Fri02122016

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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Actors stand out in Bus Barn's production of 'Farndale Avenue'

Theater review

I dare you to take a deep breath and say the title of Bus Barn's new production all in one effort.

The title, "The Farndale Avenue Housing Estate Townswomen's Guild Dramatic Society's Production of 'A Christmas Carol,'" also tells you, beyond its length, that you are in for a zany theatrical experience.

Have a cup of mulled cider, and you will be in the proper mood for watching the plot about a small group of hopeful thespians staging the annual holiday show, "A Christmas Carol."

They must do so with a cast of just six since all others fail to show up. Against an attractive backdrop of painted holiday scenes, the courageous and often ridiculous actors trade male and female roles, knock down set furniture, goof up their lines and revert to their non-acting selves with disconcerting regularity.

It is immediately obvious that the story of Dickens' Scrooge and his mind-changing alteration from a miserable old skinflint to an affable and generous man is not the purpose the playwrights have in mind.

We must accept the play as a wild romp and suspend disbelief. Absurdities abound as the plot allows interaction between the characters and audience members in the front row.

The dignified Mrs. Reece (Colleen O'Kane Block) complete with snooty high-pitched voice, acts as greeter, narrator, Tiny Tim and a ghostly spirit.

She tells us at the end of Act I, "Don't worry, the second act is short." As Tiny Tim, she crouches low and stumbles along the stage saying, "I'm a poor crippled boy who's temporarily forgotten his crutch."

Her basic prop is a shiny red purse which always clues us to her identity, even when it swings out from her black shroud as one of the spirits that takes Scrooge on his journey.

Block stands out in all her roles and helps us to laugh heartily while wondering what on earth is happening.

Another outstanding performance is by Melody Cole who as Thelma is the strong leader of the manic acting group. She plays Scrooge and, though she fumbles and bumbles through the various stage props, does give the play within a play a fragile continuity.

Some of Cole's funniest moments come when she reacts with irritation to the mistakes of others and reverts to being Thelma venting her annoyance.

It's fun to be taken backstage along with the struggling cast as they shift roles, double up, or as their stage manager (Michael Afendakis) does, act with inappropriate silliness.

Act II continues the journey of Scrooge but uses a party situation to involve the cast and audience in charades. We simply shake our heads and accept the singing and dancing of the entire ensemble.

Director Kathy Gutto persuades us that we are participating in wild and crazy events.

The other cast members, Angela Bunting, Lynda Marcum and Buffy Afendakis, do a good job as the blundering members of a goofy amateur drama group.

The play runs through Dec. 30 at the Bus Barn Theatre, 97 Hillview Ave., Los Altos.

For reservations and more information, call 941-0551.

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