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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

Matt goes full throttle to fix BMW

In November 2015, one of my newer customers brought in his 2011 BMW Z4 35i because the service-engine-soon light went on.

He explained that the car did not idle well and was low on power. We connected the car to the Integrated Service Technical Appl...

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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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Beating the back-to-school blues

Many children go from a summer filled with sports camps where they run around all day to a classroom environment where they must sit for several hours in a row. Their daily steps, if tracked on a pedometer, could plummet from 30,000 to 7,000 in a matter of days, and that makes for a good deal of unused energy, which could translate into squirminess, boredom and/or unhappiness.

In honor of such students, I offer the following tips for a smooth transition to the school year.

• Sample breakfasts. A recent study from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that nearly 14 percent of high school girls and 13 percent of high school boys don’t eat breakfast at all – and many more skip breakfast one or several days a week – which contributes to irritability, lack of focus and general annoyance.

Before school starts, collaborate with your children to develop three to five tasty breakfast options that include protein and complex carbohydrates. At least two should be grab-and-go options for those late mornings that they can take and eat during their morning break. Breakfast bars made with rolled oats, flaxseed and almond butter can be prepared ahead of time.

• Vigorous exercise. Several years ago, I worked with a high school sophomore who started jogging 15-20 minutes before getting ready for school. He quickly saw a marked difference in his ability to focus and concentrate during his morning classes.

Many students exercise or play sports after school, but for those who struggle to pay attention in class, a short burst of exercise before school may be helpful. If that is not an option, it can also prove effective for students to prioritize a short spurt of activity before sitting down to do homework in the afternoon.

• Collaborate on family guidelines. Perhaps your family has already done this, but each school year can be different – and it’s useful to initiate a proactive conversation before the school year begins, especially if your child is transitioning to junior high or high school. Sample topics: homework (when, where and how it will be completed), technology (rules for proper use/abuse), sleep, etc.

Last year, a high school freshman admitted to me that he wished his parents would take away his phone when he did his homework, because it was such a distraction and he couldn’t regulate himself. (I guarantee that student had never told his parents that!)

• Schedule playtime. Play is crucial for creativity, problem solving and stress relief. Too many children stop playing too soon – high school students still need playtime. Play is often confused with obligations like sports and extracurricular activities. As part of that family conversation, devote a few hours a week to play.

Ana Homayoun is founder and director of the Los Altos-based Green Ivy Educational Consulting. She is the author of “That Crumpled Paper Was Due Last Week: Helping Disorganized and Distracted Boys Succeed in School and Life” (Perigee Trade, 2010) and the upcoming “The Myth of the Perfect Girl: Helping Our Daughters Find Success and Happiness.” For more information, visit www.greenivyed.com.

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