Tomoki Chien

Tomoki Chien, Editor-in-Chief

Tomo is the Post’s editor-in-chief, leading the team in day-to-day operation and setting the paper’s editorial direction. He covers the Mountain View–Los Altos Union High School District as a beat reporter, and occasionally serves as a staff photographer. Previously, he was the news editor at the Los Altos High School Talon, and is currently an editor at the school yearbook. Tomo is a senior at Los Altos High School, and founder of the Post.


Bay Area health officers set criteria for removing indoor mask mandate

STORY BY TOMOKI CHIEN, GRAPHIC BY ALLISON HUANG Bay Area health officers yesterday set criteria for rescinding indoor mask requirements, potentially paving the way for a removal of the mandate previously set in August. In order to remove the mandates, counties must reach the “moderate” tier of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s COVID-19…

38 MVLA seniors advance as semifinalists in National Merit Scholarship competition

STORY BY TOMOKI CHIEN, PHOTO BY ARYA NASIKKAR 38 seniors in the Mountain View–Los Altos Union High School District have advanced to the semifinal stage of the 2022 National Merit Scholarship Program. The seniors join 16,000 other semifinalists named this week, selected from some 1.5 million students who entered the competition by taking the Preliminary…

Tiger parents, read: Meet the program combating Silicon Valley stress

STORY BY TOMOKI CHIEN, PHOTO COURTESY ANUSUYA RAO After seeing her kids off to college, Anusuya Rao came to a startling realization. Many of her kids, their friends and similar-aged kids she knew were high academic achievers — but lacked what she felt was really important to navigate adult life beyond school. “[Some of these] academically…

MVLA: Respuestas para todas las preguntas que podrías tener sobre el retorno a la escuela durante COVID

ARTICULO DE TOMOKI CHIEN, FOTO DE ARYA NASIKKAR, TRADUCCIÓN DE RODRIGO SEPÚLVEDA SAGASETA Esta historia fue escrita y reportada originalmente en inglés. Todas las citas son traducciones. Click here to read the original article in English. En una semana, los estudiantes del Distrito de Mountain View–Los Altos harán regresaran al campus por primera vez en 16 meses. Será un retorno completo:…

MVLA appoints special education administrator, assistant principals

STORY BY TOMOKI CHIEN, PHOTO BY ARYA NASIKKAR The Mountain View–Los Altos Union High School District board Monday appointed Neena Mand to the role of special education administrator, Fabian Morales Medina to the role of Los Altos assistant principal and Marti McGuirk to the role of Mountain View assistant principal. All three were appointed unanimously by the…

A step back: Santa Clara County recommends indoor masking

STORY BY TOMOKI CHIEN Given a rise in local COVID-19 transmission, Santa Clara County health officials Friday recommended wearing masks indoors regardless of vaccination status, in a step back from June’s significant ease in health restrictions.  The recommendation falls short of a mandate, and instead asks that residents wear masks in public places “to ensure easy…

Newsom declares drought emergency in Santa Clara County, asks residents to reduce water use by 15%

STORY BY TOMOKI CHIEN, PHOTO BY ARYA NASIKKAR Gov. Gavin Newsom Thursday urged Californians to cut water use by 15%, and further expanded the state’s emergency drought declaration to include Santa Clara County, along with eight others. 50 of the state’s 58 counties — home to 42% of the state’s population — now fall under…

MVLA adopta LCAP, y se enfoca en la inequidad educativa durante los próximos tres años

ARTICULO DE TOMOKI CHIEN, FOTO DE ARYA NASIKKAR, TRADUCCIÓN DE RODRIGO SEPÚLVEDA SAGASETA Esta historia fue escrita y reportada originalmente en inglés. Todas las citas son traducciones. Click here to read the original article in English. El 21 de junio, la junta de consejo del Mountain View – Los Altos Union High School District aprobó su último Local Control…

Vaccinated Californians no longer need to wear masks; state lifts majority of COVID-19 restrictions

STORY BY TOMOKI CHIEN Fully vaccinated Californians no longer need to wear masks or socially distance in most settings, in a dramatic ease of state COVID-19 restrictions. The relaxed health restrictions — which effectively fully reopen the economy by lifting capacity restrictions on businesses, and scrapping the color tier system that dictated restrictions in counties —…

Con una subvención estatal, MVLA busca incrementar el apoyo para los estudiantes

ARTICULO DE TOMOKI CHIEN, FOTO DE EMILY MCNALLY, TRADUCCIÓN DE RODRIGO SEPÚLVEDA SAGASETA  Esta historia fue escrita y reportada originalmente en inglés. Todas las citas son traducciones. Click here to view the original article in English. Con fondos de la Beca de Oportunidades de Aprendizaje Expandido del estado de California, el Distrito Escolar Unificado de Mountain View–Los…

With state grant, MVLA seeks to boost supports for targeted students

STORY BY TOMOKI CHIEN, PHOTO BY EMILY MCNALLY Haz click aqui para ver el articulo en Español. The Mountain View–Los Altos Unified School District is seeking to boost academic and social-emotional support for students with funds from the state’s Expanded Learning Opportunities Grant.  Much of the funds are set to be put toward supporting academic recovery…

State to keep indoor mask mandate as Santa Clara County drops to yellow tier

STORY BY TOMOKI CHIEN Santa Clara County today dropped to the yellow tier of coronavirus restrictions, as the state continues to eye its June 15 full reopening that’s contingent upon “stable and low” hospitalization rates and sufficient vaccine supply. The yellow tier is the state’s least restrictive tier of coronavirus restrictions, and allows for expanded capacities for businesses…

Students petition for academic and wellness reform following Mountain View High death

STORY AND PHOTO BY TOMOKI CHIEN Note: Resources for persons feeling depressed, troubled or suicidal can be found at the bottom of this story. Students in the Mountain View–Los Altos Union High School District are petitioning for reform that they say will better ensure the district supports students’ mental health needs, initially prompted by the…

CDC signs off on Pfizer vaccine for 12- to 15-year-olds; state expected to expand eligibility

STORY BY TOMOKI CHIEN In a widely anticipated move, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention today gave the go-ahead for administration of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine in the 12- to 15-year-old age range. The CDC’s green light follows the Food and Drug Administration’s Monday approval of the vaccine. Only three states — Arkansas, Delaware and Georgia —…

New Los Altos High School social studies building set to open in the fall

STORY BY TOMOKI CHIEN, PHOTO BY EMILY MCNALLY Construction of Los Altos High School’s new two-story classroom building and auxiliary gym is set for completion this summer, and both spaces will open for students in the fall. The social studies department, which is currently housed in portables, will occupy the two-story building upon completion. Associate…

Pasallo, Bissonnette elegidos para nuevos puestos del distrito de MVLA

ARTÍCULO ESCRITO POR TOMOKI CHIEN, FOTO DE EMILY MCNALLY, TRADUCCIÓN HECHA POR RODRIGO SEPÚLVEDA SAGASETA Esta historia fue escrita y reportada originalmente en inglés. Todas las citas son traducciones. Click here to view the original article in English. La maestra de inglés de la preparatoria de Los Altos, Michelle Bissonnette, y la subdirectora Perla Pasallo,…

Una semana después, esto es lo que los estudiantes tienen que decir sobre el regreso híbrido de MVLA

ARTICULO DE TOMOKI CHIEN, FOTO DE ALLISON HUANG, TRADUCCIÓN DE RODRIGO SEPÚLVEDA SAGASETA  Esta historia fue escrita y reportada originalmente en inglés. Todas las citas son traducciones. Los estudiantes del Distrito de Escuelas Preparatorias de MVLA regresaron al campus esta semana para recibir instrucción híbrida, el resultado de meses de planificación, negociación y, frecuente debate.  Para Katie…

Pasallo, Bissonnette tapped for new MVLA district office roles

STORY BY TOMOKI CHIEN, PHOTO BY EMILY MCNALLY Haz click aqui para ver el articulo en Español. Los Altos High School English teacher Michelle Bissonnette and Assistant Principal Perla Pasallo have been appointed to new roles in the district office: Pasallo will serve as the director of student services and equity, while Bissonnette will take on the role…

A week in, here’s what students have to say about MVLA’s hybrid return

STORY BY TOMOKI CHIEN, PHOTO BY ALLISON HUANG Haz click aqui para ver el articulo en Español. Students in the Mountain View–Los Altos Union High School District returned to campus this week for hybrid instruction, the culmination of months of planning, negotiation and often contentious debate. For Los Altos freshman Katie Skaggs, it wasn’t so…

As vaccine supply dramatically increases, 62% of eligible Santa Clara County residents have received first dose

STORY BY TOMOKI CHIEN County officials today celebrated one million residents ages 16 and up having received at least one vaccine dose, a major milestone in the county’s race to vaccinate the population. 62% of eligible residents in the county have received first doses, and just above 30% are fully vaccinated, made possible by a significant…

Aproximadamente la mitad del cuerpo estudiantil de MVLA participará en el regreso híbrido de abril

ARTICULO DE TOMOKI CHIEN, FOTO DE EMILY MCNALLY, TRADUCCIÓN DE RODRIGO SEPÚLVEDA SAGASETA  Esta historia fue escrita y reportada originalmente en inglés. Todas las citas son traducciones. Más de la mitad de los estudiantes de las escuelas del distrito MVLA han optado por el regreso híbrido del distrito, lo que indica un interés común por…

Cuatro días presenciales a la semana, distanciamiento de 3 pies y mejoramientos tecnológicos: esto es lo que puedes esperar del regreso híbrido del distrito escolar MVLA

ARTICULO DE TOMOKI CHIEN, FOTO DE EMILY MCNALLY, TRADUCCIÓN DE RODRIGO SEPÚLVEDA SAGASETA Esta historia fue escrita y reportada originalmente en inglés. Todas las citas son traducciones. A partir del 26 de abril, los estudiantes del Distrito Escolar MVLA pueden regresar  cuatro días completos de instrucción en persona a la semana, lo que representa un…

Hundreds gather for youth-led Mountain View AAPI rally

STORY BY CARLY HELTZEL, PHOTOS BY TOMOKI CHIEN Hundreds of protesters marched through downtown Mountain View today in support of the Asian American and Pacific Islander community in a local show of solidarity amidst rising anti-Asian hate crimes nationwide. The effort was largely organized by three youth chairs: Castilleja School senior Amanda Khu, Mountain View…

‘Light at the end of this tunnel’: Gov. Newsom unveils plan to fully reopen state in mid-June

STORY BY TOMOKI CHIEN AND GIL RUBINSTEIN Governor Gavin Newsom yesterday unveiled a plan to fully reopen the state on June 15, given that the vaccine supply is sufficient to accommodate the 16-and-up age bracket and hospitalization rates are “stable and low.” “With more than 20 million vaccines administered across the state, it is time to turn the…

Los Altos Library opens to 50% occupancy, continues expanded contactless pick up

STORY BY GIL RUBINSTEIN, PHOTO BY TOMOKI CHIEN Following the county’s drop to the orange tier of coronavirus restrictions, the Los Altos Library will continue to expand its in-person services after first opening for lobby service in March. Effective April 19, all libraries in the Santa Clara County Library District — which includes the Los Altos Library…

Roughly half of MVLA student body set to participate in April hybrid return

STORY BY TOMOKI CHIEN, PHOTO BY EMILY MCNALLY Just over half the students at Los Altos and Mountain View high schools have opted into the district’s mid-April hybrid return, indicating widespread interest for in-person learning over a year since the pandemic first forced campuses to close. On April 19, the 52.1% of district students set…

State to loosen gathering restrictions as Santa Clara County sees rise in COVID-19 variants

STORY BY TOMOKI CHIEN State health officials on April 2 unveiled a range of loosened COVID-19 restrictions allowing for larger outdoor gatherings and concerts, effective April 15. Notably, in the orange tier, which Santa Clara County currently sits in: Outdoor gatherings may include up to 50 people. Outdoor “private events,” receptions and conferences with pre-purchased tickets…

Santa Clara County officials warn of vaccine scarcity as state widens eligibility

STORY BY TOMOKI CHIEN Santa Clara County officials cautioned at a press conference today that California’s expanded vaccine eligibility may have a limited immediate effect in the county. County COVID-19 Testing and Vaccine Officer Dr. Marty Fenstersheib said that roughly 400,000 county residents will become newly eligible for vaccination on April 1. “That’s a lot of…

CA vaccine eligibility to expand to ages 50 and up on April 1; ages 16 and up on April 15

STORY BY TOMOKI CHIEN California COVID-19 vaccine eligibility will expand to residents ages 50 and up on April 1, with further expansion to the 16 and up age bracket on April 15. At the moment, high-risk individuals ages 16 and up are eligible for vaccinations as well as healthcare workers, agricultural workers, educators, emergency service workers…

VIDEO: A look into MVLA’s current in-person learning program

PRODUCED BY KAITLYN HUANG, MIA BASSETT AND CATHRYN KRAJEWSKI, MUSIC BY TOMOKI CHIEN High schoolers in the Mountain View–Los Altos High School District returned to campuses earlier this month for learning in “stable groups,” participating in remote classes in a study hall supervised by substitute staff. In April, students across the district are slated to make an…

Four days in-person, 3-foot social distancing and I.T. upgrades: Here’s what to expect from MVLA’s hybrid return

STORY AND PHOTO BY TOMOKI CHIEN  Students in the Mountain View–Los Altos Union High School District can expect four full days a week of in-person instruction starting April 26, a significant expansion of the district’s previously announced proposal. The district’s latest schedule, presented at its March 22 board meeting, calls for students to step back…

PAUSD drafts plans to offer optional remote instruction in fall 2021

STORY BY MELODY XU, PHOTO BY TOMOKI CHIEN The Palo Alto Unified School District has plans in progress to offer remote instruction programs for its K–12 students in the 2021–2022 school year, as discussed at tonight’s board meeting. District documents clarify that though PAUSD remains “optimistic for a full return to school” in the fall,…

Across the board, local leaders unite in condemning anti-Asian violence

STORY BY TOMOKI CHIEN, PHOTO BY EMILY MCNALLY Local leaders have united in condemning hate crimes against Asian Americans, just days after the Atlanta-area spa shootings in which a Caucasian suspect killed eight victims, six of whom were Asian women. “I condemn all hate crimes and acts of racism against our [Asian American and Pacific…

CDC says only 3-foot social distancing needed in schools

STORY BY TOMOKI CHIEN The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention today relaxed its coronavirus guidance for schools, most notably changing its social distancing guidelines from 6 feet to 3 feet, a departure from the near-ubiquitous 6-foot distancing standard. Guidance specifies that elementary schoolers should be at least 3 feet apart, with middle and high schoolers…

Los Altos Library opens for limited-capacity service, continues expanded online resources

STORY BY GIL RUBINSTEIN, PHOTO BY TOMOKI CHIEN Last week, the Los Altos Library opened its lobby service in limited capacity, allowing residents to partake in restricted browsing and book pickup. The reopening follows Santa Clara County’s fall to the red tier of coronavirus restrictions, which allowed the library to begin operation at 25–50% lobby…

Recently promoted Teri Faught on her new role, learning loss, equity and teaching

STORY BY TOMOKI CHIEN, PHOTO BY EMILY MCNALLY A longtime teacher and administrator in the Mountain View–Los Altos School District, Teri Faught this week assumed the role of associate superintendent of educational services. Faught — who’s served as the district’s distance learning administrator since last summer — fills a vacancy left by Margarita Navarro in February,…

Union president retracts: MVLA April hybrid return not contingent on orange tier

STORY AND PHOTO BY TOMOKI CHIEN The Mountain View–Los Altos School District’s April 19 full hybrid return is not contingent on the county being in the orange tier of coronavirus restrictions, as District Teachers’ Association President David Campbell previously told the Post. Campbell, as first reported by the Town Crier, said he was mistaken when…

Anticipating vaccinations, MVLA teachers’ union agrees to April full hybrid return if in orange tier

STORY BY TOMOKI CHIEN AND CARLY HELTZEL, PHOTO BY TOMOKI CHIEN Update (Monday, March 8): DTA President David Campbell clarified to the Post that he was mistaken, and the district’s hybrid return is not in fact contingent upon the county being in the orange tier by April 19. Click here for the latest information. The…

Santa Clara County falls to red tier, heralding a long-awaited return to school

STORY BY TOMOKI CHIEN Santa Clara County has fallen to the red tier of coronavirus restrictions, in a shift that follows a recent trend of falling case rates and subsequent relaxing restrictions across the state. Starting tomorrow, March 3, restaurants, movie theaters and gyms may reopen for indoor business with capacity limits. Schools that had not…

Santa Clara County relaxes masking, distancing restrictions

STORY BY TOMOKI CHIEN Santa Clara County has relaxed a handful of its COVID-19 safety restrictions, through a combination of amendment and repeal of previous county mandates. Most notable is the repealment of the county’s mandatory directive for youth and adult athletics; previous county restrictions that were more strict than state guidelines — such as the…

San Mateo County falls to red tier, Santa Clara poised to follow suit

STORY BY TOMOKI CHIEN San Mateo County has fallen to the red tier of coronavirus restrictions, effective tomorrow, Feb. 24. Santa Clara County — whose adjusted case rate, test positivity rate and health equity quartile qualify for the red tier — will make a similar drop if numbers hold for two consecutive weeks. In the red tier,…

Foothills Park renamed Foothills Nature Preserve, city to implement annual passes

STORY BY OLIVIA HEWANG, PHOTO BY TOMOKI CHIEN The Palo Alto City Council tonight voted unanimously to rename Foothills Park to Foothills Nature Preserve, implement annual passes and set the attendance cap to 300 visitors at a time, although the city manager may increase the cap up to a maximum of 650 visitors.  The council…

County allows all outdoor sports competition, among other activities, starting Friday

STORY AND PHOTO BY TOMOKI CHIEN Santa Clara County will allow a broader range of outdoor activities — including all outdoor sports competition — starting Feb. 26, in a move that follows relaxed state guidance issued just days ago. The state health department’s Feb. 19 guidance permits all outdoor sports competition, even in sports deemed…

State guidance permits all outdoor sports competition starting next Friday, but Santa Clara County could hold off

STORY AND PHOTO BY TOMOKI CHIEN The California Department of Public Health today loosened its youth sports restrictions, permitting all outdoor sports — including football, water polo, field hockey and soccer, among others — to resume inter-team competitions on Feb. 26 in counties with fewer than 14 cases per 100,000 in the population. Santa Clara County…

Santa Clara County to expand vaccine eligibility to Phase 1B

STORY BY TOMOKI CHIEN Effective Feb. 28, Santa Clara County will expand COVID-19 vaccine eligibility to Phase 1B of the state’s vaccination tiers, which includes workers in education and childcare; food and agriculture; and emergency services. County Health Officer Dr. Sara Cody said at a press conference today that now is the “optimal time” to expand…

New CDC guidance recommends Santa Clara County schools open for full in-person instruction

STORY BY CEDRIC CHAN AND TOMOKI CHIEN New national guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention today recommends that Santa Clara County schools open for full in-person instruction, although state restrictions would prohibit that from happening until hitting the red tier of coronavirus transmission. The centerpiece of the CDC’s guidance is a colored tier system — which…

Artist of the Month: Dasha Korepanova delights with her whimsical creatures

STORY BY OLIVIA HEWANG AND DANA HUCH, PHOTO BY TOMOKI CHIEN Dasha Korepanova used to sell her character designs in exchange for virtual currency in a video game. Now, the Los Altos junior is inundated with so many requests for commissions — paid in real money, not in-game “spuds” — that it’s become difficult for…

Current plans bare, but MVLA set to implement ethnic studies course in 2022

STORY BY TOMOKI CHIEN, PHOTO BY ALLISON HUANG The Mountain View–Los Altos School District has plans to implement an ethnic studies course in the fall of 2022. Ethnic studies — loosely defined as the study of race, ethnicity and inequality from the perspective of people of color in the United States — has faced criticism since…

County walks back 25-foot rule for youth sports, but adds new restrictions

STORY BY TOMOKI CHIEN, PHOTO BY GIL RUBINSTEIN The Santa Clara County Health Department appears to have walked back its previous mandate that athletics cohorts maintain a 25-foot distance from one another, a restriction that sparked outrage among the high school sports community. The new guidance notes that participants in youth athletic activity must maintain…

County guidelines could spell disaster for high school sports competition

STORY BY TOMOKI CHIEN, PHOTO BY GIL RUBINSTEIN Note: Santa Clara County has walked back its guidance mandating a 25-foot distance between athletics cohorts. Click here for the most recent updates. Santa Clara County safety restrictions could thwart high school sports competitions set to begin in just over two weeks.  County guidelines allow practice and…

CIF bars athletes from playing same-season club and school sports

STORY BY GARV VIRGINKAR, PHOTO BY TOMOKI CHIEN Student athletes will no longer be able to participate in both school and club sports over the same season, following a decision from the California Interscholastic Federation to re-enact restrictions on participating on both school and club teams.  The reversal is effective immediately, and comes in light…

SCVAL approves truncated calendar, may have little immediate effect

STORY BY TOMOKI CHIEN AND GARV VIRGINKAR, PHOTO BY TOMOKI CHIEN The Santa Clara Valley Athletic League today approved a modified calendar for the 2020–2021 season that tiers sports returns by risk and level of coronavirus transmission. The schedule slates cross country, girls golf, girls tennis, swimming and diving to start practices on Feb. 1,…

With COVID on the rise, Los Altos High athletes allege lax safety protocol in sports cohorts

STORY AND PHOTO BY TOMOKI CHIEN Amid a rising county coronavirus death toll, a handful of Los Altos High School athletes have alleged lax enforcement of safety protocol on the part of their coaches, and at times, flagrant violations of restrictions by their teammates. The claims of lax conduct come from four athletes on two…

Through fractured distribution process, Santa Clara County officials blast vaccination protocol

STORY BY TOMOKI CHIEN County officials today expressed frustration with a scattered vaccine distribution process which gives the county limited oversight over distribution within its bounds. Currently, all healthcare workers and residents over the age of 75 are eligible for vaccination. State guidance puts residents over age 65 in the eligible bracket, but as it stands,…

In a reversal, new guidance forces LASD to postpone middle school return

STORY AND PHOTO BY TOMOKI CHIEN This story will be updated with additional information at a later date. Following state guidance released today, Los Altos School District intermediate schools are postponing in-person returns until the county sits in the red tier of coronavirus restrictions for two consecutive weeks. Middle schoolers at Egan and Blach were…

Bay Area stay-at-home order extended as region’s ICU capacity continues to fall

STORY BY TOMOKI CHIEN After failing to reach an ICU capacity of 15% or higher, the Bay Area region — Santa Clara County included — is now under an extended stay-at-home order, set to be reassessed once the region’s four-week ICU capacity projection hits the 15% threshold. As of now, the Bay Area’s capacity sits at…

Fashion in the pandemic

STORY, PHOTOS AND MUSIC BY TOMOKI CHIEN, VIDEO PRODUCED BY CATHRYN KRAJEWSKI We might all be stuck at home with only our parents, siblings and pets to judge us, but fashion is arguably just as important as ever.  It’s a chance at self expression and confidence in a time of dull routine; it’s a chance…

COVID-19 is the projected third leading cause of death in Santa Clara County

STORY BY TOMOKI CHIEN AND GARV VIRGINKAR Since the first confirmed coronavirus case in late January — with the first death following just days after — the county has seen a total of 65,288 positive cases and 652 deaths; that makes COVID-19 this year’s projected third leading cause of death in the county, behind only cancer…

Artist of the month: Los Altos junior writes, records and releases his own four-track EP

STORY AND PHOTO BY TOMOKI CHIEN, ILLUSTRATION BY ALLISON HUANG While the rest of his teenage peers have been lying on the couch watching TikToks, Dominic (Christiansen) Crosby’s been writing his own EP.  Dom’s EP — “Sophomore Year Singles” — features four songs, two of which he’s written during the pandemic; they’re dreamy, high-reverb tracks,…

MVLA to begin hybrid return once county hits orange tier

STORY AND PHOTO BY TOMOKI CHIEN The Mountain View–Los Altos School District will take its first steps to a hybrid return once the county hits the orange tier of coronavirus transmission; that decision comes following the Board’s vote last night to approve Superintendent Dr. Nellie Meyer’s coronavirus “matrix,” or process for approving a return. The…

Persistence, charity and faith: A Mountain View junior builds her own clothing company

STORY BY TOMOKI CHIEN AND ALLISON HUANG, PHOTO COURTESY JESSICA GAO Two years ago, Jessica Gao was a budding entrepreneur selling stickers — stickers of Asian slippers. Now, the Mountain View High School junior runs her own clothing brand, Upward Design, donating 100 percent of her profits to Second Harvest Food Bank. Jessica’s previous exploits…

Governor Newsom announces stay-at-home order for regions with ICU capacity below 15 percent

STORY BY TOMOKI CHIEN Effective today, regions where ICU capacity falls below 15 percent will be subject to a three-week stay-at-home order; regions include the Bay Area, Northern California, Greater Sacramento, San Joaquin Valley and Southern California.  Under current trends, the State projects that the Bay Area will fall below the 15 percent threshold by…

CIF moves earliest start date to January, scraps season one regional and state championships

STORY BY TOMOKI CHIEN AND OLIVIA HEWANG The California Interscholastic Federation announced today in a press release that the earliest start date for season one sports will be Friday, January 1. Additionally, all season one state and regional competitions are canceled, and boys volleyball has been moved to season two. A modified season two calendar…

MVLA shutters sports cohorts

STORY BY TOMOKI CHIEN In emails to Mountain View–Los Altos School District coaches last night, athletic directors at both Mountain View and Los Altos high schools announced the shutdown of all athletics cohorts until further notice; that decision comes following a rapid increase of COVID-19 cases in the county. “Due to the increase of COVID…

Santa Clara County announces new COVID-19 restrictions, San Mateo County moves into purple tier

STORY BY TOMOKI CHIEN The revisions to the existing Santa Clara restrictions, effective at 12:01 a.m. on Monday, November 30, primarily include tighter limits on sports, business capacities and travel; the move comes as hospitals in the county risk running out of beds within the next few weeks.  The Santa Clara order states that all…

Los Altos City Manager resigns

STORY BY TOMOKI CHIEN, PHOTO BY ALLISON HUANG Los Altos City Manager Chris Jordan has resigned from his post, effective Saturday, December 5. While the City searches for his replacement, Deputy City Manager Jon Maginot will serve in his place. “Throughout [my tenure], the City staff has taken on numerous challenges with a positive, can-do…

CIF competition postponed until further notice: December return may be in jeopardy

STORY BY TOMOKI CHIEN All California Interscholastic Federation sports competition is postponed until further notice, following Governor Gavin Newsom’s announcement of tighter coronavirus restrictions today.  For now, high school sports practices in Santa Clara County will look largely the same as they have since August, with small cohorts allowed to train under a range of…

A conversation about Los Altos police reform with Council Member Neysa Fligor

STORY BY TOMOKI CHIEN AND GIL RUBINSTEIN, PHOTO BY TOMOKI CHIEN Formed in August in reaction to the Black Lives Matter movement and increased conversation around police reform, the Los Altos Citizen’s Police Task Force is charged with presenting the City Council recommendations for changes to the school resource officer (SRO) program at Los Altos…

Gunn, PALY to return in person along with PAUSD middle schools in January

STORY BY TOMOKI CHIEN AND OLIVIA HEWANG, PHOTO BY TOMOKI CHIEN Palo Alto middle and high schools will reopen next semester under a hybrid model, following the Palo Alto Unified School District Board’s unanimous vote last night to approve the plan; that plan is set to be tweaked before reopening day, with further input from…

‘We’ll be hosting our own superspreader’: MVLA administrators present possible plans for in-person return

STORY BY TOMOKI CHIEN AND NATALIE WEI, PHOTO BY TOMOKI CHIEN Mountain View–Los Altos District administrators presented three potential models for in-person return, including “rotation,” “week-on/week-off” and “AM/PM,” at tonight’s Board meeting. Superintendent Dr. Nellie Meyer noted that there is no set timeline for an in-person return, although the District had previously decided that any…

MVLA Superintendent Meyer expresses interest in hiring full-time SRO

STORY BY TOMOKI CHIEN AND NATALIE WEI, PHOTO BY TOMOKI CHIEN Mountain View–Los Altos School District Superintendent Dr. Nellie Meyer expressed interest in hiring a full-time school resource officer (SRO) for the Los Altos High School campus in yesterday’s Los Altos Citizen’s Police Task Force meeting. Meyer, along with LAHS Principal Wynne Satterwhite, cited relationship-building…

Demonstrators gather for a ‘count all votes’ rally in Mountain View

STORY BY GIL RUBINSTEIN, PHOTOS BY TOMOKI CHIEN Amid brewing uncertainty surrounding the presidential election, a group of roughly 60 demonstrators gathered in Mountain View to express support for a fair, democratic election process, with the pervading theme of the night being to “count all the votes.”    The group of demonstrators — largely older long-time…