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News

Police stress need for low speed in school zones

Police stress need for low speed in school zones


Town Crier File Photo
After two recent accidents involving cyclists and motorists, police urge caution – on both sides.

After two recent incidents of vehicles striking student bicyclists, Los Altos Police urge residents to exercise caution whe...

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Schools

Gardner Bullis School debuts new Grizzly Student Center

Gardner Bullis School debuts new Grizzly Student Center


Photo by Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Students line up to check books out of the library in the new Grizzly Student Center at Gardner Bullis School.

Gardner Bullis School opened its new Grizzly Student Center earlier this month, introducing a lea...

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Community

Home improvement workshop scheduled Wednesday (Oct. 29)

The County of Santa Clara is hosting a free informational workshop on 6:30 p.m. Wednesday at Los Altos Hills Town Hall, 26379 Fremont Road.

The workshop will offer ways single-family homeowners can increase their homes’ energy efficiency. Eligible i...

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Comment

Off the fence: TC recommends 'yes' on N

The Town Crier initially offered no position on the controversial $150 million Measure N bond on Tuesday’s ballot. But some of the reasons we gave in our Oct. 15 editorial were, on reflection, overly critical and based on inaccurate information.

We ...

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Special Sections

Long-term solutions emerge as water conservation goes mainstream

Long-term solutions emerge as water conservation goes mainstream


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Forrest Linebarger, right, installed greywater and rainwater harvesting systems at his Los Altos Hills home.

With more brown than green visible in her Los Altos backyard, Kacey Fitzpatrick admits that she’s a little e...

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Business

Local realtors scare up money for charity

Local realtors scare up money for charity


Photo courtesy of SILVAR
Realtors Gary Campi and Jordan Legge, from left, joined Nancy Domich, SILVAR President Dave Tonna and Joe Brown to raise funds for the Silicon Valley Realtors Charitable Foundation.

Los Altos and Mountain View realtors raise...

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Books

Helping kids catch a few Zs: Local dental hygienist pens meditative bedtime book

Helping kids catch a few Zs: Local dental hygienist pens meditative bedtime book


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Mimi Sommers, who works at a Los Altos dentist’s office, recently wrote a children’s book.

A local dental hygienist recently published a book that aims to ease parents and children during a sometimes anxious e...

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People

DAVID S. NIVISON

DAVID S. NIVISON

David S. Nivison, 91 years old, and a resident of Los Altos, California since 1952, died Oct. 16, 2014 at home.  His neighbors had recently honored him as the “Mayor of Russell Ave., in recognition of 62 years of distinguished living” on that ...

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Travel

Falling leaves: Four places in California to see autumn colors

Falling leaves: Four places in California to see autumn colors


Courtesy of Castello di Amorosa
Castello di Amorosa in Calistoga, above, boasts a beautiful setting for viewing fall’s colors – and sampling the vineyard’s wines.

Yes, Virginia, there is fall in California.

The colors pop out in...

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Stepping Out

ECYS opens season Sunday

ECYS opens season Sunday


Ramya Krishna/Special to the Town Crier
The El Camino Youth Symphony rehearses for Sunday’s concert, above.

The El Camino Youth Symphony – under new conductor Jindong Cai – is scheduled to perform its season-opening concert 4 p.m....

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Spiritual Life

Christian Science Reading Room hosts webinar on prayer and healing

Christian Science practitioner and teacher Evan Mehlenbacher is scheduled to present a live Internet webinar lecture, “Prayer That Heals,” 7:30 p.m. Nov. 14 in the Christian Science Reading Room, 60 Main St., Los Altos.

Those interested ...

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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 ad...

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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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