Fri12192014

News

Council seeks more options for community center

Council seeks more options for community center


Town Crier File Photo
The Los Altos City Council approved an appropriation to examine options for a new community center to replace the aging Hillview facility.

The Los Altos City Council last week voted narrowly in favor of examining further opti...

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Schools

Local schools participate in  national Hour of Code activities

Local schools participate in national Hour of Code activities


Ellie Van HOutte/Town Crier
Himan Shu Raj, a volunteer from Microsoft, advises Los Altos High ninth-graders, from left, Serhat Suzer, Jamie Bennett and Chris Yang as they participate in the school’s Hour of Code Showcase.

Local schools participa...

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Community

Take a dive into the holiday archive

Take a dive into the holiday archive

Town Crier staff made a quick cruise back through the newspaper's archives to find some late-December reading as inspiration for eating, drinking, decorating and more:

Beloved holiday books build the spirit of the season and staff at Los Altos’ Li...

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Sports

Pinewood poised for another title run

Pinewood poised for another title run


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Pinewood’s girls basketball team is receiving contributions from several new players, including freshman Stella Kailahi, above.

Complacency shouldn’t be a problem for the defending Division V state champion Pinewood S...

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Comment

Letters to the Editor

Ticket motorists for U-turns on Main Street

As I was walking downtown on Main Street recently, something came to me out of the blue. The town of Los Altos is missing out on a huge revenue stream. I realized that if all the cars – there were th...

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Special Sections

Looking Ahead

Looking Ahead


s in line to be mayor of Mountain View in 2015.

Mountain View anticipates the following changes in 2015:

• Beginning Jan. 1, Mountain View City Councilmembers will receive a raise to $1,000 per month as a result of the passage of Measure A in...

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Business

Your 2015 stock market game plan

It’s been a maddening month because of oil and gas, especially in stocks and bonds. Then, consumer spending pushed stocks higher Thursday, easing investors’ jitters about the global economy and prompting them to consider how to invest in ...

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Books

Gawande's

Gawande's "Being Mortal" proves an important book on aging


Books about death and dying are usually not on my list of “must reads.”

I couldn’t resist, however, the best-selling “Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End” (Metropolitan Books, 2014) by Atul Gawande.

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People

SANGEETA SACHDEVA

SANGEETA SACHDEVA

Sangeeta Sachdeva, 55, wife of Subhash Sachdeva and mother to Natasha and Tanya, died at 8:54pm, Sunday, December 7, 2014 from respiratory failure.

Sangeeta was born on October 18, 1959 in Delhi, India. She was born to Moti Sagar and Raj Kapoor an...

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Travel

South Tahoe renovations enhance off-mountain seasonal fun

As any enthusiast knows well, there is more to the enjoyment of winter sports than skiing or snowboarding.

While many winter resorts make minor upgrades each season, the off-mountain attractions and amenities can be as enticing as the activities on ...

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Stepping Out

Aurora Singers to emit 'Musical Glow' Friday

Aurora Singers to emit 'Musical Glow' Friday


courtesy of Aurora Singers
The Aurora Singers are scheduled to perform a seasonal concert Friday night in Palo Alto.

The Aurora Singers’ “Winter’s Musical Glow” holiday concert is set for 7 p.m. Friday at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Pal...

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Spiritual Life

Enter the superhero: Finding the God who loves you

In my life-coaching practice, I see a lot of pain. Much of it stems from fear and guilt, often expressed as low self-esteem, anxiety, a lack of forgiveness both for oneself and others, anger – and so on.

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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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BCS shares program with international community


Emily Nelson/SPecial to the Town Crier
Singapore Ministry of Education officials observe Bullis Charter School fifth-graders working in the school’s FabLab.

Bullis Charter School officials last week hosted 19 representatives from the Singapore Ministry of Education at the Bullis Center for Innovation on the Blach Intermediate School campus.

The ministry officials visited the Bay Area to learn about emerging innovations in education technology and to view best practices in implementing them.

The visiting delegation received a tour of ongoing activities at the campus, including the school’s FabLab and MakerSpace.

The FabLab, geared toward upper-grade students, houses technologies that teachers integrate into students’ project-based learning units. The visitors watched fifth-graders use 3-D printed materials to construct and design a prosthetic hand.

The MakerSpace, aimed at students in the lower grades, promotes design and assists students in designing prototypes for solutions to real-world problems. Fourth-graders used the space to create prototype solutions to protect the leatherback turtle at different life stages.

The Singapore ministry officials observed Bullis Charter School teachers as they integrated all aspects of the curriculum into student projects. Fifth-grade teacher Jessica Morgan explained how students are currently learning about the human body and its functions.

While studying the human body, students learn geometry via scales and measurements of the prosthetic hand project; technology via the 3-D design program and printer used to develop parts of the prosthetic hand; art via sculpting a clay structure with wires that imitate muscle action in the body; and physical education as they learn to tone different muscle groups and explore how the muscles work together.

The guests viewed an eighth-grade class creating a school of the future during an Intersession, a three-week intensive unit outside of the regular day-to-day curriculum, a major part of the junior-high program at Bullis Charter School.

The school of the future project was part of a national competition for which students had to meet a number of criteria, including enhancing the school’s green efforts and making it an engaging place to learn. As part of the Intersession, professional architects and interior designers discussed the requirements with students, and the class visited a green home. The students used SketchUp, 3-D modeling software, a laser cutter and a 3-D printer to assemble their schools of the future.

Tweaking the Blach campus

Because the Los Altos School District is asking Bullis Charter School to adhere to the rules outlined in its Facilities Use Agreement, the charter school has had to tweak how its uses space on the Blach campus.

Alison Schwartzbaum, the Bullis Charter School assistant principal who oversees the Bullis Center for Innovation, said the center’s program originally was designed to house students for three-week periods. The school split the upper and lower grades so that older students could use the FabLab while the younger students used the MakerSpace for their various project-based learning units.

The charter school’s communications director, Emily Nelson, said the rotations on the Blach campus were assigned after the school community determined that the design of the K-8 integrated program was non-negotiable. She added that parents and teachers wanted to make the Blach campus a site everyone could experience, not a permanent separation from the main charter school campus at Egan Junior High.

The district’s Facilities Use Agreement prescribes that kindergarten through third-grade students should not use the Blach facilities and places enrollment caps on both campuses.

In an effort to comply with the agreement but still maintain the charter school’s original vision for the program this year, Schwartzbaum said the MakerSpace site would relocate to the charter school’s space at Egan. It will not have a designated classroom there but will move from room to room as upper grades rotate onto the Blach campus.

“It’s rough trying to do MakerSpace on a cart,” Schwartzbaum said. “So it’s a bummer, but we are making it work.”

Because lower grades will no longer be using the Blach campus, fourth- through eighth-graders will have more time there than originally scheduled.

Schwarzbaum said the schedule, still under development, is “difficult,” especially given the enrollment caps.

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