Sun02142016

News

SPLAT targets data, outreach as airplane noise continues

SPLAT targets data, outreach as airplane noise continues


Graphic courtesy of Don Gardner
Activists claim that a new SFO flight path leaves a “sound shadow” that impacts Los Altos and Los Altos Hills.

Sky Posse Los Altos Team – more simply known as SPLAT – seeks to squelch the noise...

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Schools

Los Altos High student-run charity plans '5 Gallon Gala'

Los Altos High student-run charity plans '5 Gallon Gala'


Courtesy of Lia Evard
Water by Youth members gave Egan students a chance to carry a 40-pound Jerry can, to see how difficult it is to obtain water in developing nations.

Water by Youth, a club at Los Altos High School, is making a splash by pla...

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Community

What would you do with a box of cookies? Local Girls Scouts help Tanzanian orphanage

What would you do with a box of cookies? Local Girls Scouts help Tanzanian orphanage


Courtesy of Alicia Madden
Sales of local Girl Scout cookies support service projects, such as funding an orphanage in the village of Mto wa Mbu in Tanzania.

Girl Scout cookies – whether you think of them as a treat, a tradition or a diet comp...

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Sports

Scoreless spells sink LA boys

Scoreless spells sink LA boys


Megan V. Winslow/Town Crier
Los Altos High point guard Nolan Brennan attempts a shot in Friday’s game versus Palo Alto. He scored eight points in the loss.

There have been several games this season in which the Los Altos High boys basketball t...

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Comment

New 'York' values

New 'York' values


Hughes

 

As we have witnessed California suffer through one of its worst droughts in history over the past few years, all of us, I’m sure, have been keenly aware of our surroundings and have done a small part in trying to conserve wa...

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Special Sections

Getting a charge  out of the Volt

Getting a charge out of the Volt


Courtesy of Chevrolet
The 2016 Chevrolet Volt can be driven up to 50 miles on the power stored in its batteries.

Just five years ago, we wondered in this column what the power supply would be for the car of the future. Gasoline, diesel, electric ba...

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Business

Nearing V-Day: Shops stock sweets, treats

Nearing V-Day: Shops stock sweets, treats


Megan V. Winslow/Town Crier
Los Altos resident Ella Roosakos, 11, with her mother, Gail, puzzles over which Gourmet Works sweets to buy as a valentine for Ella’s friend.

The gift-buying rush isn’t exclusive to Christmas. It may jump over...

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People

ALAN RODNEY MILLS

ALAN RODNEY MILLS

Alan Rodney Mills, PhD, 83, of Los Altos passed away peacefully on Saturday, January 30th, 2016. He was born in Rochdale, England in 1933 and came to California in 1962. He was a proud alumni of Manchester Grammar in England, University of Liverpoo...

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Stepping Out

PYT 'Gets Famous'

PYT 'Gets Famous'


Lyn Flaim Healy/Spotlight Moments Photography
Renee Vetter of Palo Alto, left, and Megan Foreman of Los Altos star in Peninsula Youth Theatre’s “Judy Moody Gets Famous.” Performances are scheduled Friday and Saturday.

Peninsula...

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Spiritual Life

A time to prepare: Fasting for Lent isn't limited to food

 

Today is Ash Wednesday, which in the Christian calendar marks the beginning of Lent – the 40 days of preparation for Resurrection Sunday, otherwise known as Easter.

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Inside Mountain View

New right-to-lease ordinance promises relief for renters

New right-to-lease ordinance promises relief for renters


Mountain View Tenants Coalition/Facebook
Residents gather in the fall to protest Mountain View’s rising rents. Rent relief is on the way in the form of a new ordinance.

A controversial Mountain View law requiring landlords to provide lease opt...

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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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