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News

Downtown green park pops up again in August

Downtown green park pops up again in August


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
The Third Street Green debuts Aug. 3 on the 300 block of State Street in downtown Los Altos.

Another temporary park is poised to pop up in downtown Los Altos this summer.

According to Brooke Ray Smith, community developme...

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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


ft, 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.

Tia Geri can’t wait to bring her new golden retriev...

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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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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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