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News

LA council votes to delay community center update

LA council votes to delay community center update


Ellie Van Houtte/ Town Crier
The Los Altos City Council voted to delay adoption of a community center conceptual design plan last week. The plan includes elements from a design charette held earlier this fall, left.

The Los Altos City Council last...

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Schools

Scientists bring experiments into MV classrooms

Scientists bring experiments into MV classrooms


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
During a Science is Learning geology lesson, Theuerkauf Elementary School students learn about igneous rocks by observing how sugar changes form when heated.

Hundreds of local elementary students perform experiments w...

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Community

Local actors star in PYT's 'Oklahoma!'

Local actors star in PYT's 'Oklahoma!'


Courtesy of Peninsula Youth Theatre
PYT’s “Oklahoma!” features, from left, David Peters of Mountain View, Jenna Levere of Los Altos and Kai Wessel of Mountain View.

Time is running out to catch Peninsula Youth Theatre’s production of “Oklahoma!”...

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Sports

Eagles advance

Eagles advance


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Los Altos High’s Carmen Annevelink, left, and Kristen Liu put up a block against Mountain View. Annevelink totaled 20 kills.

Mountain View High’s out-of-the-gate energy could last for only so long against rival and he...

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Comment

Coping with addictions: Haugh About That?

Preparing to deal with my lifelong addiction, I stood in front of the mirror ready to confess the shame I’d been hiding. The first step to healing, I reminded myself, is to admit something is wrong.

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Special Sections

NASA, Google agreement preserves Hangar One

NASA, Google agreement preserves Hangar One


Bruce Barton/Town Crier
Hangar One, pictured here last January, will be restored under an agreement between Google and NASA.

NASA and Google Inc. forged an agreement last week that allows Google to lease a portion of NASA’s historic Moffett Fede...

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Business

State Street science center closing Nov. 30

State Street science center closing Nov. 30


Ellie Van Houtte/
Helix at 316 State St. is closing after the completion of a one-year grant from Passerelle Investment Co. The science center became a popular destination because of its various exhibits. Town Crier

A popular downtown destination...

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Books

Children's author signs books at Linden Tree

Children's author signs books at Linden Tree


Author Tiffany Papageorge is scheduled to sign copies of new her book 11 a.m. Dec. 6 at Linden Tree Books, 265 State St., Los Altos.

Papageorge’s “My Yellow Balloon” (Minoan Moon, 2014) is a Mom’s Choice “Gold” winner. In the book, the Los Gat...

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People

JAMES WINDELL SMITH

JAMES WINDELL SMITH

January 11, 1939 – November 6, 2014
Resident of Mountain View

James Windell Smith, a 40 year resident of Los Altos, passed away from complications after a post-surgery stroke November 6th, 2014 in Los Gatos, California.

Born on January 11, 1939 on...

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Travel

Olive Sonoma: There's more to the quaint town than wine

Olive Sonoma: There's more to the quaint town than wine


Eren Göknar/ Special to the Town Crier
While many day-trippers may think that Sonoma is all about the grapes, the region boasts other delights. Try a biplane ride over the patchwork landscape.

Sonoma, a scenic two-hour drive from Los Altos, boa...

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Stepping Out

LA Stage Company opens 'Fairway'

The Los Altos Stage Company production of Ken Ludwig’s new comedy “The Fox on the Fairway” is slated to run Thursday through Dec. 14 at Bus Barn Theater, 97 Hillview Ave.

A tribute to the English farces of the 1930s and 1940s, “Fox” is a romp that p...

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Spiritual Life

Author of Jewish historical novel slated at Congregation Beth Am

Author of Jewish historical novel slated at Congregation Beth Am


The Beth Am Women have scheduled “A Conversation with Author Maggie Anton” 7:30 p.m. Nov. 20 at Congregation Beth Am, 26790 Arastradero Road, Los Altos Hills.

Anton, winner of the 2012 National Jewish Book Award for Fiction, will discu...

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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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Sunny days ahead for local startup: Slingshot Power founder seeks to create the Apple of solar power


Photos by Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Slingshot CEO Ravi Chiruvolu set up his first shop at 164 Main St. and hopes to open several more locations in the future.

Ravi Chiruvolu wants to start the next Apple, and he’s doing it from Los Altos with solar power startup Slingshot Power Inc. The company recently opened at 164 Main St.

“We’re starting humble, with just this one shop,” Chiruvolu said. “But we want to be Apple. I want a thousand stores around the country.”

The motivation for Slingshot came from Chiruvolu’s personal energy bill.

“I started the company because I live in Los Altos Hills and I had a $600 energy bill,” he said. “It was just way too high, not acceptable. I wanted it lower and I wanted to see if we could do it in a green way, using clean energy.”

His solution: “We sell solar systems and basically help people lower their energy bills and get them off the grid.”

Chiruvolu attended the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Harvard Business School, served as a first lieutenant in the U.S. Army and coached his 10-year old daughter’s basketball team to a winning record.

Next on the ambitious entrepreneur’s list is to create a nationwide solar company.

“The largest (solar company) right now is SolarCity Corp., and they’re only in 15 states,” he said. “There are 35 other states that would love these products.”

Slingshot sells solar panels, electric-vehicle chargers and emergency battery packs in addition to other gadgets.

“Think about it as consumer energy. There’s generation, efficiency and storage. Theoretically, we could do wind, but we haven’t done it yet,” Chiruvolu said.

The company also offers installation services, a warranty and annual maintenance. Its solar panels are designed to suit the styles of most houses.

“We’re the only company that has cool green, terracotta brown, just beautiful panels,” Chiruvolu said. “We want to make it so that at cocktail parties, people comment, ‘What is that?’ And it’s your little secret that you’re saving money and being green.”

Giving back

Slingshot has pledged to contribute to Los Altos at the end of the year by donating and installing a solar system for a family in need.

“We’ve put up a map of Los Altos. We want to learn from the community what’s a needy place,” Chiruvolu said. “We’ll have a vote – maybe there’s a family who just lost their mom, or somebody who went to Iraq and had some issues or both parents lost their jobs.”

Although Palo Alto is a hub for some entrepreneurs, for Chiruvolu, Slingshot’s starting location is a source of pride.

“I’m a huge fan of this town. I live here, my kids go to school here,” he said. “A lot of my coworkers really wanted this in Palo Alto ... but I wanted to do it here.” Chiruvolu added that when Slingshot Power is “hugely successful – bigger than Apple – we can say we started right here, in Los Altos.”

For more information, call (800) 887-9414, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or visit slingshotpower.com.


Slingshot Power - Images by Ellie Van Houtte/Los Altos Town Crier

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