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Last updateThu, 21 Jul 2016 12pm

Food & Wine

Citrus-y beers celebrate summer

Citrus-y beers celebrate summer


Derek Wolfgram/Special to the Town Crier
Session beers offer an alcohol content low enough to sustain sipping through a long, lazy picnic. Local breweries are celebrating the citrus hop style now in vogue with other fruit-forward influences.

With the h...

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Your Health

Reading in sign,  ink and song

Reading in sign, ink and song


Megan V. Winslow/Town Crier
A baby girl learns sign language during a program offered Wednesdays at the Los Altos Library.

Visit Los Altos Library’s community room on a Wednesday afternoon and you’ll see its plain gray expanse descend into ...

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Your Home

From derelict to desirable: House flipper transforms old properties into showstoppers

From derelict to desirable: House flipper transforms old properties into showstoppers


Megan V. WInslow/Town Crier
Amy Randazzo purchases older homes in Mountain View to “flip” after they undergo a makeover. Her transformed houses feature open floor plans and she searches for properties with “good bones.”

Amy Randazzo is improving neighb...

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On The Road

A different kind  of driving school

A different kind of driving school


Gary Anderson/Special to the Town Crier
The Andersons observe Bixby Bridge – located on Highway 1 near Big Sur – from a dirt road during their recent Land Rover Experience Driving School lesson.

It is always exciting to do something youR...

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Senior Lifestyles

Monkey business: Senior Program volunteers lift spirits of sick kids

Monkey business: Senior Program volunteers lift spirits of sick kids


Photo Megan V. Winslow/Town Crier
Los Altos Senior Program volunteers – affectionately known as The Monkey Toy Ladies – make sock monkeys to comfort sick children.

Last year, nearly 400 children at Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital received a special ...

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Wedding To Remember

The Veils of Time

The Veils of Time


Courtesy of Los Altos History Museum

For a new spin on the Town Crier’s “Peek into the Past,” the Los Altos History Museum has been gathering historical local wedding photos and the stories behind them.

Frances Elizabeth Shoup, second...

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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 accurately whether ...

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Safety counts: Developing after-school smarts

Personal safety

Many children engage in team sports or participate in extracurricular clubs after school. Others go home and spend time alone until their parents are finished working. Regardless of how a child spends the hours after school, personal safety is important and should be a topic of conversation between parents and children.

Consider how your child will spend his or her after-school hours and collaborate to develop a list of relevant safety tactics. For example, if your child plays a sport, discuss ways to avoid injury and make sure he or she always wears appropriate safety gear.

For students who arrive home before their parents, set ground rules, such as go straight home and check in via phone call or text once they arrive. Remind children not to open the door to strangers or answer calls from numbers they can’t identify. Safekids.org offers a wealth of safety tips that can be applied to virtually every child’s after-school situation.

Better snacking

Snacking is a healthful habit when done smartly. Teach children to reach for a sensible and filling snack to keep their minds alert for homework and their bodies fueled for after-school activities. Encourage children to use portion control and choose nutritious snacks like fresh fruits and vegetables or fat-free options like pretzels.

Portion-controlled, pre-packaged choices are convenient and healthful options for after-school snacking. Ample research – and common experience – indicates that chewing on something crunchy stimulates the brain. Try a low-fat combination of pretzels with apple slices or carrot sticks, which are more stimulating to a child’s brain than something sweet and fatty.

Follow a schedule

Naturally, all children want to work some fun into their day, whether it’s before or after homework is complete. Because most children thrive with guidance and structure, talk to your child about creating a schedule or to-do list for after-school time. Make sure that it includes a combination of fun activities, snack time and homework. Keep in mind that every child is different – some children need to run around before starting homework, while others do best when saving the fun time for last.

Limit screen time

Once children have completed their homework and engaged in a little physical activity, many may prefer to spend hours online, playing video games or watching TV. Finding a balance can be tough.

Many parents take a “homework first” approach, requiring that children complete school assignments before they’re allowed the treat of screen time. Consider parental-control software to set limits on when children can use the computer and to restrict when and where they can venture online.

Urge children to use technology in a manner that stimulates their brains, such as reading a book on a tablet, working on a brain puzzle on the computer or practicing keyboard or typing skills. Many schools provide lists of fun websites students can access at home or in the library to reinforce skills taught in school.

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