Mon12222014

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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St. Nicholas students give back through the Morgan Autism Center

SCH MAC Eric and Christian PangrazioAs a part of St. Nicholas School’s outreach program, seventh- and eighth-grade students visit and interact with students at the Morgan Autism Center throughout the year.

Sent in groups of four, the St. Nicholas students travel to the San Jose facility to work and interact with Morgan Autism Center children.

The Center is a nonprofit dedicated to helping children and adult clients with autism and other developmental disabilities.

Autism is the fastest growing developmental disability found in children with 24,000 new cases diagnosed each year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It is more prevalent than juvenile diabetes, pediatric cancer and childhood AIDS combined.

In California, the caseload has tripled in the eight years between 2002 and 2010, recording a growth from 17,000 to more than 60,000.

“The students at St. Nicholas gain an appreciation, a tolerance and an understanding of children with developmental disabilities,” said Liz Fraiser, a parent who helps organize the visits. “It can be mysterious to them, but they understand that these kids deserve love and respect. You can talk about it, but when they work side by side they really get it.”

The small group helps create a calm and intimate atmosphere for the students to work with the developmentally delayed and autistic students. While at the center, they work on everything from basic eye contact and social skills to crafts and puzzles.

“The Morgan Autism students are always very excited to see our St. Nicholas students and often tell them how much they love them,” Fraiser said. “The St. Nicholas students are very supportive and encouraging.”

One tradition the students often join in is the “Woo Hoo” dance – a festive celebration after students complete a task.

“There is not a time when I do not leave the Morgan Autism kids without a lump in my throat,” Fraiser said. “It is truly a spiritual experience.”

The St. Nicholas students value their time with the Morgan Autism students as well.

“Interacting and bonding with the autistic teenagers was a moving experience that I have cherished,” said St. Nicholas eighth-grader Annie Gallivan. “Spending time with them and getting to know each individual was a lot of fun, and we mutually never failed to put smiles on each other’s faces.”

And the Center students benefit from the unique experience with mainstream students, said Sally Hird, an assistant teacher at the Morgan Autism Center.

“The most important benefit is being able to interact with a typical peer,” she said. “A lot of our students have no other chance to develop friendships with typical peers. They are basically at school with the same types of students. Just being with peers who can speak and tell them jokes and show them how to do things is very wonderful.”

Outreach and community service is an integral part of the St. Nicholas School education. Students work on community service and giving-back projects throughout their years at St. Nicholas and by seventh and eighth grades, they may work with the students at the Center.

Fraiser said that by junior high the students are prepared to give back in a more interactive fashion.

The Morgan Autism Center and St. Nicholas School have a special relationship, which has reached beyond the classroom visits. Last year when the center was looking for creative fundraising ideas, musically inclined St. Nicholas dads stepped up and volunteered to present a restaurant dinner and band concert as a fundraiser.

“It was a great celebration and many Morgan Autism teachers and administrators came and danced the night away with our St. Nicholas parents,” Fraiser said. “All in celebration of this event to help the kids. There is truly a special relationship between these two schools.”

For more information, visit stnicholaslah.com and morgancenter.org.

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