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News

Police stress need for low speed in school zones

Police stress need for low speed in school zones


Town Crier File Photo
After two recent accidents involving cyclists and motorists, police urge caution – on both sides.

After two recent incidents of vehicles striking student bicyclists, Los Altos Police urge residents to exercise caution whe...

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Schools

Gardner Bullis School debuts new Grizzly Student Center

Gardner Bullis School debuts new Grizzly Student Center


Photo by Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Students line up to check books out of the library in the new Grizzly Student Center at Gardner Bullis School.

Gardner Bullis School opened its new Grizzly Student Center earlier this month, introducing a lea...

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Community

Home improvement workshop scheduled Wednesday (Oct. 29)

The County of Santa Clara is hosting a free informational workshop on 6:30 p.m. Wednesday at Los Altos Hills Town Hall, 26379 Fremont Road.

The workshop will offer ways single-family homeowners can increase their homes’ energy efficiency. Eligible i...

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Comment

Off the fence: TC recommends 'yes' on N

The Town Crier initially offered no position on the controversial $150 million Measure N bond on Tuesday’s ballot. But some of the reasons we gave in our Oct. 15 editorial were, on reflection, overly critical and based on inaccurate information.

We ...

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Special Sections

Long-term solutions emerge as water conservation goes mainstream

Long-term solutions emerge as water conservation goes mainstream


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Forrest Linebarger, right, installed greywater and rainwater harvesting systems at his Los Altos Hills home.

With more brown than green visible in her Los Altos backyard, Kacey Fitzpatrick admits that she’s a little e...

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Business

Local realtors scare up money for charity

Local realtors scare up money for charity


Photo courtesy of SILVAR
Realtors Gary Campi and Jordan Legge, from left, joined Nancy Domich, SILVAR President Dave Tonna and Joe Brown to raise funds for the Silicon Valley Realtors Charitable Foundation.

Los Altos and Mountain View realtors raise...

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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

DAVID S. NIVISON

DAVID S. NIVISON

David S. Nivison, 91 years old, and a resident of Los Altos, California since 1952, died Oct. 16, 2014 at home.  His neighbors had recently honored him as the “Mayor of Russell Ave., in recognition of 62 years of distinguished living” on that ...

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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

ECYS opens season Sunday

ECYS opens season Sunday


Ramya Krishna/Special to the Town Crier
The El Camino Youth Symphony rehearses for Sunday’s concert, above.

The El Camino Youth Symphony – under new conductor Jindong Cai – is scheduled to perform its season-opening concert 4 p.m....

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Spiritual Life

Christian Science Reading Room hosts webinar on prayer and healing

Christian Science practitioner and teacher Evan Mehlenbacher is scheduled to present a live Internet webinar lecture, “Prayer That Heals,” 7:30 p.m. Nov. 14 in the Christian Science Reading Room, 60 Main St., Los Altos.

Those interested ...

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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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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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