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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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Los Altos bank robber pleads guilty, gets seven years


The Los Altos man arrested for a string of armed robberies in the city earlier this year is heading to prison for up to seven years.

Thomas Andrew Cronin, 26, pleaded guilty as charged “right out of the gate” last week to eight counts of armed robbery in Los Altos and two in Mountain View, according to Cindy Hendrickson, Santa Clara County Supervising Deputy District Attorney in the Palo Alto Branch Office. Cronin will be ordered to pay approximately $7,000 in restitution to the victims of his crimes, she added.

“It’s a testament to how strong the case was,” Hendrickson said of Cronin’s guilty plea Aug. 7.

Los Altos police arrested Cronin May 29 after he robbed the U.S. Bank at 1001 Fremont Ave. earlier in the day. He was later charged with twice robbing both Comerica Bank on Third Street and Standard Liquor on First Street and with once robbing Bank of the West on Main Street.

Cronin was also charged with single counts of robbing the Shell Gas & Service Station at 929 Fremont Ave. and Round Table Pizza at 399 First St. in mid-May. Among the details revealed by prosecutors after his arrest was that Cronin used a black Airsoft BB gun – with its customary red tip colored in black – to commit the crimes.

Hendrickson noted that Cronin pleaded guilty before preliminary examinations began and will be sentenced in early October. He initially faced the possibility of serving a maximum of 14 years in prison if found guilty on all charges, she added, but the prosecution offered to cut the sentence in half if he pleaded guilty before trial.

“It’s common and reasonable for someone to serve less time when they accept early responsibility,” said Hendrickson, who credited Cronin’s attorneys for expediting the outcome of the case.

Hendrickson noted that Cronin’s early guilty plea produced another positive result in addition to saving taxpayer money – it spared his victims from a potentially drawn-out trial.

“This (outcome) saved all of the victims from having to testify,” she said, adding that Cronin will remain in the Santa Clara County Main Jail until sentencing. “They don’t have to come and face him in court now.”

Hendrickson said Cronin – a former student at both Los Altos and St. Francis high schools – must serve at least 85 percent of his seven years because of the nature of his crimes.

“That isn’t anything that can be bargained away – that (sentence) is attached to the charge,” Hendrickson said of the 85 percent threshold, which equates to a minimum time served of approximately six years.

She said Cronin would likely begin his sentence with a 90-day evaluation period at San Quentin State Prison before being assigned to another state prison for the remainder.

“This is a guy who has never been to prison,” she said. “To have someone be able to wrap their mind around going to prison for such a long time is something. In this case, however, he deserved it.”

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