Yale Divinity School. She took a year off from her studies to travel around the world. On two separate trips, Littlejohn had the opportunity to meet Mother Teresa and volunteer with the nun’s Missionaries of Charity in Calcutta.

After law school, Littlejohn and her husband headed to San Francisco, where she took a position in a major law firm and practiced litigation for eight years. During her time as a litigator, she performed pro bono work helping Chinese refugees seeking asylum in the United States.

“My first refugee was someone who was persecuted as a Christian and forcibly sterilized,” Littlejohn said. “That opened two whole worlds up to me. First, I didn’t know that Christians were persecuted in China. Second, I knew that China had a one-child policy, but I never stopped to think how it was enforced. I did not realize until I represented this first woman that it is enforced through forced abortion, forced sterilization and infanticide. I was utterly appalled.”

A new mission

Littlejohn had two pregnancies end in miscarriage. She believes the pain of the miscarriages sensitized her to the suffering of women losing babies against their will. In 2003, Littlejohn developed multiple breast lumps. She underwent bilateral mastectomies with implant reconstruction. During the surgery, she contracted a staph infection that often proves deadly. She left her practice on medical leave and was disabled for five years. Her time as a patient, however, became a spiritual awakening.

“My mission went from making lots of money as an attorney to helping women and babies devastated by forced abortion and female gendercide in China,” she said.

Littlejohn recounted the unintended consequences of China’s one-child policy – forced abortion, forced sterilization, death from botched procedures. As a result of the policy, there are 37 million more men than women living in China, which in turn has prompted human trafficking, sexual slavery and a high rate of female suicide.

Littlejohn came to realize that a film would be the most powerful way to communicate the devastation caused by China’s one-child-policy, and to move hearts and minds to end it. She wrote “Pearls of China,” a feature-length drama. The script has won numerous awards. She has taken the project through development and is currently raising production funds for the film.

With renewed energy, she founded the nonprofit Women’s Rights without Frontiers in 2008. The organization has been called a leading voice in exposing and opposing forced abortion, gendercide and sexual slavery in China. In addition, the organization is directly saving the lives of girls at risk of sex-selective abortion through its Save a Girl Campaign.

“I see it all as part of God’s plan for me,” Littlejohn said. “Mother Teresa, my illness, the opportunity to represent Chinese refugees as a lawyer, and even my miscarriages. If I had not lost my own babies in miscarriage, I might not have developed the passion to help women who were victims of forced abortion.”

Littlejohn is scheduled to speak at the Silicon Valley Prayer Breakfast March 28. For registration and more information, visit svpb.net/annual_events.

Skip Vaccarello is a longtime Los Altos resident. For more information, visit findinggodinsiliconvalley.com. Vaccarello plans to publish interviews from the site in an upcoming book.

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