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News

LA council votes to delay community center update

LA council votes to delay community center update


Ellie Van Houtte/ Town Crier
The Los Altos City Council voted to delay adoption of a community center conceptual design plan last week. The plan includes elements from a design charette held earlier this fall, left.

The Los Altos City Council last...

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Schools

Scientists bring experiments into MV classrooms

Scientists bring experiments into MV classrooms


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
During a Science is Learning geology lesson, Theuerkauf Elementary School students learn about igneous rocks by observing how sugar changes form when heated.

Hundreds of local elementary students perform experiments w...

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Community

Local actors star in PYT's 'Oklahoma!'

Local actors star in PYT's 'Oklahoma!'


Courtesy of Peninsula Youth Theatre
PYT’s “Oklahoma!” features, from left, David Peters of Mountain View, Jenna Levere of Los Altos and Kai Wessel of Mountain View.

Time is running out to catch Peninsula Youth Theatre’s production of “Oklahoma!”...

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Sports

Eagles advance

Eagles advance


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Los Altos High’s Carmen Annevelink, left, and Kristen Liu put up a block against Mountain View. Annevelink totaled 20 kills.

Mountain View High’s out-of-the-gate energy could last for only so long against rival and he...

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Comment

Coping with addictions: Haugh About That?

Preparing to deal with my lifelong addiction, I stood in front of the mirror ready to confess the shame I’d been hiding. The first step to healing, I reminded myself, is to admit something is wrong.

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Special Sections

NASA, Google agreement preserves Hangar One

NASA, Google agreement preserves Hangar One


Bruce Barton/Town Crier
Hangar One, pictured here last January, will be restored under an agreement between Google and NASA.

NASA and Google Inc. forged an agreement last week that allows Google to lease a portion of NASA’s historic Moffett Fede...

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Business

State Street science center closing Nov. 30

State Street science center closing Nov. 30


Ellie Van Houtte/
Helix at 316 State St. is closing after the completion of a one-year grant from Passerelle Investment Co. The science center became a popular destination because of its various exhibits. Town Crier

A popular downtown destination...

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Books

Children's author signs books at Linden Tree

Children's author signs books at Linden Tree


Author Tiffany Papageorge is scheduled to sign copies of new her book 11 a.m. Dec. 6 at Linden Tree Books, 265 State St., Los Altos.

Papageorge’s “My Yellow Balloon” (Minoan Moon, 2014) is a Mom’s Choice “Gold” winner. In the book, the Los Gat...

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People

JAMES WINDELL SMITH

JAMES WINDELL SMITH

January 11, 1939 – November 6, 2014
Resident of Mountain View

James Windell Smith, a 40 year resident of Los Altos, passed away from complications after a post-surgery stroke November 6th, 2014 in Los Gatos, California.

Born on January 11, 1939 on...

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Travel

Olive Sonoma: There's more to the quaint town than wine

Olive Sonoma: There's more to the quaint town than wine


Eren Göknar/ Special to the Town Crier
While many day-trippers may think that Sonoma is all about the grapes, the region boasts other delights. Try a biplane ride over the patchwork landscape.

Sonoma, a scenic two-hour drive from Los Altos, boa...

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Stepping Out

LA Stage Company opens 'Fairway'

The Los Altos Stage Company production of Ken Ludwig’s new comedy “The Fox on the Fairway” is slated to run Thursday through Dec. 14 at Bus Barn Theater, 97 Hillview Ave.

A tribute to the English farces of the 1930s and 1940s, “Fox” is a romp that p...

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Spiritual Life

Author of Jewish historical novel slated at Congregation Beth Am

Author of Jewish historical novel slated at Congregation Beth Am


The Beth Am Women have scheduled “A Conversation with Author Maggie Anton” 7:30 p.m. Nov. 20 at Congregation Beth Am, 26790 Arastradero Road, Los Altos Hills.

Anton, winner of the 2012 National Jewish Book Award for Fiction, will discu...

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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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Valuable lessons Ive learned at Canyon Creek Ranch

I have learned invaluable lessons in my 40-year association with the family that operates the Canyon Creek Ranch in Northern California.

This suburban kid can buck a bale, pluck a chicken and chop a pile of wood. I would have never learned the true meaning of hamburger without the experience of hanging around ranchers through the cycle of their year.

Yet the most essential teachings have come from the core values of everyday life on The Ranch, which can be heard again and again, especially as elders teach their children. Consider two of the most important.

‘Put things back where you found them’

The Ten Commandments conclude with “Thou Shalt Not Covet.” It assumes the human trait that sees what another has with envy, if not lust.

On a ranch, it is essential that one share what one possesses when appropriate. This is how tools are tested and improved. How young ones learn to use them. Neighbors share essential supplies if a neighbor runs out and essential equipment when cost-effective.

One of the key rules of such an exchange is the agreement to return the property exactly where it belongs. If you can’t find the shovel when a fire breaks out, the bucket for the table scraps to feed the chickens or your cellphone when the baby is about to be born ... well, on a ranch, and it is true of any place, things often have a place related to their function.

Respecting another’s property, its place and function and returning it to its owner is the opposite of coveting. Because when you put things back where you found them, you honor the person and relationship and your own integrity in the process.

Isn’t that true for relationships as well as things?

‘Clean up your mess’

It is difficult to learn anything on a ranch without making a mess, especially the first time you try it. That’s true of baking a pie, chopping wood, stacking hay or putting a horse away after a day’s riding. It is very appropriate to make a mess as one learns one’s way. My experience of ranchers is that there is a huge code of patience and grace allowing one to do so.

What isn’t tolerated is any sense that you could walk away from your mess and expect someone else to clean it up. Taking responsibility for your actions is an essential part of learning. It is also an essential measure of human maturity.

How many relationships could be saved, how many academic careers could be advanced, how many sleepless nights could be avoided if we simply found the conviction to clean up our own messes?

What did Jesus say?

“Look at the log in your own eye before you point out the splinter in the eye of someone else.” – Matthew 7:5

The only harm in making a mess is running away from it.

The Rev. Mark S. Bollwinkel is senior pastor of Los Altos United Methodist Church, 655 Magdalena Ave. For more information, visit laumc.org.

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