Wed05062015

News

LASD, city move toward land discussions

The ice may be thawing a bit as the Los Altos School District and the city of Los Altos consider resurrecting discussions on the potential use of public land as a school site.

The city voted to discontinue conversations about civic land with the sch...

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Schools

Mental health expert dispels myths

Mental health expert dispels myths


Megan V. Winslow/Town Crier
Palo Alto University Professor Paul Marcille addresses a crowd of psychology students and mental health activists last week about myths surrounding mental illness and violence.

In the wake of the 2011 Sandy Hook Elementa...

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Community

Q&A: Meet the city's new public works and administrative services directors

The city of Los Altos has hired three new department directors in the past ten months. The Town Crier recently profiled new Recreation Director Manny Hernandez. This week, the Town Crier profiles Susana Chan, new public works director, and Kim Juran-...

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Comment

Familiar icon pops up in Los Altos: A Piece of My Mind

I was walking to my car parked on State Street when my eye fell on an old familiar acquaintance from my early childhood, totally unexpected to meet in Los Altos. It was the “Steinway” logo over the door of the new Steinway Piano Gallery,...

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Special Sections

New Los Altos shop brews milk tea for gourmands

New Los Altos shop brews milk tea for gourmands


Eliza Ridgeway/Town Crier
Teaspoon, the milk tea shop at Village Court in Los Altos, above, serves a range of bubble teas and snow ice drinks, right.

Los Altos made it onto the milk tea map this spring with the opening of Teaspoon, a new bubble tea ...

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Business

Ed center scores spot in Foothills Crossing

Ed center scores spot in Foothills Crossing


Alicia Castro/ Town Crier
C2 Los Altos tutor Max Shih, left, instructs Homestead High School student Rajesh Suresh.

Los Altos families have a new resource for helping their children ace the test.

C2 Los Altos – a recently opened education cente...

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Books

People

DOROTHY RUTH MATHIS PUDER

DOROTHY RUTH MATHIS PUDER

9/17/1918-4/15/2015

Dorothy Puder died on April 15th in Sunnyvale, California. She will be remembered for her gentle, loving, positive and caring ways and will be greatly missed by family and friends.

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Travel

Cuba libre: Local residents join mad rush of travelers

Cuba libre: Local residents join mad rush of travelers


Natalie Elefant/Special to the Town Crier
Los Altos resident Natalie Elefant noted the vibrant street performances as a traveler in Cuba.

The U.S. restored diplomatic relations with Cuba late last year, enabling Americans to import $100 worth of cig...

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Stepping Out

 PYT's comedic musical opens this weekend in Mtn. View

PYT's comedic musical opens this weekend in Mtn. View


Lyn Flaim/Spotlight Moments Photography
The cast of Peninsula Youth Theatre’s “Once Upon a Mattress” includes, from left, Sophia Graziani (of Los Altos) as Winnifred, Chris Gough (Sunnyvale) as the Prince and Reilly Arena (Palo Alto) as the Queen. ...

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Spiritual Life

Mercifully in His grip: Exploring our true position in Christ

I recently read a wonderful analogy about our true position in Christ. It was shockingly contrary to the messages impressed upon me in church, but deeply rooted in the Bible. The analogy is that of child and a parent. If you have ever taken a small ...

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Magazine

Practice prudent pruning: Maintaining manzanita, ceanothus and toyon

Practice prudent pruning: Maintaining manzanita, ceanothus and toyon


tanya kucak/Special to the Town Crier
Shrub manzanitas are known for their sinuous mahogany trunks and branches. If the foliage hides the bark, prune selectively to open the center so that the bark is visible year-round. This Montara manzanita is ...

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Inside Mountain View

Up to the challenge: Local leaders unite to help at-risk youth

Up to the challenge: Local leaders unite to help at-risk youth


Courtesy of Challenge Team
Jeanette Freiberg, bottom of pile, has fun with family members. The Challenge Team named Freiberg, a student at Mountain View High School, its 2015 Youth Champion.

There’s an ongoing joke among members of the Challenge...

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Meeting expectations: Mountain View High softball team may surpass coach's goals for season

There are three games remaining in the season, and Jake McKenzie has already accomplished what he set out to do in his first year as Mountain View High softball coach.

"They've met my expectations, to tell you the truth. They were 12-12 last year and I wanted to at least match that," said McKenzie, whose Spartans entered this final week of league play with a 12-11 overall record. "Everything from here on in is frosting on the cake."

Of course, that cake will be a little sweeter if Mountain View sneaks into the Central Coast Section playoffs.

I was hoping to get to CCS, but we'll probably need to win the rest of our games," McKenzie said. "It won't be easy, but it's still attainable."

The coach made that comment prior to the two games the Spartans played against Lynbrook at the end of last week. They lost both - 4-0 Friday and 7-1 Saturday - to sink to 3-5 in the SCVAL De Anza Division.

Although Mountain View's playoff hopes have faded, it will probably take more than that to temper McKenzie's enthusiasm for this squad.

"Of all the teams I've coached, including travel ball, this is probably the best one," said McKenzie, whose 15-year coaching career includes stints at Pioneer and Del Mar highs. "Attitude plays a big part in that, and all the girls have great attitudes."

The 13-member team comprises five seniors, three juniors, two sophomores and three freshmen. All of them play regularly.

McKenzie said almost every girl on the team plays travel ball in the offseason, which shows on the field.

"These girls are a heck of a bunch of girls," the coach said. "They do what they're asked, they learn real fast and have great talent."

Four Spartans are batting above .300: outfielder Alicia Olmos, third baseman Marisa Bitler, catcher/outfielder Amy Sherrill and pitcher Kendra Vanek.

Leadoff hitter Olmos, a senior, is hovering around .350, tops on the team. Junior Bitler had a team-best three hits (two doubles) in Mountain View's 19-0 shellacking of Saratoga April 24 and leads the team in RBIs. Senior Sherrill is the team's power hitter and has one of the five homers hit in the league this season.

Vanek not only has a potent bat, but a strong arm as well. The sophomore is the team's ace pitcher. The winning pitcher in all of the Spartans' victories this season, she had an ERA just below 1.30 after a 1-0 loss to Homestead April 26.

"She's awesome," McKenzie said. "She has six pitches, good control, good speed and a good attitude. Everything you want in a player, she has."

When Vanek gets a break, McKenzie uses Olmos or junior Allison Duray on the mound. The coach said Olmos "is a very good pitcher with decent speed and movement and has four pitches," while Duray "is a slower pitcher, with movement on the ball, who is good at throwing off fast-hitting teams."

McKenzie said all his pitchers are helped by the stout defense behind them.

"My defense, I think, is our No. 1 strength," he said. "The girls are awesome; they have errors, but not that many - less than one a game."

McKenzie credits the defense for several of Mountain View's wins, including a 2-0 upset of St. Francis.

What he would like to see now is more hitting, which he listed as the team's biggest weakness.Other than the rout of Saratoga, the Spartans struggled getting hits last week. They totaled just one run in the three games that followed.

Mountain View hosts Monta Vista at 4 p.m. today, then plays at Los Gatos at the same time Friday in another league game.

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