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News

E. coli found in Los Altos water indicated breach, but only low risk

E. coli found in Los Altos water indicated breach, but only low risk


Courtesy of Microbe World
Colorized low-temperature electron micrograph of a cluster of E. coli bacteria

When E. coli and other bacteria were discovered in some Los Altos water last week, officials from the local water supplier, California Water...

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Schools

BCS hosts Stretch to Kindergarten program for underserved youth

BCS hosts Stretch to Kindergarten program for underserved youth


Traci Newell/Town Crier
The six-week, tuition-free Stretch to Kindergarten program, hosted at Bullis Charter School, serves children who have not attended preschool. A teacher leads children in singing about the parts of a butterfly, above.

Local un...

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Community

Google car painting project calls on artists

Google car painting project calls on artists


Google self-driving car

Already known as an innovator in the tech field, Google Inc. is now moving in on the art world.

The Mountain View-based company July 11 launched the “Paint the Town” contest, a “moving art experiment” that invites Califo...

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Sports

Pedaling with a purpose

Pedaling with a purpose


courtesy of
Rishi Bommannan Rishi Bommannan cycled from Bates College in Maine to his home in Los Altos Hills, taking several selfies along the way. He also raised nearly $13,000 for the Livestrong Foundation, which supports cancer patients.

When R...

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Comment

The truth about coyotes: Other Voices

The Town Crier’s recent article on coyotes venturing down from the foothills in search of sustenance referenced the organization Project Coyote (“Recent coyote attacks keep residents on edge,” July 1). Do not waste your time contac...

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Special Sections

Grant Park senior program made permanent

Grant Park senior program made permanent


Photos by Alicia Castro/Town Crier
Local residents participate in an exercise class at the Grant Park Senior Center, above. Betsy Reeves, below left with Gail Enenstein, lobbied for senior programming in south Los Altos.

It all began when Betsy Reev...

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Business

New State Street rug retailer has downtown Los Altos covered

New State Street rug retailer has downtown Los Altos covered


Alicia Castro/Town Crier
Los Altos Rug Gallery owner Fahim Karimi stocks his State Street store with a wall-to-wall array of floor coverings.

A new downtown business owner plans to roll out the red carpet – along with rugs of every other color –...

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Books

Book Signings

• Fritz and Nomi Trapnell have scheduled a book-signing party 4-6 p.m. Aug. 1 at their home, 648 University Ave., Los Altos.

Fritz and his daughter, Dana Tibbitts, co-authored “Harnessing the Sky: Frederick ‘Trap’ Trapnell, ...

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People

GRACE WILSON FRANKS

GRACE WILSON FRANKS

Resident of Los Altos

Grace Wilson Franks, our beloved mother and grandmother, left us peacefully on July 16, 2015 just a few weeks short of her 92nd birthday. She was born to Ross and Florence (Cruzan) Wilson in rural Tulare, California on Septem...

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Travel

Gearing up: Make travel more civilized with accessories

Gearing up: Make travel more civilized with accessories


Eren Göknar/Special to the Town Crier
San Francisco-based humangear Inc. sells totes, tubes and tubs for traveling.

In travel, as in romance, it’s the little things that count.

Beyond the glossy brochures lie the travel discomforts too mun...

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Stepping Out

Going out with a 'Bang'

Going out with a 'Bang'


Richard Mayer/Special to the Town Crier
“Chitty Chitty Bang Bang” stars, clockwise from top left, Alexander Sanchez, Sophia Sturiale, Deborah Rosengaus and Danny Martin.

Los Altos Stage Company and Los Altos Youth Theatre’s joint production of t...

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Spiritual Life

Build a 'light' house and get out of that dark place

Most of us have a place inside our hearts and minds that occasionally causes us trouble. For some, it is sadness, depression or despair. For others, it may be fear, anger, resentment or myriad other emotional “dark places” that at times seem to hij...

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Magazine

Inside Mountain View

Residents gather at NASA Ames for Pluto Flyby event

Residents gather at NASA Ames for Pluto Flyby event


Megan V. Winslow/Town Crier
NASA Ames’ Pluto Flyover event kindles the imaginations of young attendees.

Sue Moore watched the July 20, 1969, moon landing beside patients and staff members of the San Francisco hospital where she worked as a nurse...

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The power of Pokémon: Local earns status of trading-card game champ

Photo Mary Beth Hislop/Town Crier

Eight-year-old Emily Cheng of Los Altos scored big, winning second place, a $1,000 scholarship, a Pokmon prize kit and the coveted Pokmon trophy at the Pokmon Trading Card Game Regional Championships April 17.

It’s a game of high stakes – poker for little people – and the luck of the draw involves careful planning, comprehensive strategy and deliberate execution. It’s no place for whiskey and cigars.

And at the Pokémon Trading Card Game Santa Clara Regional Championships April 17, 8-year-old Los Altos resident Emily Cheng scored big, winning second place, a $1,000 scholarship, a Pokémon prize kit and the coveted Pokémon trophy, which is prominently displayed in a china cabinet at home.

“This was my second tournament,” said Emily, a second-grader at Almond School.

Her second-place status in the tournament also netted her an opportunity to compete at the national level in Indianapolis at the end of June.

“We’re not sure if we’ll go,” said her father. “She has an invitation, and that’s terrific.”

It’s especially terrific considering Emily started playing the game in September.

“My old friend Rachel introduced me to the game,” Emily said. “She gave me my first Pokémon card – ‘Solrock.’ That’s how it all started.”

“She came home one day and wanted to play Pokémon,” Steve said.

Easier said than done. Learning the basics Рrules and strategies Рinvolved an Internet search. And then a search for fellow Pok̩mon aficionados.

“I don’t actually play with people at school,” Emily said.

But she did find a Pokémon League in Santa Clara that meets weekly to play the game and learn the strategies involved.

“We just had a great time meeting new people,” Steve said. “She just loved it.”

That first card is just the beginning.

“In Pokémon, you have to collect the cards,” Emily said. “‘Solrock’ is really special to me. Sadly, it was out of play (at the tournament).”

At the regional competition, Emily was paired with others in five games in the 11-year-old-and-younger category – called the Swiss round – securing a place in the finals after scoring four wins and one loss.

In the first of two final games that consisted of three rounds, Emily beat a 10-year-old.

“She actually beat the top-seeded player from the Swiss round,” Steve said.

In her final competition with an 11-year-old champ, Emily lost the first round, won the second and came close in the third.

“It was a real nail-biter,” Steve said. “He was really pushed to the limit.”

For those not in the know, Pokémon originated in Japan as “pocket monsters,” animated creatures encapsulated by their trainers who cared for them and prepared them to compete in sporting events. The Pokémon evolve as they gain experience, becoming stronger and accumulating powers while their trainers earn badges and acclimation as they attain rank in Pokémon competitions.

Pokémon has since captured worldwide attention as an enduring fad that has evolved into Nintendo Game Boy games, a comic book series, movies, a video game and the trading card game. But don’t let its “game” designation fool you.

“It’s very complicated,” Steve said. “As a parent, I can appreciate that the game has some great aspects. It’s fun to play, and it really makes you think with the elements of strategy and planning.”

It’s even more difficult to explain.

But Emily doesn’t allow the game to interfere with academics – she loves science and is currently entranced with studying the behaviors of crayfish.

In the meantime, she has passed her love of the Pokémon Trading Card Game to family, one of whom also participated in the regional tournament.

“My cousin got sixth place,” Emily said.

Her advice to up-and-coming Pokémon players: “I would say they should start with a World Championship deck and take a month to add to it.”

It also helped to have a mentor from the Pokémon League, Brian, who is in the know when it comes to the powers of each Pokémon card. Emily’s secret weapon – “Claydol.”

“It has a special power,” she said. “It is one of the most reliable ways to get cards in and out of your hands.”

Emily’s enthusiasm for the game may convince her parents it’s worth a trip to Indianapolis. And if she scores big there, the 2010 Pokémon World Championships are scheduled in August in Honolulu.

For more information, visit www.pokemon.com.

Contact Mary Beth Hislop at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

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