Sat12202014

News

Council seeks more options for community center

Council seeks more options for community center


Town Crier File Photo
The Los Altos City Council approved an appropriation to examine options for a new community center to replace the aging Hillview facility.

The Los Altos City Council last week voted narrowly in favor of examining further opti...

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Schools

Local schools participate in  national Hour of Code activities

Local schools participate in national Hour of Code activities


Ellie Van HOutte/Town Crier
Himan Shu Raj, a volunteer from Microsoft, advises Los Altos High ninth-graders, from left, Serhat Suzer, Jamie Bennett and Chris Yang as they participate in the school’s Hour of Code Showcase.

Local schools participa...

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Community

Take a dive into the holiday archive

Take a dive into the holiday archive

Town Crier staff made a quick cruise back through the newspaper's archives to find some late-December reading as inspiration for eating, drinking, decorating and more:

Beloved holiday books build the spirit of the season and staff at Los Altos’ Li...

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Sports

Pinewood poised for another title run

Pinewood poised for another title run


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Pinewood’s girls basketball team is receiving contributions from several new players, including freshman Stella Kailahi, above.

Complacency shouldn’t be a problem for the defending Division V state champion Pinewood S...

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Comment

Letters to the Editor

Ticket motorists for U-turns on Main Street

As I was walking downtown on Main Street recently, something came to me out of the blue. The town of Los Altos is missing out on a huge revenue stream. I realized that if all the cars – there were th...

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Special Sections

Looking Ahead

Looking Ahead


s in line to be mayor of Mountain View in 2015.

Mountain View anticipates the following changes in 2015:

• Beginning Jan. 1, Mountain View City Councilmembers will receive a raise to $1,000 per month as a result of the passage of Measure A in...

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Business

Your 2015 stock market game plan

It’s been a maddening month because of oil and gas, especially in stocks and bonds. Then, consumer spending pushed stocks higher Thursday, easing investors’ jitters about the global economy and prompting them to consider how to invest in ...

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Books

Gawande's

Gawande's "Being Mortal" proves an important book on aging


Books about death and dying are usually not on my list of “must reads.”

I couldn’t resist, however, the best-selling “Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End” (Metropolitan Books, 2014) by Atul Gawande.

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People

SANGEETA SACHDEVA

SANGEETA SACHDEVA

Sangeeta Sachdeva, 55, wife of Subhash Sachdeva and mother to Natasha and Tanya, died at 8:54pm, Sunday, December 7, 2014 from respiratory failure.

Sangeeta was born on October 18, 1959 in Delhi, India. She was born to Moti Sagar and Raj Kapoor an...

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Travel

South Tahoe renovations enhance off-mountain seasonal fun

As any enthusiast knows well, there is more to the enjoyment of winter sports than skiing or snowboarding.

While many winter resorts make minor upgrades each season, the off-mountain attractions and amenities can be as enticing as the activities on ...

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Stepping Out

Aurora Singers to emit 'Musical Glow' Friday

Aurora Singers to emit 'Musical Glow' Friday


courtesy of Aurora Singers
The Aurora Singers are scheduled to perform a seasonal concert Friday night in Palo Alto.

The Aurora Singers’ “Winter’s Musical Glow” holiday concert is set for 7 p.m. Friday at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Pal...

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Spiritual Life

Enter the superhero: Finding the God who loves you

In my life-coaching practice, I see a lot of pain. Much of it stems from fear and guilt, often expressed as low self-esteem, anxiety, a lack of forgiveness both for oneself and others, anger – and so on.

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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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Hidden in plain sight: Rotary speaker warns of dangers of human trafficking


Steve Pomeroy/ Rotary Club of Los Altos
Betty Ann Boeving addresses the Los Altos Rotary Club Jan. 16.

Betty Ann Boeving, founder and executive director of the Bay Area Anti-Trafficking Coalition, warned members of the Rotary Club of Los Altos Jan. 16 that human trafficking has grown into a $32 billion industry that plagues not only distant developing countries, but also the Bay Area.

“Human trafficking in the Bay Area is hidden in plain sight here in Los Altos, Mountain View, Los Gatos and beyond,” she said, defining it as “modern-day slavery.”

Boeving estimated that 50 percent of human trafficking victims are children and 80 percent are female, totaling 23 million victims worldwide.

In Silicon Valley, she noted, victims may be forced into domestic servitude as nannies or maids, child labor in restaurants or sex trafficking in nail salons and massage parlors.

Human traffickers may attempt to hide suspicious activity by using a legitimate business as a front, such as a massage parlor, she said.

Impact close to home

The perpetrators of human trafficking may appear innocent, Boeving cautioned. One nicely maintained Silicon Valley house, for example, aroused suspicion when a neighbor noticed that there were bars inside, not outside, the windows. Even in Los Altos, Boeving added, the parents of a high school student sold their daughter for sex. The girl, who escaped only after going away to college, has since appeared as a speaker at the Freedom Summit human trafficking conference.

Victims may include domestic workers, young people selling fruit on corners and children selling magazine subscriptions door-to-door, Boeving said. In a Menlo Park case, the police caught traffickers dropping off a young girl at a church after the service to beg among parishioners.

Some violent video games, like Grand Theft Auto, may desensitize children to violence against women, prompting Boeving to suggest that parents be alert to attitudes forming within their families.

Californians approved Proposition 35, the ban on human trafficking and sex slavery, by an 81 percent margin in 2012, the largest initiative victory in state history. A concerted effort by individuals, communities and nonprofit groups is needed to defeat human trafficking, Boeving said.

San Jose International Airport personnel have been trained to recognize human trafficking by people posing as sports coaches, field trip leaders or even aunts and uncles. Other personnel with heightened awareness should include school staff, medical first responders and local legislators.

Boeving recommended that corporations investigate their supply chains for labor violations in source countries. In their own homes, consumers may unknowingly support human trafficking via their product purchases and should check to ensure that companies with slave-free supply chains market the products they buy.

Boeving noted that coffee, chocolate, tea, rice, sugar and hygiene products like shampoo should display the Fair Trade Certified logo that guarantees slave-free production.

Boeving said coordinated effort by individuals, communities and nonprofit groups could eliminate human trafficking within one generation.

“We are all needed to send the message to traffickers that they will be stopped – the Bay Area is a place where they can’t do business,” she said.

For more information, visit baatc.org.

Marlene Cowan is a member of the Rotary Club of Los Altos.

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