Tue07222014

News

Q&A with Anne Wojcicki: 23andMe founder, local resident discusses Los Altos investments

Q&A with Anne Wojcicki: 23andMe founder, local resident discusses Los Altos investments


Anne Wojcicki

For the past several years, Anne Wojcicki (Wo-JIT-skee) has been quietly involved in efforts to spruce up downtown Los Altos. She and her husband, Google Inc. co-founder Sergey Brin, helped form Passerelle Investment Co., which own...

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Schools

Foothill fall registration opens Monday

Local residents interested in earning a specialized career certificate, associate degree or updated job skills can enroll beginning Monday when Foothill College opens fall registration.

In addition to its continuing-education courses, the college pr...

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Community

Sports

Stewart accepts job as baseball coach at Los Altos High

Stewart accepts job as baseball coach at Los Altos High


Los Altos High administrators offered Gabe Stewart the job of head baseball coach at Los Altos High even before he could apply for it.

“They approached me – they wanted an on-campus coach,” said Stewart, an AP History teacher at ...

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Comment

A good start – now follow through: Editorial

The recent announcement of a five-year agreement between the Los Altos School District and Bullis Charter School is welcome relief for the entire community. After years of dispute and litigation, the pact is nothing short of a minor miracle.

Among t...

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Business

In the business of fostering business

In the business of fostering business


took over as Los Altos’ new economic development coordinator in May after spending the past two years working as city assistant planner. Ellie Van Houtte/ Town Crier

Sierra Davis is wearing a slightly different hat these days as a Los Altos cit...

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Books

"Frozen in Time" chronicles harrowing WWII rescue attempts


Many readers can’t resist a true-life adventure story, especially those that shine a spotlight on people who exhibit supreme courage in the face of adversity and end up surviving – or not – against the odds.

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People

GORDON E. BRANDT

GORDON E. BRANDT

In May of 2014, Gordon E. Brandt passed away after a one and one half year battle with Lymphoma. He died peacefully at home, surrounded by his family.

Gordon was born in Los Angeles, CA on July 13, 1930. He graduated from Fremont High School in 19...

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Travel

British Columbia: Richmond, Steveston, Victoria hold surprises

British Columbia: Richmond, Steveston, Victoria hold surprises


Courtesy of Tourism Richmond
Shops, restaurants and museums dot the boardwalk in British Columbia’s Steveston, a great site for strolling.

Picturesque British Columbia has long been on our bucket list, and we recently fulfilled that dream.

We...

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Stepping Out

LA Youth Theatre, LA Stage Company join forces for 'Oz'

LA Youth Theatre, LA Stage Company join forces for 'Oz'


Joyce Goldschmid/Special to the Town Crier
The cast of “The Wizard of Oz” includes, clockwise from top left, Dana Levy (as Tinman), Rebecca Krieger (Cowardly Lion), Sarah Traina (Scarecrow) and Osher Fein (Dorothy).

Los Altos Youth Theatre and L...

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Spiritual Life

Stanford students study religion through campus artifacts

The inscriptions inside Memorial Church, the death mask of Jane Stanford and the nod to the Egyptian ankh symbol formed by Palm Drive and the Stanford Oval all have one thing in common: Each was a topic of discussion for the students enrolled in a un...

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Magazine

Festival features fun for everyone

Festival features fun for everyone


TOWN CRIER FILE PHOTO
The Los Altos Arts & Wine Festival boasts more than 375 craft and arts booths.

This weekend’s 35th annual Los Altos Arts & Wine Festival promises to be jam-packed with fun activities for just about everyone. The eve...

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Author Zuckerberg helps parents balance child rearing and technology


Courtesy of FACEBOOK
Randi Zuckerberg’s Facebook page features this shot of the author with her “Dot” books, which explore the benefits of balancing the role technology plays in family life.

With coding courses increasingly part of the curriculum from elementary school through college and mobile phones a staple in the backpacks of most students, technology has become second nature to children, as common as their first language.

“Silicon Valley is more tech savvy, but we worry about how tech is affecting our children and our careers,” reflected Los Altos author and entrepreneur Randi Zuckerberg in an interview with the Town Crier.

She noted the quandary many parents face when deciding the role digital tools should play in their families’ lives.

“Everyone seems to be grappling with this problem,” Zuckerberg said. “Even if you don’t know anything about (technology), our children are digital natives.”

While working alongside her brother, Mark, co-founder and CEO of Facebook, Zuckerberg witnessed social media’s coming of age. Even though much of her professional work centers on using digital tools to market products and people, her most recent endeavors pay homage to the value of time spent away from technology.

What started as a “Dear Abby”-style blog with resources for helping parents and grandparents navigate the evolving role of technology in children’s lives morphed into two books that hit bookstores last month.

Zuckerberg’s children’s picture book, “Dot.” (HarperCollins, 2013), illustrates the fusion between technology and play. “Dot.” complements her book for adults, “Dot Complicated: Untangling Our Wired Lives” (HarperCollins, 2013), which explores the role of technology in her career and family life.

Zuckerberg embraces digital tools as much as any fast-paced mother and business owner, but her books share insight into how she breaks away from the screen to immerse herself in real life.

One might expect a pioneering tech entrepreneur to publish her books exclusively as online downloads for digital reading on the Kindle and iPad (both books are available in these media), but Zuckerberg intentionally chose to publish printed books that are available at bookstores across the country and internationally. Her publishing choice stays true to her theme of unplugging from technology.

“I definitely think that the print book is not going anywhere,” said Zuckerberg of her appreciation of the traditional publishing medium of ink on paper. “There is so much content online that it doesn’t feel that special.”

Giving devices a curfew

Finding the perfect balance between too much and too little technology is a challenge for parents who want the best for their children.

“Children today need digital literacy,” Zuckerberg said. “But you want to make sure that you’re not getting them in front of tech so much that they don’t have real- world skills.”

Zuckerberg sets clear boundaries for her toddler son when it comes to using technology and emphasizes the need for social engagement and play.

“My general rule is that if he’s going to be using my phone or tablet, he has to be doing something that is enriching his mind,” she said of her son. “It’s for special occasions, not a habit.”

As a mom, she also watches her own behavior to ensure that she’s not setting a bad example for her son. That’s one reason Zuckerberg gives her phone a curfew as much as possible when with her family. She’s also devised creative ways to encourage others to join her digital diet.

She plays a game – Phone Stacking – when hosting guests for dinner. After collecting cellphones in a central spot, she challenges guests to forget about their devices – something that’s easier said than done, particularly considering that the average person checks his or her phone 150 times a day, according to a 2013 report by Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers.

The guest who reaches for a phone first must wash the dishes.

“I would encourage everyone to take as much unplugged time during the holidays as possible,” Zuckerberg said. “Research shows that we come back a lot more focused when we unplug.”

Offline in Los Altos

Although Zuckerberg’s jet-setting schedule leads her all over the world for work commitments and book tours, when she’s at home in Los Altos, she finds it easy to give technology a break.

“Because everyone knows each other, it definitely encourages someone to unplug some more,” said Zuckerberg, who tries to leave her phone at home when she’s downtown.

In addition to visits to Linden Tree Books, where her books are sold, Zuckerberg likes to take long family walks around town to her family’s favorite stops: Shoup Park and Bumble.

Zuckerberg said she prefers the engaged nature of Los Altos residents compared with other Bay Area cities she’s called home.

“If we bump into each other,” she said, “we hope you’ll look up from your phone and say hi.”

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