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Food & Wine

Chocolaty character of stout beers blends spicy, sweet ingredients

Chocolaty character of stout beers blends spicy, sweet ingredients


photo Courtesy of Derek Wolfgram
Aged coffee beans join beer in Modern Times’ bourbon barrel stout.

Dark beers like stout highlight flavors reminiscent of coffee and chocolate, resulting in a great canvas for brewers to blend nontraditional in...

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Your Health

El Camino Hospital expands mental health treatment options

El Camino Hospital expands mental health treatment options


Asher Kohn/Town Crier
Shovels in hand, Dr. Peter Fung, from left, El Camino Healthcare District board chairman; Russ Satake, El Camino Hospital Foundation board chairman; donors Donna and John Shoemaker; State Sen. Jerry Hill; and Assemblyman Rich ...

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Your Home

Holidays by design: Los Altos company provides  seasonal decorating service

Holidays by design: Los Altos company provides seasonal decorating service


Megan V. Winslow/ Town Crier
Amy Fischer of Spectrum Interior Design decorated Los Altos resident Katie Beers’ living room for the holidays last week.

Don’t worry if you have no time to shop for unique holiday decor, decorate Christma...

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On The Road

The Yellowstone experience

The Yellowstone experience


Photos by Gary Anderson/special to the Town Crier
The Andersons’ recent bus tour included stops at Yellowstone National Park’s Old Faithful Geyser.

With winter approaching, it’s a good time to start planning next summer’s fa...

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Senior Lifestyles

Making beautiful music together: Foothill Symphonic Winds inspires members of all ages

Making beautiful music together: Foothill Symphonic Winds inspires members of all ages


Photos by Megan V. Winslow/ Town Crier
Members of the ensemble rehearse at Blach Intermediate School.

Something special happens Wednesday nights at Blach Intermediate School. Seventy or so people ranging in age from 18 to 85, of varied backgroun...

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Wedding To Remember

Got a wedding singer? Musicians and engaged couples work in tandem to orchestrate perfect night

Got a wedding singer? Musicians and engaged couples work in tandem to orchestrate perfect night


Courtesy of Dick Bright
Dick Bright, a veteran Bay Area musician, manages local bands such as the Dick Bright Orchestra, Club 90 and Encore. His bands ramp up the energy at weddings.

A wedding soundtrack draws nearly everyone to the dance floor....

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Your Kids

Back to School

Is Early Decision the right choice for your student?

Is Early Decision the right choice for your student?


Courtesy of Hollis Bischoff
This chart compares the rate of Early Decision acceptances with the overall acceptance rate at various colleges.

As students apply to an ever-increasing list of schools, colleges are challenged to predict accuratel...

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Strategy for saving for college - use all the options available

First, create a college fund and make regular contributions. The size of the contributions and the kinds of investments you select depend on your goals, risk tolerance and the age of your children.

Children under 10: Consider a mix of 80 percent stocks and mutual funds and 20 percent in bond funds.

Children 11 to 14: You may want to invest 70 percent in stock funds and 30 percent in bond funds. Diversify your holdings to reduce risk.

Children 15 and older: Consider shifting some investments to less risky choices, such as certificates of deposit.

Student financial aid

Though educational costs are rising, the financing options available are numerous.

Federal Stafford Loans go to students with demonstrated need.

Federal parent loans for undergraduate students (PLUS) help parents cover the difference between the total cost of education and any financial aid awarded by the school.

Private and insured loans can supplement federal loans and scholarships.

Scholarships are gifts from organizations to students who demonstrate certain merits and/or financial need.

To apply for federal and many state aid programs, students must complete a Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA).

Tax breaks

Today, the total cost for one year at a four-year public university averages about $10,450 (tuition, room and board, books and other expenses). At a four-year private school, the tab averages about $22,500. If costs rise 5 percent per year, parents of a newborn could be paying $25,700 to $55,320 yearly for their child's college degree. Given the expense, the smartest course is to use all the saving, financing and tax breaks available.

Several tax breaks also lower the cost of higher education.

Custodial account in your child's name.

Educational IRA.

Traditional IRA.

Hope Scholarship tax credit.

Lifetime Learning tax credit. Student loan interest deduction.

Some states now sponsor qualified state tuition programs.

Courtesy of ARA Content, www.infoARAcontent.com, e-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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