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News

Los Altos Police nab alleged burglar, identity thief

Los Altos Police nab alleged burglar, identity thief

The Los Altos Police Department received a call from a local resident reporting a suspicious vehicle in the area of Lockhaven and Stonehaven drives in Los Altos at 9 a.m. Monday. The resident, who reported that his mail was possibly stolen, provided ...

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Schools

Former NFL player huddles with Blach students about life choices

Former NFL player huddles with Blach students about life choices


Ellie Van HOutte/Town Crier
Former NFL tight end Eason Ramson visited with Blach Intermediate School students, Feb. 13 to share the perils of drug use. Now a motivational speaker, Ramson works with at-risk teens in San Francisco.

Although former ...

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Community

Chi Am Circle, Chef Chu's prove 'golden': Club sets fundraising goal of $200K for March fashion show

Chi Am Circle, Chef Chu's prove 'golden': Club sets fundraising goal of $200K for March fashion show


Courtesy of Bev Harada
Chi Am Circle members, from left, Gerrye Wong, Sylvia Eng, Pearl Lee and Muriel Kao flank Larry Chu Sr. at the Jan. 31 event honoring the club’s 50th and Chef Chu’s 45th anniversaries.

Chef Chu’s restaurant in Los Altos ho...

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Comment

Freedom's just another word: No Shoes, Please

It used to be that the word “freedom” held exclusively positive connotations for me, but now it’s really become a mixed bag. It all started in 2001 when President George W. Bush asked the question he felt was on the minds of most Americans regarding ...

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Special Sections

Filoli in bloom: Historic estate hosts  classes, events and tours

Filoli in bloom: Historic estate hosts classes, events and tours


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Scenes from Filoli: The historic estate in Woodside is a welcoming sanctuary for visitors. The grounds offer a rotating display of seasonal flowers, a tranquil reflecting pool and paths that wend through the 16-acre Engl...

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Business

Stock volatility still confusing

The market opened down more than 100 points Friday but by noon rose more than 130, the form of volatility that quickly draws investors’ attention. By week’s end, the Standard & Poor’s 500 index and the Dow Jones industrial aver...

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Books

French novel

French novel "Hunting and Gathering" offers character-driven suspense


Anna Gavalda is a well-known author in her native France, where she has published six books, most of which have met with considerable praise and commercial success. Her fourth novel, “Hunting and Gathering” (Riverhead Books, 2007), is filled ...

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People

CHRIS A. KENISON

CHRIS A. KENISON

Feb 13, 1945-Feb 6, 2015

Resident of Los Altos

Chris was born in Georgia and moved to Oklahoma as a young child. He grew up there and moved to California in 1965. He developed a strong work ethic from his grandparents and parents. He attended the...

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Travel

Seoul of the city: Korean capital offers mix of old and new

Seoul of the city: Korean capital offers mix of old and new


Ramya Krishna/Special to the Town Crier
Seoul’s Cheonggyecheon public recreation space, above, features an elevated pedestrian bridge.

Seoul, South Korea, is a study in contrasts. Having grown quickly, the city is a mix of old and new.

Using...

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Stepping Out

'Park' in the hills

'Park' in the hills


courtesy of Foothill Music Theatre
Dot (Katie Nix) imagines her dream job as a follies dancer in the Foothill Music Theatre production of “Sunday in the Park with George.” The play runs through March 8.

Foothill Music Theatre’s production of “Su...

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Spiritual Life

Is your thought life sabotaging your spiritual journey?

My computer started having problems – there seemed to be some sort of malware running in the background. At first it was just annoying, then it began to slow down my computer, interfering with its basic operations. What is it doing? Why can...

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Magazine

Local events serve up family fun

Local events serve up family fun


Courtesy of Peninsula Youth Theatre
Peninsula Youth Theatre’s production of “Pecos Bill: A Tall Tale” is slated to open March 20 in Mountain View.

For families seeking a break from the daily routine, events abound this month and next in Los Alto...

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Resident advocates for Cambodian immigrants: Resident Profile


Apala Egan/Special to the Town Crier
Usha Welaratna of Los Altos authored “Beyond the Killing Fields: Voices of Nine Cambodian Survivors in America.” Now retired, she teaches meditation through the city of Los Altos.

Advocating for Cambodian immigrants and teaching meditation are twin passions of longtime Los Altos resident Usha Welaratna.

Welaratna learned of the plight of Cambodian refugees while teaching anthropology at San Jose State University several years ago. Cambodians celebrate Buddhist festivals similar to those in her native Sri Lanka.

Like other newcomers to the United States, many Cambodians struggle with adapting to the language and culture.

Survivors of the Pol Pot regime’s concentration camps, the immigrants suffered from depression and other mental-health problems. Because their native language is Khmer, and many of the older generation speak French, they have difficulty assimilating.

An immigrant herself, Welaratna was attuned to the obstacles that immigrants face and determined to channel her efforts toward helping Cambodian refugees integrate into their new society. She worked extensively with Cambodian immigrants, encouraging cultural and family activities.

Welaratna chronicled her experiences in a book, “Beyond the Killing Fields: Voices of Nine Cambodian Survivors in America” (Stanford University Press, 1993).

She also helped local Cambodians establish children’s programs.

“She gave us advice, ideas and was very helpful,” said Sophany Bay, a native of Cambodia who now lives in San Jose. “She visited our temple several times.”

Retired from San Jose State University, Welaratna continues to teach, but not anthropology. Los Altos residents can find her at Hillview Community Center teaching meditation, which she has practiced since childhood. She underwent formal training at the Bhavana Society’s Meditation Center in West Virginia.

Many people believe that meditation involves sitting, Welaratna said, but walking meditation, which she teaches as well, is also an option.

“You don’t have to be Buddhist to practice meditation – it is for everyone,” she said. “People may need to focus their minds on a particular object – you can use a picture of a saint or a flower.”

Welaratna is scheduled to teach Mindfulness Meditation courses 10 a.m. to noon Tuesdays Feb. 4 through March 25 and 3-5 p.m. Thursdays Feb. 6 through March 27 in Room 2 at Hillview Community Center, 97 Hillview Ave., Los Altos.

For more information, visit losaltosrecreation.org.

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