Tue09302014

News

Meet the Santa Clara Valley Water District Board of Directors candidates

Meet the Santa Clara Valley Water District Board of Directors candidates

Two candidates have filed to run for the District 7 seat on the Santa Clara Valley Water District Board of Directors in the Nov. 4 election. The water district, established in 1929, oversees and protects water resources in Santa Clara County....

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Schools

New LAHS assistant principal focuses on school activities

New LAHS assistant principal focuses on school activities


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Suzanne Woolfolk, assistant principal at Los Altos High, teaches a leadership course for Associated Student Body leaders.

Suzanne Woolfolk – new assistant principal at Los Altos High School – said she is happy...

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Community

Petting zoo, car show highlight Chamber's annual Fall Festival

Petting zoo, car show highlight Chamber's annual Fall Festival


Courtesy of Los Altos Chamber of Commerce
The petting zoo is a highlight of the Los Altos Fall Festival. This year’s event is slated Oct. 4 and 5.

The Los Altos Chamber of Commerce has scheduled its 23rd annual Fall Festival 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Oc...

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Sports

Burlingame bowls over Los Altos

Burlingame bowls over Los Altos


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Los Altos High halfback Sean Lanoza looks for running room against Burlingame in Saturday’s home opener.

The opening drive of Saturday’s game against Burlingame couldn’t have gone much better for the Los Altos High fo...

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Comment

Does Los Altos have a parking problem, or is it a symptom? : Other Voices

Yes, and yes. It appears that the downtown Los Altos parking problem is a symptom of the city’s “Sarah Winchester” approach to planning that instead of resulting in staircases to nowhere resulted in a hotel without parking required by code.(1)

From ...

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Special Sections

Los Altos landmark Four families later, Shoup House goes on the market

Los Altos landmark Four families later, Shoup House goes on the market


Courtesy of Matthew Anello
The Shoup House dining room, above, features original elements. The 100-year-old house on University Avenue earned a spot on the National Register of Historic Places, a nod to its legacy as the home of city founder Paul S...

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Business

Longtime banker readies for retirement

Longtime banker readies for retirement


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Joanne Kavalaris is retiring at the end of October after spending the past 25 years of her banking career in downtown Los Altos.

A longtime Los Altos banker is calling it a career in a few weeks.

Joanne Kavalaris, Bank o...

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Books

A woman's perspective on the Greatest Generation

A woman's perspective on the Greatest Generation


During World War II, Virgilia Short Witzel, a young mother and U.S. Navy officer’s wife, grappled on the home front in Menlo Park with wartime rationing, shortages and loneliness. During the ensuing Cold War, she experienced adventure and misadventur...

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People

VINCENT (TIM) MURPHY JR.

VINCENT (TIM) MURPHY JR.

July 27, 1953 – August 12, 2014

Native Los Altan died Medford, OR. Graduated Bellarmine Prep. Married Josephine Domino, 1950. Licensed Auto Mechanic, Private Pilot, skilled Computer Scientist. Tim “could fix anything”. Afflicted with cancer 2001. ...

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Travel

Taking a Turkey trek: Winging it during the World Cup

Taking a Turkey trek: Winging it during the World Cup


Rich Robertson/Special to the Town Crier
The sun sets over the Aegean Sea in Bodrum, Turkey, left.

Tours that whisk you from Istanbul to Bodrum in 11 days are as plentiful as souvenir hawkers in Turkey, but traveling from the Blue Mosque to Topkapi ...

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Stepping Out

Pear builds wonderful 'House'

Pear builds wonderful 'House'


J. Smith/Special to the Town Crier
Betsy Kruse Craig portrays Trish in the Pear Avenue Theatre production of “House,” which closes Oct. 5.

Mountain View’s Pear Avenue Theatre is staging an unusual theater-going experience – producing two plays...

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Spiritual Life

Magazine

Local events add color to autumn calendar

Local events add color to autumn calendar


Van Houtte/town crier Visitors make their way through the Children’s Alley.

As Los Altos’ signature Chinese Pistache trees exchange their summer green for vibrant hues of yellow, orange and red in the fall, an abundance of local events also add ...

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Los Altos High offers Multivariable Calculus for advanced students


Photo By: Ellie Van HOutte/ Town Crier
Photo Ellie Van Houtte/ Town Crier

Los Altos High School instructor Michael Richardson conducts the Multivariable Calculus class last week. Los Altos High is among the first high schools in California to offer the advanced math class for college credit.

Future engineers and physicists at Los Altos High School have the opportunity to pursue their advanced math education this year, as the school became one of California’s first public schools to offer a Multivariable Calculus class.

Calculus is usually taught in three stages, with the first two typically offered at the high school level. Because so many local students finish with their calculus classes junior year, a gap remains before they can take the third class, Multivariable Calculus, in college.

Multivariable Calculus picks up where Advanced Placement Calculus BC leaves off and requires students to build on the skills they learned in BC to solve more complex problems. The class is essential for higher-level math, physics and engineering.

“It is learning how to use calculus in a wide variety of three-dimensional applications,” said Michael Richardson, class instructor.

Such applications include describing how planetary bodies move or economic systems work.

Richardson, who had a gap in his own calculus instruction between high school and college, said he wishes he hadn’t experienced that lapse in learning.

Continuing calculus without a gap in instruction better prepares students for success in higher education, particularly because Los Altos High produces many graduates who pursue degrees in mathematics, engineering or physics.

The class currently enrolls approximately 15 students, mostly seniors, and two-hour sessions are scheduled after school Mondays and Wednesdays. The hope is that as more students enroll, the school will offer the class as part of its standard curriculum.

Richardson said he was eager to teach the class when approached about it. He has been teaching Alternate Path Geometry, Advanced Placement Calculus BC and Advanced Placement Computer Science (another new class this year).

“I like all calculus,” he said. “I studied physics in college, and this is the level of calculus that most deals with three dimensions and physics.”

Richardson earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in physics from the University of Utah.

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