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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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Parents sound off over Mountain View High newspaper content


Photo By: Traci Newell/Town Crier
Photo Traci Newell/Town Crier “Sex & Relationships,” a feature in Mountain View High School’s student newspaper, The Oracle, prompted strong reactions from parents who objected to its content and requested closer supervision of the staff.

Sexual content published in Mountain View High School’s student-run newspaper, The Oracle, prompted several concerned parents to speak out at a district board meeting earlier this month.

The paper recently ran a two-page feature, “Sex & Relationships,” including the piece “What they teach you in health and what you really need to know.” The article upset many parents, who attended the Feb. 11 Mountain View Los Altos Union High School District board meeting to voice their objections.

Mountain View High parent Nathan Sandland described the article as “too forward” and said it “counteracts parental advice.” He said the newspaper’s editorial staff requires more adult supervision.

Other parents were worried about their teens’ younger siblings picking up the paper and reading the piece or whether the content was appropriate for 14-year-old freshmen.

Daniel Ledesma, whose four children are not yet in high school, said he was concerned with the content being “too explicit” and that he didn’t want his children exposed to it.

“It sends the wrong message,” he said. “It approves sex before marriage.”

Superintendent Barry Groves acknowledged that the article contained content that should not have been published and apologized for it.

The board has placed the journalism programs at Mountain View and Los Altos high schools on the agenda of its March 11 meeting.

“For the most part, I’m really proud of the school newspaper,” Groves said. “It’s a student voice and their newspaper, and they need to take responsibility for its content.”

The author responds

The author of the piece in question, opinion editor Abby Cunniff, attended the Feb. 11 meeting as a member of the school’s Associated Student Body and listened to parent feedback. Doing so, she said, made her realize there is a “seemingly significant and very vocal” group of parents who found the article “offensive and insulting to their personal beliefs and values.”

In a letter to the Town Crier, Cunniff wrote, “The article explores topics briefly covered in sex education classes that I felt needed more specificity to be relevant to student life. I discussed information that I would have liked to know when I entered high school, when I felt like I was tossed into the deep end of teenage sexual interactions.”

Cunniff added that she was saddened that parents feel she “wrote with malevolence.”

“The intention of my article was to promote safe, healthy sex for those who wish to become or already are sexually active,” she noted. “I don’t think my article did anything to persuade or affect students who are decidedly against sexual activity, because mainstream media and other teenagers do a much better job than I do. I only wanted to provide information for those who want to know more about having safe, healthy sex.”

The Oracle’s adviser, Amy Beare, said in a statement that the paper’s student staff is “learning about their world in a way we as educators should encourage through investigation of ideas, interaction with all kinds of people and the process of writing about what they see. If they cross a line of decency that their readers find offensive, they are open to learning about that, too.”

She added that she and the staff “made mistakes in this issue that we regret and we will move forward with greater care to ensure that we are true to our goal of provoking thought, not outrage.”

Town Crier editorial intern Zoe Morgan contributed to this report.

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