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News

E. coli found in Los Altos water indicated breach, but only low risk

E. coli found in Los Altos water indicated breach, but only low risk


Courtesy of Microbe World
Colorized low-temperature electron micrograph of a cluster of E. coli bacteria

When E. coli and other bacteria were discovered in some Los Altos water last week, officials from the local water supplier, California Water...

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Schools

BCS hosts Stretch to Kindergarten program for underserved youth

BCS hosts Stretch to Kindergarten program for underserved youth


Traci Newell/Town Crier
The six-week, tuition-free Stretch to Kindergarten program, hosted at Bullis Charter School, serves children who have not attended preschool. A teacher leads children in singing about the parts of a butterfly, above.

Local un...

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Community

Google car painting project calls on artists

Google car painting project calls on artists


Google self-driving car

Already known as an innovator in the tech field, Google Inc. is now moving in on the art world.

The Mountain View-based company July 11 launched the “Paint the Town” contest, a “moving art experiment” that invites Califo...

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Sports

Pedaling with a purpose

Pedaling with a purpose


courtesy of
Rishi Bommannan Rishi Bommannan cycled from Bates College in Maine to his home in Los Altos Hills, taking several selfies along the way. He also raised nearly $13,000 for the Livestrong Foundation, which supports cancer patients.

When R...

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Comment

The truth about coyotes: Other Voices

The Town Crier’s recent article on coyotes venturing down from the foothills in search of sustenance referenced the organization Project Coyote (“Recent coyote attacks keep residents on edge,” July 1). Do not waste your time contac...

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Special Sections

Grant Park senior program made permanent

Grant Park senior program made permanent


Photos by Alicia Castro/Town Crier
Local residents participate in an exercise class at the Grant Park Senior Center, above. Betsy Reeves, below left with Gail Enenstein, lobbied for senior programming in south Los Altos.

It all began when Betsy Reev...

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Business

New State Street rug retailer has downtown Los Altos covered

New State Street rug retailer has downtown Los Altos covered


Alicia Castro/Town Crier
Los Altos Rug Gallery owner Fahim Karimi stocks his State Street store with a wall-to-wall array of floor coverings.

A new downtown business owner plans to roll out the red carpet – along with rugs of every other color –...

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Books

Book Signings

• Fritz and Nomi Trapnell have scheduled a book-signing party 4-6 p.m. Aug. 1 at their home, 648 University Ave., Los Altos.

Fritz and his daughter, Dana Tibbitts, co-authored “Harnessing the Sky: Frederick ‘Trap’ Trapnell, ...

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People

GRACE WILSON FRANKS

GRACE WILSON FRANKS

Resident of Los Altos

Grace Wilson Franks, our beloved mother and grandmother, left us peacefully on July 16, 2015 just a few weeks short of her 92nd birthday. She was born to Ross and Florence (Cruzan) Wilson in rural Tulare, California on Septem...

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Travel

Gearing up: Make travel more civilized with accessories

Gearing up: Make travel more civilized with accessories


Eren Göknar/Special to the Town Crier
San Francisco-based humangear Inc. sells totes, tubes and tubs for traveling.

In travel, as in romance, it’s the little things that count.

Beyond the glossy brochures lie the travel discomforts too mun...

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Stepping Out

Going out with a 'Bang'

Going out with a 'Bang'


Richard Mayer/Special to the Town Crier
“Chitty Chitty Bang Bang” stars, clockwise from top left, Alexander Sanchez, Sophia Sturiale, Deborah Rosengaus and Danny Martin.

Los Altos Stage Company and Los Altos Youth Theatre’s joint production of t...

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Spiritual Life

Build a 'light' house and get out of that dark place

Most of us have a place inside our hearts and minds that occasionally causes us trouble. For some, it is sadness, depression or despair. For others, it may be fear, anger, resentment or myriad other emotional “dark places” that at times seem to hij...

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Magazine

Inside Mountain View

Residents gather at NASA Ames for Pluto Flyby event

Residents gather at NASA Ames for Pluto Flyby event


Megan V. Winslow/Town Crier
NASA Ames’ Pluto Flyover event kindles the imaginations of young attendees.

Sue Moore watched the July 20, 1969, moon landing beside patients and staff members of the San Francisco hospital where she worked as a nurse...

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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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