Tue09302014

News

Meet the Santa Clara Valley Water District Board of Directors candidates

Meet the Santa Clara Valley Water District Board of Directors candidates

Two candidates have filed to run for the District 7 seat on the Santa Clara Valley Water District Board of Directors in the Nov. 4 election. The water district, established in 1929, oversees and protects water resources in Santa Clara County....

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Schools

New LAHS assistant principal focuses on school activities

New LAHS assistant principal focuses on school activities


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Suzanne Woolfolk, assistant principal at Los Altos High, teaches a leadership course for Associated Student Body leaders.

Suzanne Woolfolk – new assistant principal at Los Altos High School – said she is happy...

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Community

Petting zoo, car show highlight Chamber's annual Fall Festival

Petting zoo, car show highlight Chamber's annual Fall Festival


Courtesy of Los Altos Chamber of Commerce
The petting zoo is a highlight of the Los Altos Fall Festival. This year’s event is slated Oct. 4 and 5.

The Los Altos Chamber of Commerce has scheduled its 23rd annual Fall Festival 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Oc...

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Sports

Burlingame bowls over Los Altos

Burlingame bowls over Los Altos


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Los Altos High halfback Sean Lanoza looks for running room against Burlingame in Saturday’s home opener.

The opening drive of Saturday’s game against Burlingame couldn’t have gone much better for the Los Altos High fo...

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Comment

Does Los Altos have a parking problem, or is it a symptom? : Other Voices

Yes, and yes. It appears that the downtown Los Altos parking problem is a symptom of the city’s “Sarah Winchester” approach to planning that instead of resulting in staircases to nowhere resulted in a hotel without parking required by code.(1)

From ...

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Special Sections

Los Altos landmark Four families later, Shoup House goes on the market

Los Altos landmark Four families later, Shoup House goes on the market


Courtesy of Matthew Anello
The Shoup House dining room, above, features original elements. The 100-year-old house on University Avenue earned a spot on the National Register of Historic Places, a nod to its legacy as the home of city founder Paul S...

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Business

Longtime banker readies for retirement

Longtime banker readies for retirement


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Joanne Kavalaris is retiring at the end of October after spending the past 25 years of her banking career in downtown Los Altos.

A longtime Los Altos banker is calling it a career in a few weeks.

Joanne Kavalaris, Bank o...

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Books

A woman's perspective on the Greatest Generation

A woman's perspective on the Greatest Generation


During World War II, Virgilia Short Witzel, a young mother and U.S. Navy officer’s wife, grappled on the home front in Menlo Park with wartime rationing, shortages and loneliness. During the ensuing Cold War, she experienced adventure and misadventur...

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People

VINCENT (TIM) MURPHY JR.

VINCENT (TIM) MURPHY JR.

July 27, 1953 – August 12, 2014

Native Los Altan died Medford, OR. Graduated Bellarmine Prep. Married Josephine Domino, 1950. Licensed Auto Mechanic, Private Pilot, skilled Computer Scientist. Tim “could fix anything”. Afflicted with cancer 2001. ...

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Travel

Taking a Turkey trek: Winging it during the World Cup

Taking a Turkey trek: Winging it during the World Cup


Rich Robertson/Special to the Town Crier
The sun sets over the Aegean Sea in Bodrum, Turkey, left.

Tours that whisk you from Istanbul to Bodrum in 11 days are as plentiful as souvenir hawkers in Turkey, but traveling from the Blue Mosque to Topkapi ...

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Stepping Out

Pear builds wonderful 'House'

Pear builds wonderful 'House'


J. Smith/Special to the Town Crier
Betsy Kruse Craig portrays Trish in the Pear Avenue Theatre production of “House,” which closes Oct. 5.

Mountain View’s Pear Avenue Theatre is staging an unusual theater-going experience – producing two plays...

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Spiritual Life

Magazine

Local events add color to autumn calendar

Local events add color to autumn calendar


Van Houtte/town crier Visitors make their way through the Children’s Alley.

As Los Altos’ signature Chinese Pistache trees exchange their summer green for vibrant hues of yellow, orange and red in the fall, an abundance of local events also add ...

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High school foundation finances new science technology for classrooms


Traci Newell/Town Crier
The Mountain View Los Altos High School Foundation donated $150,000 in lab equipment for high school science classes. Meghan Stratz, a biotechnology teacher at Los Altos High, demontrates how the new transilluminator can identify characteristics of DNA strands.

The Mountain View Los Altos Union High School District last month presented a Science Showcase, highlighting the $150,00 in lab equipment recently purchased to enhance the science curriculum.

The Mountain View Los Altos High School Foundation and Google Grants donated the funds for the new equipment. The foundation has made enriching the Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) program at local high schools a priority.

“A major goal is to focus on STEM education for all students and to do more than textbook learning,” said Superintendent Barry Groves. “We want to be hands-on and to be excited about science. These things that the foundation is supporting are the things that are going to make a difference for our kids.”

The Science Showcase consisted of several brief presentations from science instructors, who demonstrated the new bells and whistles available in classrooms this year.

Teri Faught, who teaches biology, earth science and environmental science at Mountain View High, said she was thankful for being able to purchase new specimens – two cow hearts and a sheep’s brain.

“Tangible specimens often inspire students to enter research or the medical field,” she said.

Digital microscopes also “brought life back to microbiology,” Faught said, adding that before acquisition of the new technology, the department was using 20-year-old slides.

Faught praised the classroom set of pressure cuffs and stethoscopes, noting that students became more engaged with the new equipment.

Steven Widmark, physics and earth science teacher at Mountain View High, presented a video showing students operating new equipment in classes. The students used Labquest 2 Data Collection Units to record information live during experiments dealing with distance and velocity. He also touted the use of a radio frequency responder that polls students after posing a question.

Mountain View High biology and chemistry teacher Anthony Gallego lauded the new technology, which aided his students during data collection. He explained the benefits of receiving 32 Microsoft Pro tablets.

“Students are no longer chained to the lab table,” he said. “These tablets allow robust data analysis. It allows students and teachers to project their work.”

Greg Stoehr, biology and environmental science teacher at Los Altos High, extolled the gift of digital microscopes. He projected slides on a large screen, demonstrating how both teacher and students can make annotations on each digital slide and save the images.

“The students spend more time analyzing,” he said. “This totally changes the way we teach with slides.”

Darren Dressen, chemistry teacher at Los Altos High, discussed the benefits of the miniature gas chromatograph, which assists students during experiments. He said the technology helps to answer students’ questions, encouraging their curiosity and engagement.

Los Altos High physics teacher Adam Randall uses a high-frequency vibration tool to study waves and patterns in his class.

Meghan Stratz, biotechnology teacher at Los Altos High, outlined a new course she was able to introduce at the school.

“The really neat thing about this course is that it allows us to tie in everything the students have learned or are learning in their bio, chemistry and physics courses to understand genetics at a better level,” she said.

Stratz demonstrated the transilluminator, showing the audience how students can use the tool to take pictures of DNA and identify characteristics that indicate a genetically modified organism.

“What I really appreciate about this is that we can now allow students to do real science or citizen science projects,” she said.

Mountain View High chemistry teacher Katie Thornburg addressed the donors in the audience.

“I would like to thank all of you for the contributions you have made,” she said. “You have made our program much richer and much more attractive in many, many ways.”

For more information on the foundation, visit mvlafoundation.org.

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