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News

Council seeks more options for community center

Council seeks more options for community center


Town Crier File Photo
The Los Altos City Council approved an appropriation to examine options for a new community center to replace the aging Hillview facility.

The Los Altos City Council last week voted narrowly in favor of examining further opti...

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Schools

Local schools participate in  national Hour of Code activities

Local schools participate in national Hour of Code activities


Ellie Van HOutte/Town Crier
Himan Shu Raj, a volunteer from Microsoft, advises Los Altos High ninth-graders, from left, Serhat Suzer, Jamie Bennett and Chris Yang as they participate in the school’s Hour of Code Showcase.

Local schools participa...

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Community

Take a dive into the holiday archive

Take a dive into the holiday archive

Town Crier staff made a quick cruise back through the newspaper's archives to find some late-December reading as inspiration for eating, drinking, decorating and more:

Beloved holiday books build the spirit of the season and staff at Los Altos’ Li...

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Sports

Pinewood poised for another title run

Pinewood poised for another title run


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Pinewood’s girls basketball team is receiving contributions from several new players, including freshman Stella Kailahi, above.

Complacency shouldn’t be a problem for the defending Division V state champion Pinewood S...

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Comment

Letters to the Editor

Ticket motorists for U-turns on Main Street

As I was walking downtown on Main Street recently, something came to me out of the blue. The town of Los Altos is missing out on a huge revenue stream. I realized that if all the cars – there were th...

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Special Sections

Looking Ahead

Looking Ahead


s in line to be mayor of Mountain View in 2015.

Mountain View anticipates the following changes in 2015:

• Beginning Jan. 1, Mountain View City Councilmembers will receive a raise to $1,000 per month as a result of the passage of Measure A in...

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Business

Your 2015 stock market game plan

It’s been a maddening month because of oil and gas, especially in stocks and bonds. Then, consumer spending pushed stocks higher Thursday, easing investors’ jitters about the global economy and prompting them to consider how to invest in ...

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Books

Gawande's

Gawande's "Being Mortal" proves an important book on aging


Books about death and dying are usually not on my list of “must reads.”

I couldn’t resist, however, the best-selling “Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End” (Metropolitan Books, 2014) by Atul Gawande.

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People

SANGEETA SACHDEVA

SANGEETA SACHDEVA

Sangeeta Sachdeva, 55, wife of Subhash Sachdeva and mother to Natasha and Tanya, died at 8:54pm, Sunday, December 7, 2014 from respiratory failure.

Sangeeta was born on October 18, 1959 in Delhi, India. She was born to Moti Sagar and Raj Kapoor an...

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Travel

South Tahoe renovations enhance off-mountain seasonal fun

As any enthusiast knows well, there is more to the enjoyment of winter sports than skiing or snowboarding.

While many winter resorts make minor upgrades each season, the off-mountain attractions and amenities can be as enticing as the activities on ...

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Stepping Out

Aurora Singers to emit 'Musical Glow' Friday

Aurora Singers to emit 'Musical Glow' Friday


courtesy of Aurora Singers
The Aurora Singers are scheduled to perform a seasonal concert Friday night in Palo Alto.

The Aurora Singers’ “Winter’s Musical Glow” holiday concert is set for 7 p.m. Friday at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Pal...

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Spiritual Life

Enter the superhero: Finding the God who loves you

In my life-coaching practice, I see a lot of pain. Much of it stems from fear and guilt, often expressed as low self-esteem, anxiety, a lack of forgiveness both for oneself and others, anger – and so on.

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Magazine

Christmas At Our House home tour celebrates 26 years

Christmas At Our House home tour celebrates 26 years


Courtesy of Christopher Stark
Homes on the St. Francis High School Women’s Club’s Christmas at Our House Holiday Home Tour showcase a variety of architectural styles.

The days grow short on sunshine but long on nostalgia as the holidays approach...

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Local students conduct model Papal Conclave


Photo By: Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Photo Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier Students cast their ballots for a new pope during last week’s Papal Conclave simulation at St. Simon Parish School .

As Pope Francis officially began his first full day as the new leader of the Roman Catholic Church Thursday, local junior high students elected a pope of their own in a simulated Papal Conclave convened by St. Simon Parish School in Los Altos.

“What we’re trying to do here is evidence the ritual,” said St. Simon Principal Steve Rummell, who suggested the simulated conclave five days earlier following the resignation of Pope Benedict XVI. “We’re living out the actual experience.”

Rummell prepared the logistics for a model conclave that would replicate the environment in Rome. Volunteers imitated the red capes of the cardinals and cut the linings out of costume pirate hats to copy the small, round, red zuccehetto caps the cardinals wear. Seven schools in the Diocese of San Jose sent student delegates as “cardinals” in response to Rummell’s invitation to participate.

“How often is this going to happen?” Rummell asked. “It’s one thing to have a lesson plan, it’s another to do the living, breathing thing.”

Realistic reproduction

Traditionally shrouded in secrecy, the Papal Conclave gathered in Rome last week was isolated from the outside world and inaccessible to media and the public.

After the College of Cardinals – the official electors of the new Bishop of Rome – took their oaths, all outsiders were expelled and the doors to the Sistine Chapel closed behind them. The conclave is secluded to ensure that electors are not influenced by politics and to facilitate the required two-thirds majority vote as quickly as possible. The tradition of a private selection process originated in 1274 as a consequence of a papal conclave fraught with internal conflict among the cardinals that lasted for nearly three years.

When the 64 seventh- and eighth-grade “cardinals” convened in St. Simon’s gymnasium for the model Papal Conclave last week, dozens of parents, classmates and media documented the process – much different from the calm experienced by the cardinals in Rome.

Another major difference in the St. Simon conclave was the representation of an equal number of girls as boys – the College of Cardinals comprises men only.Adorned in long white vestments, with improvised red capes and skullcaps, the “papal electors” at St. Simon dressed for their roles in selecting one of their classmates as their model pope.

The process began with a prayer blessing in the church, followed by a procession into the gymnasium, where the designated electors took a biblical oath. The student electors alternated between mingling and lobbying amongst themselves, and sitting at long, white tables arranged like those at the Sistine Chapel to fill out their secret ballots with the names of nominees.

A pope is elected

Following three rounds of ballots, Duncan Chisholm, an eighth-grader from Catholic Academy of Sunnyvale, was announced as the pope-elect.

“It was very shocking at first,” said Chisholm, who was rushed to a wardrobe change as bells tolled from the church’s bell tower. Chisholm emerged into the schoolyard in white garments with a gold pectoral cross.

St. Simon used a cherry picker to hoist him into the air to hover above the crowd of students gathered to receive the blessing.

Chisholm seemed both overwhelmed and humbled by the experience. He embraced his temporary role, offering waves, casual high-fives with his classmates and even deeper reflection on how the experience prompted him to think about becoming a priest.

“I didn’t expect it, but I think God has plans for all of us,” Chisholm said. “There might be something he is trying to lead me to.”

For a full album of photos from the model papal conclave, click here

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