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News

SPLAT targets data, outreach as airplane noise continues

SPLAT targets data, outreach as airplane noise continues


Graphic courtesy of Don Gardner
Activists claim that a new SFO flight path leaves a “sound shadow” that impacts Los Altos and Los Altos Hills.

Sky Posse Los Altos Team – more simply known as SPLAT – seeks to squelch the noise...

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Schools

Los Altos High student-run charity plans '5 Gallon Gala'

Los Altos High student-run charity plans '5 Gallon Gala'


Courtesy of Lia Evard
Water by Youth members gave Egan students a chance to carry a 40-pound Jerry can, to see how difficult it is to obtain water in developing nations.

Water by Youth, a club at Los Altos High School, is making a splash by pla...

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Community

What would you do with a box of cookies? Local Girls Scouts help Tanzanian orphanage

What would you do with a box of cookies? Local Girls Scouts help Tanzanian orphanage


Courtesy of Alicia Madden
Sales of local Girl Scout cookies support service projects, such as funding an orphanage in the village of Mto wa Mbu in Tanzania.

Girl Scout cookies – whether you think of them as a treat, a tradition or a diet comp...

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Sports

Scoreless spells sink LA boys

Scoreless spells sink LA boys


Megan V. Winslow/Town Crier
Los Altos High point guard Nolan Brennan attempts a shot in Friday’s game versus Palo Alto. He scored eight points in the loss.

There have been several games this season in which the Los Altos High boys basketball t...

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Comment

New 'York' values

New 'York' values


Hughes

 

As we have witnessed California suffer through one of its worst droughts in history over the past few years, all of us, I’m sure, have been keenly aware of our surroundings and have done a small part in trying to conserve wa...

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Special Sections

Getting a charge  out of the Volt

Getting a charge out of the Volt


Courtesy of Chevrolet
The 2016 Chevrolet Volt can be driven up to 50 miles on the power stored in its batteries.

Just five years ago, we wondered in this column what the power supply would be for the car of the future. Gasoline, diesel, electric ba...

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Business

Nearing V-Day: Shops stock sweets, treats

Nearing V-Day: Shops stock sweets, treats


Megan V. Winslow/Town Crier
Los Altos resident Ella Roosakos, 11, with her mother, Gail, puzzles over which Gourmet Works sweets to buy as a valentine for Ella’s friend.

The gift-buying rush isn’t exclusive to Christmas. It may jump over...

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People

ALAN RODNEY MILLS

ALAN RODNEY MILLS

Alan Rodney Mills, PhD, 83, of Los Altos passed away peacefully on Saturday, January 30th, 2016. He was born in Rochdale, England in 1933 and came to California in 1962. He was a proud alumni of Manchester Grammar in England, University of Liverpoo...

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Stepping Out

PYT 'Gets Famous'

PYT 'Gets Famous'


Lyn Flaim Healy/Spotlight Moments Photography
Renee Vetter of Palo Alto, left, and Megan Foreman of Los Altos star in Peninsula Youth Theatre’s “Judy Moody Gets Famous.” Performances are scheduled Friday and Saturday.

Peninsula...

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Spiritual Life

A time to prepare: Fasting for Lent isn't limited to food

 

Today is Ash Wednesday, which in the Christian calendar marks the beginning of Lent – the 40 days of preparation for Resurrection Sunday, otherwise known as Easter.

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Inside Mountain View

New right-to-lease ordinance promises relief for renters

New right-to-lease ordinance promises relief for renters


Mountain View Tenants Coalition/Facebook
Residents gather in the fall to protest Mountain View’s rising rents. Rent relief is on the way in the form of a new ordinance.

A controversial Mountain View law requiring landlords to provide lease opt...

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Beyond Berkeley: Expanding options


Town Crier File Photo
College options expand greatly if students look beyond UCLA and UC Berkeley to smaller UCs, the “public ivies” and private schools.

As application season heats up for the Class of 2015, families face the reality that the best way to get into a top UC is to come from outside of California.

The admissions news heightens anxiety as UC acceptance rates continue to plummet: UCLA this year had a record low 17 percent acceptance rate, and UC Berkeley admitted just 20 percent of its applicants.

These numbers gain even more importance when put in the following context.

• 42 percent of incoming freshmen are first generation, and UCs are focused on increasing this number.

• 10 percent of the UC system is from out of state. For UCLA, the number rockets to 25 percent.

This leaves only 37 percent of the spots open at UCLA and 48 percent at Berkeley for all of the other California students. Layer on top of that the UC objective of offering a spot to every California student in the top 10 percent of his or her high school class – though that spot may be at UC Merced – and suddenly it becomes apparent that even high-achieving students must look at other options for a top-notch education. Every major is impacted, and even getting in creates the challenge of getting out in four years.

So what are the other choices within the UC system?

• Consider UC Riverside. With an admission rate of 58 percent, it is an up-and-coming campus. Students get a more diverse experience, and with the Guaranteed Admission Program, those with a 3.9 weighted grade-point average and a minimum 1600 SAT score can lock in early acceptance (the 2015 deadline has passed). In addition, UC Riverside grants preferential admission to the UC Riverside Medical School for its students – a real advantage in the hypercompetitive medical school world.

• Think about UC Irvine. Rated No. 1 three years in a row as a “young” university (under 50 years old), it has a terrific honors college and is also recognized as an innovative school for training teachers. In 2013, UC Irvine was one of three UCs awarded three stars (in the top 10 percent) for preparing innovative teachers. Sierra Magazine also named it a top 10 “Cool School” for its sustainability efforts.

How about the options beyond the UC system?

• Check out the “public ivies.” In 2001, Howard Greene, former admissions officer at Princeton University, published a guide to public universities at which students can receive a first-class Ivy League education at a fraction of the cost. Many of these schools are within admissions targets for students while providing academic excellence.

• Explore out-of-state public hidden gems. There are good options for students with less-than-stellar grades who are willing to venture outside of California. Schools to consider: the University of Alabama; Evergreen State College in Washington; Miami University in Oxford, Ohio; Montana State University; the University of Montana; the University of Nevada at Reno; the University of New Mexico; and Oregon State University.

• Discover “Colleges That Change Lives” (ctcl.org). While I posit that all colleges change lives, these 44 schools share a number of characteristics, including smaller class sizes, truly holistic admissions with test-optional applications, integrated residential living learning environments and strong alumni support.

• Contemplate private schools. There are a number of reasons to consider a private school, including smaller class size, more personal attention and a strong emphasis on exploration – while still emphasizing graduating in four years. Schools gaining popularity with UC-competitive students in California include Chapman University, Loyola Marymount University, Occidental University, the University of Southern California and the University of San Diego.

All of these choices have the potential for generous merit scholarships, reducing the cost of attendance to equal to or less than a UC.

Hollis Bischoff is college admissions adviser for Strategies 4 Admission LLC. She earned a graduate certificate in college and career counseling from UCLA and is a Certified Educational Planner. She blogs at strategies4admission.com/blog and tweets at @collegeunlocked. For more information, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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