09262016Mon
Last updateTue, 27 Sep 2016 5pm

News

Suspected serial bank robber arrested

Suspected serial bank robber arrested

The suspect wanted in connection with a local bank robbery in July has been identified and arrested by San Jose Police officers.

Havens

Officers arrested San Jose resident Spencer Havens Sept. 15, according to a department press release publish...

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Schools

Foothill astronomy star Fraknoi wins national teaching award

Town Crier Report

Foothill College astronomy professor Andrew Fraknoi recently received the Pinnacle Professor Award for long-standing, distinguished service to the professionalization of astronomy education.

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Community

Balanced  Mountain View revamps website

Balanced Mountain View revamps website

The Campaign for a Balanced Mountain View recently revised and updated its website and has launched a Facebook page.

Courtesy of Balanced Mountain View

The group’s mission is to encourage Mountain View residents to engage in the civic process.

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Sports

Pride Bowl trophy returns to Los Altos

Pride Bowl trophy returns to Los Altos

As the Los Altos High football team remained on the field to celebrate Friday night’s 12-9 win and pose for photos with the Pride Bowl trophy, stunned rival Mountain View trudged to the locker room to face disappointed head coach Shelley Smith and hi...

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Comment

Letters to the Editor

Voting is a personal responsibility

In his Sept. 14 letter to the editor (“Take a stand on presidential election”), Michael Rappaport criticizes the Town Crier’s decision to not endorse/recommend a presidential candidate.

I applau...

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Special Sections

LAHS student launches international website on mental health

LAHS student launches international website on mental health


Photos courtesy of nadia ghaffari
Months after founding the website TeenzTalk, Ghaffari, second from left, spoke with international teens at the Yale program about methods to overcome stress.

When Nadia Ghaffari went to Yale University this summer ...

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Business

Start-up with big dreams launches localized, secure messaging app

Start-up with big dreams launches localized, secure messaging app


megan V. winslow/town crier
Marty Kacin, right, CEO of Los Altos Research Center, promotes his newly released app last week.

Approximately 150 guests, including the mayor and other Los Altos officials, convened at Los Altos Golf & Country Cl...

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People

FLORA WALLACE

Flora Wallace, beloved wife of Seymour and cherished mother of Linda, passed away on September 7, 2016. She succumbed to complications of cancer. Flora was born in Argentina on March 17, 1927. She lived in Los Altos for approximately 55 years. She wa...

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News

Suspected serial bank robber arrested

Suspected serial bank robber arrested

The suspect wanted in connection with a local bank robbery in July has been identified and arrested by San Jose Police officers.

Havens

Officers arrested San Jose resident Spencer Havens Sept. 15, according to a department press release published Thursday.

Havens, 25, is suspected of robbing ...

Readmore

Business

Start-up with big dreams launches localized, secure messaging app

Start-up with big dreams launches localized, secure messaging app

megan V. winslow/town crier
Marty Kacin, right, CEO of Los Altos Research Center, promotes his newly released app last week.

Approximately 150 guests, including the mayor and other Los Altos officials, convened at Los Altos Golf & Country Club to witness the launch of a new business three y...

Readmore

Sports

Pride Bowl trophy returns to Los Altos

Pride Bowl trophy returns to Los Altos

As the Los Altos High football team remained on the field to celebrate Friday night’s 12-9 win and pose for photos with the Pride Bowl trophy, stunned rival Mountain View trudged to the locker room to face disappointed head coach Shelley Smith and his staff.

By the time the somber Spartans emerged,...

Readmore

Community

Balanced Mountain View revamps website

Balanced  Mountain View revamps website

The Campaign for a Balanced Mountain View recently revised and updated its website and has launched a Facebook page.

Courtesy of Balanced Mountain View

The group’s mission is to encourage Mountain View residents to engage in the civic process.

Readmore

Comment

Letters to the Editor

Voting is a personal responsibility

In his Sept. 14 letter to the editor (“Take a stand on presidential election”), Michael Rappaport criticizes the Town Crier’s decision to not endorse/recommend a presidential candidate.

I applaud the Town Crier for saying, “You’re o...

Readmore

Spiritual Life

Spiritual Briefs

Baja orphanage founders share experiences Sunday

Bill and Kaye Lawrence, founders of the Rancho Santa Marta orphanage and school for developmentally challenged children in Baja California, are scheduled to speak 9:30 a.m. Sunday at Union Presbyterian Church of Los Altos, 858 University Ave. A light...

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People

FLORA WALLACE

Flora Wallace, beloved wife of Seymour and cherished mother of Linda, passed away on September 7, 2016. She succumbed to complications of cancer. Flora was born in Argentina on March 17, 1927. She lived in Los Altos for approximately 55 years. She was an avid gardener, stunt kite flier, and supporte...

Readmore

Schools

Foothill astronomy star Fraknoi wins national teaching award

Town Crier Report

Foothill College astronomy professor Andrew Fraknoi recently received the Pinnacle Professor Award for long-standing, distinguished service to the professionalization of astronomy education.

Readmore

Special Sections

LAHS student launches international website on mental health

LAHS student launches international website on mental health

Photos courtesy of nadia ghaffari
Months after founding the website TeenzTalk, Ghaffari, second from left, spoke with international teens at the Yale program about methods to overcome stress.

When Nadia Ghaffari went to Yale University this summer for a global program for high school students, she...

Readmore

Stepping Out

LA Stage Company snuffs out 'Assassins' Sunday

LA Stage Company snuffs out 'Assassins' Sunday

Richard Mayer/Special to the Town Crier
The cast of the musical “Assassins” includes, from left, Chase Campbell, Ken Boswell and Andy Cooperfauss.

Los Altos Stage Company is scheduled to present “Assassins” through Sunday at Bus Barn Theater.

Launching the company’s 21st season, the controvers...

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Obituaries

FLORA WALLACE

Flora Wallace, beloved wife of Seymour and cherished mother of Linda, passed away on September 7, 2016. She succumbed to complications of cancer. Flora was born in Argentina on March 17, 1927. She lived in Los Altos for approximately 55 years. She was an avid gardener, stunt kite flier, and supporte...

Readmore

Magazine

California lilacs come in all sizes

California lilacs come in all sizes

Tanya Kucak/Special to the Town Crier
The profuse blue flowers of ceanothus shrubs in late winter to late spring lure many pollinators. On a sunny day, you can find the nearest California lilac by listening for the sound of happy bees.

Pete Veilleux experiments with all kinds of native plants at...

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Play the odds when applying to colleges

Thousands of high school juniors will visit prospective colleges during spring break.

One of the most important considerations in deciding which to visit is to make sure that the list is balanced in regard to acceptances. This means being ruthlessly realistic when comparing students’ statistics to those of the institution’s acceptance rate. Students should assign each college they are considering a designated slot based on the following categories.

• Highly Likely – or “Goodies” – schools. Assigned to schools for which the student’s statistics fall in the upper 10 percent of accepted students and the acceptance rate is above 40 percent. These are schools where the student is likely to get goodies – scholarship money, leadership opportunities and honors programs invitations. This is true for the 3.0 GPA student as well as the 4.0 student. Putting a student at the head of the class opens up many options.

Important note: A school below a 30 percent acceptance rate can never be a Highly Likely. Even if the student is in the top 10 percent, the odds are just not in his or her favor. So, if the student is a perfect 4.0 and scored a 2100 on the SAT, he or she is still not a Highly Likely for a school like UCLA, with a 22 percent acceptance rate.

• Likely schools. Assigned to schools for which the student’s statistics are in the upper 25-30 percent and the schools maintain an acceptance rate of 30 percent or higher, keeping the odds in the student’s favor.

• Possible schools. Schools in this category must meet one of two criteria: The student is in the middle 50 percent of their statistics, or the student is in the top 25-30 percent but the schools have less than a 40 percent acceptance rate. In other words, these are schools for which acceptance is highly unpredictable and could go either way for any given student.

• Reach schools. This category also has two ways schools can be assessed. The first is a school where the student’s statistics fall in the lower 50 percent of accepted students. The second is for schools with less than a 30 percent acceptance rate, even if the student is in the upper 10 percent. Again, statistically the odds are against the applicant.

• Lottery schools. Schools with under a 15 percent acceptance rate fall in this category. These schools regularly deny acceptance to students with perfect statistics. While there is a direct plan they employ in building their classes, it may seem arbitrary and like winning the lottery to any accepted student.

A balanced list should chart like a bell curve, including at least two highly likely, two likely and three possible schools. Additional selections can be located anywhere on the curve. Exactly how many total schools are on the list is the student’s choice, but I strongly recommend no more than 15. No one ever adds Highly Likely or Likely schools to their lists. And, adding more Reach and Lottery schools does not enhance the student’s chances of being admitted to any given school. In fact, I have found that the return on investment based on the time spent writing supplements and paying fees is negative beyond 15 applications.

Another way to assemble the list: Students should pretend that they are going to Las Vegas and playing the odds. Say you’re going to apply to 10 schools and you have 10 chips to play. You can only play each chip once, you can only place one chip on a school and (here’s the tough one) you must walk away with at least one winning chip.

Given these rules, would you bet all of your chips on tables having only a 30 percent payout? I would hope not. So book your tickets, and may the odds be ever in your favor.

Hollis Bischoff earned a graduate certificate in College and Career Counseling from UCLA and is a college admissions adviser at Strategies 4 Admission LLC. For more information, call 209-0272 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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Submit a Letter to the Editor

The Town Crier welcomes letters to the editor on current events pertinent to Los Altos, Los Altos Hills and Mountain View. Write to us at 138 Main St., Los Altos 94022, Attn: Editor, or email editor Bruce Barton at bruceb@latc.com. Because editorial space is limited, please confine letters to no more than 200 words. Include a phone number for verification purposes. Anonymous letters will not be printed.

You can also have your say right here at losaltosonline.com – scroll to the bottom of any story to add a comment. 

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