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News

Spooktacular moved indoors


Due to rain, today's downtown Los Altos Halloween activities have been moved to the indoor courtyard of Play! at 170 State St. Enter from the back on the parking lot side to participate in crafts, games and fun. Activities continue until 4 p.m.

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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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Once upon a time: On the hunt for magic


The phrase “Once upon a time” is magical in more ways than we could ever imagine, and one that as adults we are far too eager to abandon. It takes us beyond our limited world of possibility and transports us into a grander spectacle of potential outcomes.

In storytelling, “Once upon a time” focuses on a past event (long ago and far away) that sends the message that something magical happened “before,” and to a child’s mind, it implies subconsciously that it could happen again. A child’s mind makes that leap naturally and effortlessly. But sadly, over time, our adult minds become programmed with walls, barriers and filters that trap us in a world of logic that relegates unlimited potential to the realm of nonsense.

Why is potential beyond our wildest dreams good enough (and indeed desirable!) for our children but not good enough for us? Magic happens all the time, all around us – but we make it small by calling it something else, like “good luck,” “fate” or, occasionally, a “miracle.”

We are all master storytellers, whether we realize it or not. We tell ourselves stories all the time. It is how we define and manage our universe, for better or for worse. When we are living in the “worst” scenario, it is not uncommon to retreat into someone else’s “better” story via movies, TV and, in days gone by more so than now, books.

We are always on the hunt for magic: sometimes in science fiction and other times perhaps in romance or mystery. There is even magic to be found in cookbooks and hobby books that create pictures in our heads of what “could be.”

There is a wonderful movie out now based on the best-seller “The Book Thief” (Knopf, 2006) by Markus Zusak. While it is set during the Holocaust, the focus is not political – it’s on how a young girl survived and thrived by reading books for her own enjoyment and out loud to others. The words on the pages magically transported them from their suffering to a better place and time for a while, and made their conditions bearable.

I would like to suggest a new trend in storytelling: Let’s change “Once upon a time” to “It happened once before and could happen again,” thereby embracing the magic of potential outcomes that defy logic and dance seamlessly between past and present. Why should children have all the fun? And why would we wish more for them than we wish for ourselves?

I am going to start right now searching for some fairy dust that can make me fly. I’m just saying, it may be an airplane ticket instead of gold residue, but I still get to fly – and how great is that?

Sharon Lennox-Infante is a Certified Life Coach who lives and works in Los Altos. For more information, visit sharonlennox.com.

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