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News

LAH Council Briefs

The Los Altos Hills City Council took the following actions at its Aug. 21 meeting.

LAH grant program receives makeover

The council is shortening its community services grants process to a single discussion after councilmembers decided that multipag...

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Schools

Alta Vista High starts year with full freshman class

For the first time, Alta Vista High School started the school year with a full freshman class last month.

The alternative high school has long focused on juniors and seniors who weren’t thriving at the district’s two main high schools, o...

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Community

Community Briefs

LAH Hoedown scheduled Saturday

The annual Los Altos Hills Hoedown is scheduled 3-8 p.m. Saturday at Westwind Community Barn, 27210 Altamont Road.

Billed as a “fun-filled event for the entire family,” the town-sponsored Hoedown will include live mus...

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Sports

Sports on the Side

Fritsch reaches final

Los Altos High senior tennis player Ovi Fritsch reached the 18-and-under boys singles final at last month’s NorCal Junior Grand Prix Invitational at Stanford. Fritsch fell to Seung Jun Kim (Albany) in three sets Aug. 16. ...

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Comment

Letters to the Editor

Los Altos should honor horses’ legal rights

When Los Altos was incorporated, there were five stables within town limits. The city council, dominated by realtors and developers, kicked the horses out and banned them from the streets because the...

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Special Sections

Corvette show set for Sept. 21 on Main Street

The 38th Annual Corvette Spectacular Car Show is scheduled Sept. 21 in Los Altos.

Organized by Santa Clara Corvettes, the event will feature more than 160 new, classic and racing Corvettes lining both sides of Main Street. There will also be live mu...

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Business

Business Noteworthy

Los Altos design firm announces staff addition

IKB Design, Construction and Interiors recently hired veteran interior designer and business owner Lara Pai as business development manager and senior designer.

Pai joins the Los Altos-based IKB, which...

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Books

‘The Humans’ transcends alien genre to glean human insights

‘The Humans’ transcends alien genre to glean human insights


A good story about aliens is always great fun to read – after all, it’s only by attempting to understand the human race from another perspective that we can see ourselves more objectively.

But readers who might be tempted to dismiss ye...

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People

SARA MITTELMAN

Sara Mittelman, 97, was born May 10, 1917 and died August 15, 2014 at Menorah Medical Center. She was born in Pilica, Poland and came to the USA in 1950. Sara was a Holocaust survivor who lost her entire family during the war. She was one of the olde...

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Travel

Visiting Vancouver Western Canada's premier destination has much to offer

Visiting Vancouver Western Canada's premier destination has much to offer


Photos courtesy of TOURISM VANCOUVER
Outdoor adventures abound in and around Vancouver, including a boat excursion into Horseshoe Bay and a jaunt on the Cliffwalk at Capilano Suspension Bridge Park, among the most popular attractions in British Col...

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Stepping Out

"Spoonful" continues run in Mtn. View

TheatreWorks’ regional premiere of the Pulitzer Prize-winning drama “Water by the Spoonful” is scheduled to run through Sept. 14 at the Mountain View Center for the Performing Arts, 500 Castro St.

Leslie Martinson directs this story from Quiara Aleg...

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Spiritual Life

Spiritual Briefs

Meditation group meets at Foothills Congregational

A Weekly Meditation Practice group meets 7-8:15 a.m. Tuesdays at Foothills Congregational Church, 461 Orange Ave., Los Altos.

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Magazine

Los Altos Hills home showcases resort-inspired living

Los Altos Hills home showcases resort-inspired living


Courtesy of Spectrum Interior Design
In place of a more traditional fireplace, this modern living room features a linear-flame firebox that emits heat while offering a sculpturelike design element.

After traveling the world and visiting a host o...

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Senior sensations Moldaw Singers perform concerts for local audiences


Ron Griggs/ Mirror Image Photography
Linda Mankin, 85, leads the Moldaw Singers in concert. The choral group comprises seniors in their 80s and 90s, including former Los Altos residents Henry and Lottie Burger.

The Moldaw Singers performed “A Biblical Songfest” concert at the Oshman Family Jewish Community Center in Palo Alto last month, an auditory and visual showcase that included a slideshow.

The group comprises nearly 40 singers in their 80s and 90s, including former Los Altos residents, who live at Moldaw Residences, the retirement community in Palo Alto.

Singing on key

Linda Mankin, 85, who earned a master’s degree in music composition from Stanford University, works hard to ensure that seniors in the Moldaw Singers choral group are on key and having fun.

The 12 songs featured at the concert were based on Bible stories, including “Joshua Fought the Battle of Jericho,” “Little David Play Your Harp” and “Sit Down, Sister,” some performed in Hebrew and Latin.

Resident Council President Henry Burger, 87, a former Los Altos resident and member of the Moldaw Singers, said he and his wife, Lottie, were excited to bring the show to the JCC’s Cultural Arts Hall, next door to Moldaw Residences.

“My wife and I love performing with the Moldaw Singers,” Burger said. “Our group leader and Moldaw resident, Linda, works so hard with us and really helps us prepare, even though some members have never sung before. Our practices and performances are just other ways for everyone to get together and enjoy each other’s company – and that’s important.”

Mankin assumed leadership of the group two years ago and has experienced success with the senior singers. She continues to attend conferences that inspire her and give her ideas and tips to share with the group. She recently attended a conference in San Francisco hosted by the Acoustical Society of America and came back with renewed enthusiasm to help improve the group’s performances.

“Witnessing the progress of this group has been confirmation of my belief that music can be a lifelong source of pride and pleasure,” Mankin said. “I would encourage anyone who used to sing or play an instrument to never give it up. It could be one of the greatest pleasures of your life.”

Standing room only

The Moldaw Singers include eight to 10 male vocalists and approximately 30 women. Mankin noted members’ increased sense of loyalty and dedication over time as they rehearsed and performed together. The group practiced every Monday night for nearly two hours, and what started as few participants has grown into a popular performing group whose shows are typically standing room only.

The concert theme “A Biblical Songfest” came naturally to Mankin. For a number of years, she has attended weekly Torah classes at Congregation Beth Am in Los Altos Hills. Mankin said she finds the stories fascinating and the songs written about them beautiful. Believing that people of all ages and religions can relate to them, Mankin added that she chose the theme with confidence.

“We’d been excited to show the community how hard we’ve been practicing and how talented our group is through such special songs with this biblical theme,” Burger said.

The Moldaw Singers are gearing up for their 2014 season, with Mankin planning to incorporate techniques she learned at a recent conference to help the senior singers produce more tone.

“According to several presenters,” Mankin said, “there is a tendency among some seniors to think that they sound louder than they do, which may be due to the feedback they get from their hearing aids or to the natural decline in the production of their vocal chords.”

Mankin said conference presenters suggested that she pass around a hand-held personal recorder, a smartphone perhaps, and allow the seniors actually to hear themselves. For those more visually oriented, an app shows a picture of the soundsignal as they sing, giving them input on the strength of their sound versus time.

“We never stop learning,” she said, “and I’m anxious to share these new methods with the group.”

For more information on Moldaw Residences, call 433-3600 or visit moldaw.org.

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