Tue07292014

News

LASD, BCS boards finalize 5-year agreement

Bullis Charter School board members unanimously approved a five-year agreement with the Los Altos School District just before midnight Monday. The agreement, also unanimously approved by LASD trustees earlier in the evening, outlines facilities uses ...

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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 int...

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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 in L...

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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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All wired up: Local music company aims to make studio-quality recordings mobile


Photo By: Diego Abeloos/Town Crier
Photo Diego Abeloos/Town Crier

Doug Wright, founder and president of Sonoma Wire Works, plays his guitar using GuitarJack, which allows musicians to connect their instruments to an iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch.

Class of 1990 Los Altos High graduates Doug and Michelle (Reynolds) Wright have a simple goal in mind: to provide musicians with the convenience and ability to play, record and share music simply by reaching into their pockets or turning on a tablet.

The couple – former high school sweethearts – started Sonoma Wire Works in 2003 while residing in Sonoma County. They moved back to their hometown in 2008, steadily developing a wide range of music software products among the way.

Doug, the company’s president, noted that the company’s overarching aim is “to make products that allow musicians to capture music themselves – less of an engineer’s tool and more of a musician’s tool.”

With this in mind, he pointed to products like GuitarJack, an iOS audio input and output interface that enables musicians to connect guitars, keyboards, microphones and other hardware to an iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch. The product is ideal for recording chunks of music – guitar chords or lyrics – whenever inspiration strikes, Doug said.

“For me, I never really ever have a whole song. I just have a new riff that I want to record,” he said. “It’s just super fast and super intuitive.”

When coupled with one of the company’s multitrack recording apps – FourTrack for the iPhone or StudioTrack for the iPad – GuitarJack also serves as an easy-to-use amplifier and recording studio on a mobile device, he added.

Other products, like RiffWorks, a Windows and Mac compatible guitar recording software program, and DrumCore, the company’s extensive drum loop library, provide customers with low-cost, do-it-yourself alternatives to traditional – and pricey – recording studio sessions, Doug said.

“We have more than 20 different well-known, A-list drummers and 45 gigabytes of content, which is just thousands and thousands of loops,” Doug said of DrumCore, which features former Guns N’ Roses drummer Matt Sorum, former Carlos Santana drummer Michael Shrieve, percussionist Luis Conte and more.

The inspiration behind the products stems from an unfilled personal need he recognized as a musician. As a member of rock bands in his early days, Doug recalled being tasked with the dual roles of guitarist and audio engineer during studio recording sessions.

He quickly discovered that the combination of using his technical know-how while simultaneously attempting to engage in the process of creating music was stifling.

“If you look at almost anyone in the music industry making products, we’re all musicians and we’re all doing it because we want the products as much as the customers do,” said Doug, whose products are available on Amazon, through distributors and dealers worldwide and locally at Present, 162 Main St. “We’re very in touch with the needs and desires of our customers because we are them.”

The company is also dedicated to making products locally, added Michelle, vice president of marketing. Hardware manufacturing for GuitarJack, for instance, is done in San Jose.

“We’re trying to do as much American-made as we can,” she said.

As for the future, Doug noted that the company plans to focus on converging its mobile and desktop products.

“Tablets are getting so powerful,” said Doug, who also teaches courses in audio software programming locally at Cogswell College.

“They can basically do anything that the desktops I originally programmed Riffworks on could do. You’ll start to see less difference between the desktop software we make and the mobile software … but all (fulfilling) the original purpose of making recording music easier and more accessible to musicians.”

For more information, visit www.sonomawireworks.com.

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