Mon09152014

News

Council approves directional signs for Los Altos' Woodland Plaza

Council approves directional signs for Los Altos' Woodland Plaza


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
The Los Altos City Council last week approved the installation of two new directional signs on Foothill Expressway pointing motorists to the Woodland Plaza Shopping District.

The Los Altos City Council voted unanimou...

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Schools

New head of curriculum’s ideologies align with LASD

New head of curriculum’s ideologies align with LASD


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Edsel Clark, new Los Altos School District assistant superintendent for curriculum and instruction, above, facilitates a junior high mathematics curriculum meeting last week.

Edsel Clark, Ed.D., new assistant superintend...

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Community

Closing reception caps Foothill photo show on rural China

Closing reception caps Foothill photo show on rural China


From IncredibleTravelPhotos.com
Jacque Kae’s “Mischievous” is one of the many photographs on display at Foothill College this month.

Photographs of the land and culture of Huangshan and Zhangjiajie, China, are on exhibit through Sept. 26 at t...

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Sports

Spartans shine in opener

Spartans shine in opener


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Mountain View High’s Frank Kapp snares a touchdown pass from quarterback Owen Mountford in Friday’s win.

Leading by a point at halftime, the Mountain View High football team outscored visiting Del Mar 20-0 the rest of...

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Comment

A look ahead to the Nov. 4 election: Editorial

Election season is upon us. In Los Altos, we have three major local races ahead – two seats on the Los Altos City Council, and three seats each on the Los Altos School District and Mountain View-Los Altos Union High School District boards of tr...

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Special Sections

Renovation complete,  Villa Siena looks to future

Renovation complete, Villa Siena looks to future


Above and Below Photos Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier; Left Photo Courtesy of Villa Siena
Villa Siena in Mountain View recently underwent a $35 million face-lift. The five-year project expanded their senior living community’s space and ability to serv...

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Business

Transitioning from postage to pets

Transitioning from postage to pets


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
A new Pet Food Express store is scheduled to open at the Blossom Valley Shopping Center this month.

A site that previously existed to meet postal service needs will soon have an entirely different purpose – serving pe...

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Books

‘The Humans’ transcends alien genre to glean human insights

‘The Humans’ transcends alien genre to glean human insights


A good story about aliens is always great fun to read – after all, it’s only by attempting to understand the human race from another perspective that we can see ourselves more objectively.

But readers who might be tempted to dismiss ye...

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People

JEANNE PACKARD

After suffering a stroke in May, Jeanne Packard died August 10, 2014 at age 83. She was born in 1931 in Berlin, Germany, the only child of Emily Channel and Frank Howe Packard of Chicago, IL. Jeanne is survived by 5 great grandchildren. She was a lon...

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Travel

LA photographer spends a night with cranes – and moose – in Alaska

LA photographer spends a night with cranes – and moose – in Alaska


Sandy Powell/Special to the Town Crier
Los Altos resident and bird photographer Sandy Powell recently visited Homer, Alaska, to photograph Sandhill cranes, below. While there, Powell also encountered moose, left.

Los Altos resident Sandy Powell, a...

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Stepping Out

'Trailer Park' opens in Los Altos

'Trailer Park' opens in Los Altos


Courtesy of Los
The cast of Los Altos Stage Company’s “The Great American Trailer Park Musical” includes, from left, Mylissa Malley as Lin, Vanessa Alvarez as Betty, and Christina Bolognini as Pickles. Altos Stage Company

Los Altos Stage Company...

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Spiritual Life

9/11 survivor Michael Hingson finds purpose

Imagine walking down 78 flights of stairs – 1,463 individual steps. You are in imminent danger as you walk, unsure whether you can make it out of the building before it collapses or explodes. Struggling for each breath, you smell the heavy sten...

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Magazine

Los Altos Hills home showcases resort-inspired living

Los Altos Hills home showcases resort-inspired living


Courtesy of Spectrum Interior Design
In place of a more traditional fireplace, this modern living room features a linear-flame firebox that emits heat while offering a sculpturelike design element.

After traveling the world and visiting a host...

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St. Francis celebrates first CCS baseball title since 2001


Photo By: Town Crier file photo
Photo Town Crier File Photo St. Francis High senior Michael Strem contributed on the mound and at the plate during the Central Coast Section playoffs.

The St. Francis High baseball team has a lot to celebrate at today’s season-ending party. More than a week ago, the Lancers won their first Central Coast Section championship in 12 years and the first under head coach Mike Oakland.

“It should be a lot of fun,” said Oakland, who just completed his seventh season at St. Francis.

Michael Strem, whose pitching and hitting played a big part in the Lancers’ postseason success, seemed just as eager to reunite with his teammates to commemorate a year that ended with a 10-0 rout of Serra in the CCS Division I final.

“I’m going to miss all those guys for sure,” said Strem, one of 13 seniors on the squad. “We had such great chemistry, combined with talent, all year long. Even when we were down, we fought back. That was huge.”

The Lancers built such a huge lead against league rival Serra in the May 25 title game that it ended early on the 10-run mercy rule. St. Francis scored twice in the fourth inning, added five runs in the fifth and three in the sixth to finish off the Padres at San Jose’s Municipal Stadium.

Although Strem said he “felt confident” the Lancers (30-4 overall) would hit well in the final, he never imagined the game would be so one-sided. The teams split their two West Catholic Athletic League contests.

“I thought it was going to be a pitchers’ duel,” Strem said. “But we jumped on them early, and John had some of the best stuff I’ve seen him throw.”

That would be starting pitcher John Gavin. The lefthander surrendered just one hit and had a perfect game going until the fifth.

Yet Gavin’s complete-game effort, which included eight strikeouts, was only the second-best performance by a St. Francis pitcher during the playoffs. Strem pitched a perfect game – the first in school history – in the Lancers’ opening-round win over Monta Vista.

Each pitcher won two CCS games, with junior Gavin never allowing a run and Strem surrendering three.

For the season, Gavin notched 90 strikeouts and posted a 1.28 ERA, while Strem fanned 79 batters and had a 1.31 ERA.

“We tried to outdo each other every week,” Strem said. “He’d get a shutout and I’d try to match him, and vice-versa.”

This marked Strem’s first season as a varsity pitcher; he primarily played the infield as a sophomore and junior.

“I knew he could pitch – we just didn’t need him – but I didn’t think he’d be this dominant,” Oakland said. “He was phenomenal in CCS – he was lights out on the mound and did a great job at the plate.”

The Boston College-bound Strem recorded five hits and six RBIs in the postseason. Two of these hits came in the final.

Strem was among three starters who batted above .400 this season (along with Chris Baker and Champi Lucca); five Lancers hit at least .300 (Mark Cardinalli, Tyler Deason, Austin Guibor, Kort Peterson and Hunter Simmons).

While stats are nice, Oakland noted that St. Francis’ intangibles were just as important to the team’s winning ways.

“The chemistry was as good as it’s ever been,” the coach said. “They were the most focused and hardest-working group I’ve had in high school or college.”

Five team members are Los Altos residents: Lucca, Matt Bell, Brent Jarvis, Patrick McMullen and Casey Douglas. All of them played Los Altos-Mountain View PONY Baseball.

– Joe Schram contributed to this report

For more photos of the St. Francis High School baseball team, click here.

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