Sat05282016

News

FAA report

FAA report "a start" in allaying noise onslaught


Alicia Castro/Town Crier
Anti-noise advocates exchange informational door hangers to give to neighbors.

A federal report released last week identifies possible solutions to the aircraft noise plaguing South Bay communities.

The Federal Aviation...

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Schools

Almond community packs meals for those in need

Almond community packs meals for those in need


Courtesy of Polly Liu
Almond School families worked together last month to package more than 15,000 meals for the Stop Hunger Now organization. Approximately 85 volunteers, including students in grades K-6, packaged meals of rice, soy, vitamins and...

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Community

Veteran Marie Houghton Mong: Mapping out a long life of doing

Veteran Marie Houghton Mong: Mapping out a long life of doing


Megan V. Winslow/Town Crier
Marie Houghton Mong relaxes with one of her two 16-year-old cats at The Terraces at Los Altos retirement community.

On the average day, Marie Houghton Mong can be found in her attractive and comfortable apartment at T...

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Comment

Blame it on Rio: No Shoes, Please

In 2008, I wrote a column explaining why I thought Beijing was an inappropriate venue for that year’s Summer Olympic Games. I cited health risks: the city’s terrible pollution and the country’s corrupt food supply chain. I also note...

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Special Sections

Upscale modern: Los Altos Hills home honors DNA of originals

Upscale modern: Los Altos Hills home honors DNA of originals


Megan V. Winslow/Town Crier
Melissa and Nick French, right with son Grayson, pooled their talents to design their dream home. Melissa designed the living room sofa and table.

Melissa and Nick French took “do it yourself” to a new dimens...

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Business

ATHENA awards recognize local leadership

ATHENA awards recognize local leadership


Alicia Castro/Town Crier
Chamber of Commerce Mountain View presented this year’s ATHENA Leadership Award to Maria Marroquin, left, and Leane Reelfs, right. The ATHENA Young Professional Leadership Award went to Diana Bautista, center.

Chamber ...

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People

ERNEST TRAUGOTT

ERNEST TRAUGOTT

Resident of Los Altos 
August 18, 1920 - May 11, 2016 

Ernie died peacefully at his home, just a few months short of his 96th birthday. 

Ernie had an amazing life, born in Germany he and his family fled the Nazi's soon after Kristal...

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Stepping Out

LA Stage Company's 'Arts Razzle-Dazzle' showcases local talent

LA Stage Company's 'Arts Razzle-Dazzle' showcases local talent


Courtesy of Eileen Eng
Mountain View High junior Julia Rogers, 2015 South Bay Teen Idol winner, is slated to perform at Tuesday’s “Arts Razzle-Dazzle” at Bus Barn Theater.

Los Altos Stage Company shines a spotlight on the perfo...

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Spiritual Life

Former St. Nicholas pastor shares his story as exorcist

The Rev. Gary Thomas served the Los Altos faith community as pastor of St. Nicholas Catholic Parish for several years before he announced in 2005 that San Jose Bishop Patrick J. McGrath had assigned him to study in Rome, not unusual for U.S. priests...

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Los Altos can't match upwith loaded Los Gatos: Eagles fall in straight games at home

 Image from article Los Altos can
Photos by Joe Hu/Town CrierLauren Schaefer, above, led Los Altos with seven kills in last week's loss to Los Gatos. Los Altos setter Michelle Nelson, left, said the Wildcats are "stacked this year."

Setter Michelle Nelson had a simple yet accurate explanation for why Los Gatos High was able to come to into the Los Altos High gym and beat her volleyball team in straight games last week.

"They're stacked this year," the junior said after Los Gatos' 25-14, 25-14, 25-18 victory.

There's no disputing that Los Altos and Los Gatos are the best teams in the SCVAL De Anza Division - both entered the match with 4-0 league marks - but the Wildcats' offseason acquisitions have put them in a class by themselves. Before the additions, the division appeared to be a three-team race between perennial powers Los Gatos and Los Altos (which finished 1-2 in the De Anza a year ago) and newcomer Saratoga (promoted after dominating the El Camino Division last season).

Then all-league players Bryte Nielson and Nina Sevastopoulos transferred from Saratoga to Los Gatos.

"That tipped the scale in their favor," said Los Altos coach Dave Winn, who noted the two girls are members of Vision Volleyball Club, run by Los Gatos coach Joe Ripp. "… Without Bryte and Nina they're a whole different team."

With them, the Wildcats are nationally ranked (37th by prepvolleyball.com) and 16-3 overall. Winn went as far as comparing them to a Division II college program.

Although the Eagles are off to one of the best starts in school history (22-3 overall), they simply couldn't match Los Gatos' wealth of size, skill and depth.

"We knew they had a very strong team, and our attitude was to focus on our side of the net and have fun," Nelson said. "We just tried to play our best; we knew they were going to be good."

But neither team played its best, according to Winn. In grading their performances in the Oct. 6 match, the coach gave Los Altos a C and Los Gatos a B.

"I think Joe would tell you his team didn't play its best, and I know we can play better than we did," Winn said. "I don't think any of (my players) played their best. I was encouraged by the way we played in the third game; we were more relaxed and played with nothing to lose. But we were tight the first and second games."

In both those games, Los Altos hung with Los Gatos until the score reached double-digits. That's when the Wildcats put together runs that left the Eagles reeling.

With Game 1 tied at 8, Los Gatos proceeded to go on an eight-point run. Alexa Anderson sparked the spurt, notching three of her match-high 14 kills.

A booming kill by middle blocker Lauren Schaefer, who led Los Altos with seven kills on the night, pulled her team within 18-13. The Eagles would get no closer. The Wildcats finished the game with a 5-0 run, the final point coming on a cross-court kill by Anderson.

Los Altos scored the first point of Game 2, but never led again. After Nelson stuffed a shot to get the Eagles within 10-8, Los Gatos rattled off six points in a row. This was soon followed by a four-point run, featuring a pair of Nielson kills, giving the Wildcats a commanding 22-12 advantage. Chelsea Wilson delivered the game-winner on a kill to the middle of Los Altos' side of the court.

Los Gatos carried this momentum into Game 3, jumping out to a 4-1 lead. Los Altos regrouped, however, pulling within 7-5 on a deep kill by Emily Saliba.

Just as the Wildcats began to pull away again - going up 17-8 behind multiple kills from Rebecca Mason and Michelle Johnson - the Eagles rallied once more. Los Altos scored three of the next four points, highlighted by Schaefer's blistering kill toward the backline.

Los Gatos built the lead back to 10, but the Eagles showed no signs of surrendering. Kills from Schaefer and younger sister Christan, who finished with five kills, attributed to Los Altos scoring four unanswered points.

With the lead narrowed to 24-18, Los Gatos called time out - prompting a mini-celebration from the Los Altos players and fans. It was short-lived. Los Gatos scored the next point on a quick tap by Wilson to end the match.

But the drama didn't end there. Ripp then lashed out at Winn about calls made by the line judges, who were junior-varsity players from Los Altos. The Eagles coach didn't take too kindly to the complaints, especially after such a one-sided match.

"That's classless, Joe," Winn yelled across the court to Ripp as their teams exchanged the obligatory "Good game" and slapped hands. "You won - go enjoy it."

"It happens every time we come here," Ripp countered.

Winn said he is "very motivated" to play the Wildcats again, and Los Altos will get its chance on Oct. 27 at Los Gatos (6:45 p.m. start).

"We're definitely not intimidated by them," Winn said. "When we play them next time - and if we play like we can - it will be a different game."

If the Eagles can improve their passing off serve-receive, Winn is confident Los Altos can compete with the Wildcats

"We've surprised people with our record and now we want to surprise them by tying for the league (championship)," he said. "… We just have to execute our game plan."

Los Altos is next in action Thursday, hosting Homestead in a league match scheduled for 6:45 p.m.

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