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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 High duo collaborates to raise money for EP


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Best friends and Los Altos High students Zach Gospe, from left, and Riley Soward created a Kickstarter campaign to raise money to record Gospe’s EP. Gospe is the musician and Soward is his manager.

United in song since an art lesson in kindergarten at Almond School, Zach Gospe and Riley Soward have a friendship cemented by music.

The two Los Altos High School seniors are collaborating to create Gospe’s first professional EP (extended play, a recording that’s more than a single but not a full album), with Soward acting as his manager.

After meeting with Mark Mazzetti – an executive with Entertainment, Music and Media – Soward and Gospe began raising money to record the EP in Los Angeles with Mazzetti as producer.

The journey

Gospe was raised in a musical family and began playing piano at age 5. At 8, he took up drums and joined his parents’ jazz ensemble at the Community School of Music and Arts. At 12, he picked up a guitar and began writing his own music.

“I really like the freedom the guitar has as a writing tool and as an instrument,” said Gospe, who mentioned John Mayer and Eric Clapton as musical inspirations.

Last summer Gospe attended the GRAMMY Camp in Los Angeles, which pairs pros in the music business with high school students with musical aspirations.

“It was kind of an overwhelming, immersive jump into the music industry,” said Gospe, adding that the camp taught him how to be a songwriter within the music business while still maintaining his creativity as an artist.

Gospe has recorded his music before. Through one of Soward’s social-media connections, the duo borrowed some high-tech equipment and recorded five songs in a cozy Los Altos Hills cabin. The first EP featured only Gospe and his guitar.

Gospe and Soward attended the West Coast Songwriters Conference at Foothill College two months ago. Gospe sat in on songwriting lectures while Soward learned about the business side of the music industry.

After studying the faces of prominent people in the music business attending the conference, Soward spotted Mazzetti and introduced himself. After chatting a bit about Gospe, Soward introduced the two and they handed Mazzetti a copy of their first EP.

“It was unusual, because most people of his status in the music industry won’t call you back,” Soward said. “But he listened to the EP and he liked it, so he called us.”

Mazzetti owns Record Company in a Box, which provides one-on-one, specialized artist development for artists, singers and songwriters seeking commercial success. Mazzetti has worked with top-selling artists such as Mayer, Janet Jackson and Sting.

The EP

The return call from Mazzetti inspired Soward and Gospe to find creative ways to raise money for recording the EP with Mazzetti and professional studio musicians.

“It’s such a big project and it’s my dream,” said Gospe, who connects with Mazzetti twice a week via Skype to work on his song development. “It’s one of those projects that you can keep pouring time into and it just keeps getting better and better.”

Soward has spent several hours on the pair’s Kickstarter campaign, an online platform for creative projects that fundraises via pledges. Their goal is to raise $10,000 for the EP.

The two have been spreading the word at performances during school functions and local house concerts.

“It’s been cool to see him grow as a performer,” Soward said of Gospe. “We’ve scaled up the performances slowly. Seeing him grow as an artist is pretty impressive.”

They see the EP as a way to showcase Gospe’s talent and range as a musician and songwriter. Gospe said he hopes the six radio-quality tracks are a “stepping stone” to greater things.

Mazzetti said he is impressed with Gospe and Soward, praising their “real passion and enthusiasm.” After they make the EP, Mazzetti plans to help Gospe secure a distribution contract from a record company in Los Angeles.

Gospe and Soward are excited about the possibility, but they won’t regret all the hard work if it doesn’t pan out.

“This has the potential to be big, but even if it doesn’t go anywhere, this process has been great for us,” Soward said.

To donate to the Kickstarter campaign and for more information, visit kickstarter.com/projects/2032161415/zach-gospe-17-year-old-singer-songwriter-original.


Musicians on the rise: Zach Gospe and Riley Soward - Photos by Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier

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