Tomoki Chien

Tomoki Chien, Editor-in-Chief

Tomo is a junior at Los Altos High School, leading and managing the team as well as primarily running the hard news section. He also works as a staff photographer and serves as a beat reporter covering the coronavirus and Mountain View–Los Altos School District. Previously, he was the news editor on the Los Altos High School Talon, where he covered the coronavirus, I.T. department and breaking news as a staff writer. Tomo is a founding member of the Post.


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…

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…

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…

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…

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…

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…

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…

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…

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…

COVID-19 Updates: ‘Light at the end of this tunnel’: Gov. Newsom unveils plan to fully reopen state in mid-June

Wednesday, April 7: ‘Light at the end of this tunnel’: Gov. Newsom unveils plan to fully reopen state in mid-June 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.”…

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…