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News

Obama visits Los Altos area

Obama visits Los Altos area

President Obama made a fundraising stop today at a private residence in Los Altos Hills, an appearance that spurred traffic disruptions, helicopters scouting overhead and protesters. In the wake of his visit, unknown persons, apparently no fans of ...

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Schools

MVLA rolls out laptop integration this fall

MVLA rolls out laptop integration this fall


Town Crier File Photo
Starting in the fall, daily use of laptops in the classroom will be standard operating procedure for students at Los Altos and Mountain View high schools as the Mountain View Los Altos Union High School District launches a pil...

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Community

Generations blend behind the scenes at 'Wizard of Oz'

Generations blend behind the scenes at 'Wizard of Oz'


Altos Youth Theatre and Los Altos Stage Company rehearse a scene from “The Wizard of Oz.” ELIZA RIDGEWAY/ TOWN CRIER

A massive troupe of young people and grownups gathered in Los Altos this summer to stage the latest iteration of a childhood sta...

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Sports

Football in July

Football in July


Town Crier file photo
Mountain View High’s Anthony Avery is among the nine local players slated to play in tonight’s Silicon Valley Youth Classic.

Tonight’s 40th annual Silicon Valley Youth Classic – also known as the Charlie...

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Comment

Pools should be included: Editorial

Los Altos residents should be receiving calls this week from city representatives conducting a survey to determine priorities for a revamped Hillview Community Center.

Notice that we did not say “civic center” – chastened by a lack of public support...

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Special Sections

Looking for life without lows, local diabetic tests artificial pancreas

Looking for life without lows, local diabetic tests artificial pancreas


Photo by Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Dr. Trang Ly, left, reviews blood sugar readings on a smartphone with Los Altos resident Tia Geri, right, and fellow participant Noa Simon during a closed-loop artificial pancreas study for Type 1 diabetics.
...

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Business

Palo Alto law firm coming to 400 Main

Palo Alto law firm coming to 400 Main


Ellie Van Houtte/ Town Crier
Longtime Palo Alto law firm Thoits, Love, Hershberger & McClean plans to open an office at 400 Main St. in Los Altos after construction is complete in November.

A longtime Palo Alto law firm plans to expand into L...

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Books

"Frozen in Time" chronicles harrowing WWII rescue attempts


Many readers can’t resist a true-life adventure story, especially those that shine a spotlight on people who exhibit supreme courage in the face of adversity and end up surviving – or not – against the odds.

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People

RICHARD PATRICK BRENNAN

RICHARD PATRICK BRENNAN

Resident of Palo Alto

Richard Patrick Brennan, journalist, editor, author, adventurer, died at his Palo Alto home on July 4, 2014 at age 92. He led a full life, professionally and personally. He was born and raised in San Francisco, joined the Arm...

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Travel

Travel Tidbit: Ritz-Carlton, Lake Tahoe offers spa getaway

Travel Tidbit: Ritz-Carlton, Lake Tahoe offers spa getaway


Courtesy of Ritz-Carlton
The Ritz-Carlton in Lake Tahoe offers fall getaway packages that include spa treatments and yoga classes.

Fall in North Lake Tahoe boasts crisp mornings and opportunities to spend quality time in the mountains. Specially ...

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Stepping Out

PYT stages 'Shrek'

PYT stages 'Shrek'


Lyn Healy/Spotlight Moments Photography
Dana Cullinane plays Fiona in Peninsula Youth Theatre’s “Shrek The Musical.”

Peninsula Youth Theatre presents “Shrek The Musical” Saturday through Aug. 3 at the Mountain View Center for the Performing Arts...

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Spiritual Life

Foothills Congregational: 100 years and counting

Foothills Congregational: 100 years and counting


Courtesy of Carolyn Barnes
The newly built Los Altos church in 1914 featured a bell tower and an arched front window. Both continue as elements of the building as it stands today.

Foothills Congregational Church – the oldest church building ...

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Magazine

Festival features fun for everyone

Festival features fun for everyone


TOWN CRIER FILE PHOTO
The Los Altos Arts & Wine Festival boasts more than 375 craft and arts booths.

This weekend’s 35th annual Los Altos Arts & Wine Festival promises to be jam-packed with fun activities for just about everyone. The eve...

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St. Francis High doesnt lack for defensive specialists


Photo By: Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Photo Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier St. Francis High’s Stephanie Kellogg extends to hit the ball Thursday against Menlo. The Lancers won in five games.

What St. Francis High coach Leahi Hall Leon described as a “real blessing” for her girls volleyball team could prove to be a curse for those facing the Lancers this season.

Teeming with talent in the back row, St. Francis doesn’t figure to surrender kills easily. Expect the Lancers to record more digs than a seasoned archaeologist.

“We have so many players with back-row and defensive ability,” said Hall Leon, whose squad improved to 6-1 with Thursday’s five-game win over visiting Menlo. “All four of our (defensive specialists) are libero-caliber players. We’re lucky to have four tremendously capable defensive players.”

The foursome includes returnees Catherine Wes and Kelly Wimmer, both seniors, and Tatiana San Juan and Hannah Aguirre, juniors new to varsity. The Columbia University-bound Wes “is our most steady passer, and also plays outside hitter and libero,” Hall Leon said.

The Lancers’ fourth-year coach knows a thing or two about defense – she was a defensive specialist/libero for Stanford University from 2001 to 2004.

St. Francis doesn’t just have top-notch players in the back row – the Lancers have weapons up front as well. Outside hitters Chloe Lott and Alexandra Espinosa and middle blockers Stephanie Kellogg and Emily Rose played major roles on last year’s team, which won the Central Coast Section Division II title and reached the Northern California final. All of them are seniors except for Espinosa (junior).

The 5-foot-10 Lott, who started at right-side hitter last season, seems to be making a smooth move to outside hitter. She led the Lancers in kills in both of their matches last week, notching 14 in a sweep of Albany and 23 against Menlo.

“Chloe has been the kill leader for the majority of our matches.” Hall Leon said. “She’s been a big part of the offense, and Stephanie’s not far behind.”

Kellogg, a 6-1 middle blocker, ranks among the team’s top scorers. The Egan Junior High graduate recently committed to Brown University, according to Hall Leon.

With Kellogg playing alongside the 6-2 Rose, the Lancers have been mighty in the middle.

“We’ve received a lot of production from our middles,” the coach said. “Stephanie is scoring points and Emily is a tremendous blocker.”

The 5-10 Espinosa stepped in for ailing all-leaguer Christine Alftin (who has since transferred to Woodside) during the playoffs last year and became a key cog in the offense. This season Espinosa is seeing action at outside hitter and right-side hitter.

“She’s a great attacker,” Hall Leon said. “We’re able to use her at two positions with great success.”

The Lancers lost super setter Taylor Formico to graduation – along with three other all-leaguers – and two players are trying to replace her. Haley Roe and Maclaine Westendorf are “splitting time” at the position, Hall Leon said, because “they each earned the opportunity to compete.” Roe is a 5-10 senior who backed up Formico last year; Westendorf, who goes by “Macky” is a 5-8 junior up from JV.

“Haley has high goals for herself and the team, and has a great presence on the court,” the coach said. “Macky does a great job of getting our faster-tempo offense to the pins.”

Although it will be a challenge to match last year’s success and record (33-8), Hall Leon doesn’t seem too concerned about that. Instead of obsessing over accomplishments, she stresses performance.

“We talk about what we can control and not wins,” the coach said. “The girls are doing a great job focusing on producing their best effort and not on the results. The score will take care of itself if we remain focused on that task.”

St. Francis’ lone loss this year is to Mitty at the season-opening Spikefest tournament. Hall Leon expects the Monarchs to be one of many formidable foes in the West Catholic Athletic League this season.

“It will be an interesting year in the WCAL,” she said. “Mitty returns a lot of great talent and placed first at Spikefest. Presentation graduated a number of starting seniors and has a lot of younger players on the court, but they play hard and fast. And never count out Sacred Heart Cathedral, which has always played with tremendous tenacity.”

It’s too soon to tell if the Lancers have what it takes to win the league, but Hall Leon said team chemistry is one thing that won’t derail their chances.

“It’s a really sweet group – they’re really nice girls,” she said. “They understand that the unit is stronger than the individual, and they’re huge supporters of each other.”

St. Francis is scheduled to host Homestead 6 p.m. Thursday.

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