Wed04162014

News

City chips in $7,000 for SFMOMA installation

City chips in $7,000 for SFMOMA installation


Town Crier File Photo
The Los Altos City Council earmarked $7,000 for the purchase of Chris Johanson’s artwork.

The city of Los Altos will contribute $7,000 toward the purchase of a $28,000 art installation featured in the San Francisco Museum...

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Schools

LASD students celebrate service learning

LASD students celebrate service learning


Courtesy of Sandra McGonagle
We Day, held March 26 at Oracle Arena in Oakland, exhorts students in the Los Altos School District to effect positive change.

More than 150 Los Altos School District student leaders joined 16,000 Bay Area students to ce...

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Community

Film career launches with Cannes screening

Film career launches with Cannes screening


Courtesy of Zachary Ready
Los Altos native Zachary Ready, front left, and co-director Andrew Cathey, right, celebrate their Campus MovieFest awards.

After learning the art of filmmaking as a child in the front yard of his family’s Los Altos hom...

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Sports

Reeling Panthers look to get rolling again

Reeling Panthers look to get rolling again


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Pinewood School senior Kevin Tracy pitches in a game against Westmoor, the first of two losses by the Panthers last week.

Pinewood School baseball coach Chad Morin knows exactly what his team must do in the second half of...

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Comment

Now is the time to expand parking: Editorial

Just a few short years ago, vacancies dotted downtown Los Altos. Property owners had a hard time attracting businesses because there was a shortage of customers. That is no longer true. Now, the cry is: Where are my customers going to park?

The city...

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Business

Local realtor honored for volunteer efforts

Local realtor honored for volunteer efforts


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Coldwell Banker recently recognized realtor Kim Copher, right, for her philanthropic efforts. Copher and colleague Alan Russell, left, volunteer at Reach Potential Movement, where they collect books for its Bookshelf in ...

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Books

Local Author Spotlight

In an effort to support authors from Los Altos, Los Altos Hills and Mountain View, many self-published, Book Buzz periodically spotlights their books and offers information on where to purchase them. Local authors are encouraged to submit brief summa...

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People

Noteworthy

RotaCare honors local volunteer

RotaCare Bay Area honored Jim Cochran of the RotaCare Mountain View Free Medical Clinic with the Outstanding Clinic Volunteer Award April 10 for his commitment to RotaCare’s mission of providing free medical care to t...

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Travel

Sausalito: Explore the historical city with world-class views

Sausalito: Explore the historical city with world-class views


Eren Göknar/ Special to the Town Crier
Sausalito offers panoramic views of the San Francisco Bay. A number of companies schedule boat tours that sail past Angel Island and Alcatraz.

On a clear day, Sausalito offers spectacular views of the San Franc...

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Stepping Out

Western Ballet performs this weekend  at Smithwick Theatre in Los Altos Hills

Western Ballet performs this weekend at Smithwick Theatre in Los Altos Hills


Courtesy of Alexi Zubiria
Western Ballet’s “La Fille Mal Gardée” features Alison Share and Maykel Solas. The production runs Friday and Saturday at Foothill College

Western Ballet is slated to perform “La Fille Mal GardéeR...

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Spiritual Life

Magazine

A yoga class a day keeps the stress away

A yoga class a day keeps the stress away


Van Houtte/Town Crier Yoga of Los Altos hosts a variety of classes, including Strong Flow Vinyasa, above, taught by Doron Hanoch. Yin Yoga instructor Janya Wongsopa guides a student in the practice, below.

It’s nearly 9 a.m. on a Monday mornin...

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Community Botball Robotics teams return from international competition


Courtesy of Lauren Yang
Los Altos Community Botball Team members collaborate on their robotics challenge.

Three Los Altos Community Botball Teams attended the Global Conference on Educational Robotics, an international robotics competition, July 6-10 in Norman, Okla. More than 50 teams worldwide competed in the International Botball Competition.

Botball is a program that teaches students in middle and high school about robotics, engineering, math and programming though a team environment. Teams begin with a set of parts and two Linux robot controllers, then construct and use the C programming language to program one or two autonomous robots to perform.

The Mars Space Rover was the theme for this season’s Botball challenge. To score points, the robots had to place rocket boosters on vertical launch poles. The tubelike objects represented the rocket resources needed to launch the Rover. Organic and inorganic samples that Rover would collect were represented by pom-poms that the robots gathered for points. To add points, teams could sort the pom-poms by color.

One Los Altos team attempted to place 10 boosters on the tallest launch pole, requiring them to construct and program a robot to lift an arm approximately twice its size. Another team attempted to sort the pom-pom objects by color with a camera sensor. All three local teams designed robots to place rocket boosters on the launch poles, the most challenging task.

One of the Los Altos teams placed sixth overall, another came in 20th. The third team was handicapped by the closure of San Francisco International Airport, which delayed the arrival of its robots.

Multiple reference resources were available to the students as they worked on the robots. The conference included educational lectures and workshops, with topics ranging from best practices in programming to microcontrollers. The conference experience encourages teams to meet and socialize with other teams and share techniques that make their robots function.

Although the majority of Botball teams are school-based, the Los Altos Community Botball Teams comprise students from Los Altos, Mountain View, Cupertino, Sunnyvale, Santa Clara and San Jose. Before the season begins, experienced team members conduct an eight-week training program focused on programming skills so that new members learn the basics of C programming.

Because the Botball program contains development phases of brainstorming, design, implementation, testing, debugging, documentation and meeting a deadline, the tournament provides team members a realistic preview of the demands of careers in technology, science and math.

For more information or to sign up for next year, call 965-8037 or visit Botball.org or LosAltosRobotics.org.

Lauren Yang has been a member of the Los Altos Community Botball Team for two years. She recently graduated from Blach Intermediate School and will be a freshman at Menlo School in the fall.

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