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Food & Wine

Humble shortbread cookie appears around the world, but with local twists

Humble shortbread cookie appears around the world, but with local twists


Blanche Shaheen/Special to the Town Crier
Ghraybeh shortbread cookies use sweet-tasting ghee in lieu of butter.

 

When Americans think of the shortbread cookie, they often imagine the traditional Scottish cookies, shaped like oblong rectangles and ...

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Your Health

CSA connects families with fresh, nutritious food

CSA connects families with fresh, nutritious food


Courtesy of Community Services Organization
CSA staff load groceries to take to Castro Elementary School as part of a new outreach program for children and families enrolled in the free and reduced lunch programs at Castro and Mistral schools.

Maureen...

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Your Home

Healing art: Restoration 'doctor' preserves damaged objects

Healing art: Restoration 'doctor' preserves damaged objects


Photos by Megan V. Winslow/Town Crier
Art restorer Rho Brown performs delicate preservation work in her Los Altos studio, above. Once fully restored, below left, it’s difficult to tell which cherub was previously missing its head. Brown’s studio conta...

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On The Road

American muscle in the modern age: Bolting to Blackhawk in the Chrysler 300S

American muscle in the modern age: Bolting to Blackhawk in the Chrysler 300S


Photo by Gary Anderson/Special to the Town Crier; Bottom Right Photo courtesy of Chrysler
The Andersons recently drove the new Chrysler 300S to Danville’s Blackhawk Museum, where they saw “The Spirit of the Old West” exhibition.

 

When you have a p...

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Senior Lifestyles

Local pianist performs, volunteers and finds 'keys' to a good life

Local pianist performs, volunteers and finds 'keys' to a good life


RAMYA KRISHNA/TOWN CRIER
Doreta Strotman performs the classics with her signature jazz-style improvisations at Los Altos Grill Sunday evenings. The Mountain View resident has been playing since the age of 4.

Sunday evenings, Doreta Strotman’s job is to...

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Wedding To Remember

Ring options on Main Street range from traditional to unorthodox

Ring options on Main Street range from traditional to unorthodox


 

With nine fine-jewelry retailers concentrated along the Main Street corridor, downtown Los Altos offers a wealth of options for engagement and wedding ring shoppers. From one end of Main to the other, the choices range from the traditional to t...

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Your Kids

Living Classroom grows lessons for next-gen science standards

Living Classroom grows lessons for next-gen science standards


 

Providing local students with a tangible outdoor learning experience, the Living Classroom program aims to support a new generation of students who are excited about the environment.

The Living Classroom serves 9,000 students locally in the Los ...

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Back to School

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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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