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News

LA Council race adds 3 new faces to city politics

LA Council race adds 3 new faces to city politics


The Town Crier chronicled the first election of Los Altos City Council incumbent Jarrett Fishpaw in 2010 and documented the Los Altos candidacy of Jean Mordo, who volunteered as a longtime public servant in Los Altos Hills before moving to the flat...

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Schools

St. Simon launches web-based learning management system

St. Simon launches web-based learning management system


Courtesy of St. Simon Parish School
St. Simon fifth-grader Matthew Cummins uses a laptop in class last week. The school’s cloud-based Schoology system boosts organization and collaboration.

Families at St. Simon Parish School in Los Altos laun...

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Community

Los Altos to celebrate 100 years of library use with 'Centennial Faire'

Los Altos to celebrate 100 years of library use with 'Centennial Faire'


Town Crier File Photo
The Los Altos main library is among the more popular branches in the county library district system, set to celebrate 100 years.

In 1914, Babe Ruth made his debut with the Boston Red Sox, wages hit $5 per day, the first ste...

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Sports

Eagles eye another stellar season

Eagles eye another stellar season


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Los Altos High outside hitter Carmen Annevelink, right, goes for the kill Thursday against Palo Alto, as teammates Sarah Tritschler, left, and Lulu Kishton prepare to play defense. The Eagles won the match in straight ga...

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Comment

Torok, Walter, Dave for MVLA board: Editorial

There’s really nothing major you can criticize about the Mountain View Los Altos Union High School District. It offers a diverse array of effective programs for all types of students. Its instructors, with few exceptions, are outstanding.

Howe...

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Special Sections

'Funabout' Fiat

'Funabout' Fiat


Photos courtesy of Fiat
The 2014 Fiat 500e uses 29 kilowatt-hours per 100 miles, which the engineers claim is the equivalent of 116 mpg of gas use. It has a sticker price of $33,095.

If you believe in climate change, would love to see alternat...

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Business

App developer eyes First Friday as testing ground

App developer eyes First Friday as testing ground


Ted Fagenson

An East Bay app developer is testing his newest creation in downtown Los Altos.

Ted Fagenson, co-founder of Skrownge (pronounced “scrounge”), told the Town Crier that he’s beta testing his mobile gaming app this week ...

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Books

From story to bookstore: Local journey highlights Halloween

From story to bookstore: Local journey highlights Halloween


Courtesy of Dee Ellmann
Jenny Hurwick self-published her picture book last month after decades of storytelling.

During her years working as a teacher and a Los Altos mom, Jenny Hurwick loved to tell stories. One tale she crafted for her son just se...

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People

VINCENT (TIM) MURPHY JR.

VINCENT (TIM) MURPHY JR.

July 27, 1953 – August 12, 2014

Native Los Altan died Medford, OR. Graduated Bellarmine Prep. Married Josephine Domino, 1950. Licensed Auto Mechanic, Private Pilot, skilled Computer Scientist. Tim “could fix anything”. Afflicted with cancer 2001. ...

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Travel

Taking a Turkey trek: Winging it during the World Cup

Taking a Turkey trek: Winging it during the World Cup


Rich Robertson/Special to the Town Crier
The sun sets over the Aegean Sea in Bodrum, Turkey, left.

Tours that whisk you from Istanbul to Bodrum in 11 days are as plentiful as souvenir hawkers in Turkey, but traveling from the Blue Mosque to Topkapi ...

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Stepping Out

'Gypsy' on its way out

'Gypsy' on its way out


Chris Berger/Special to the Town Crier
Alison Koch of Los Altos plays Dainty June in “Gypsy.”

This is the final weekend to catch the Sunnyvale Community Players production of “Gypsy” at the Sunnyvale Theatre. The musical is slated to close Sund...

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Spiritual Life

Ugandan pastor visits U.S. to raise support for children's ministry

Ugandan pastor visits U.S. to raise support for children's ministry


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Herman Lukwago educates children in Uganda.

Imagine life if your father had 25 children and you were raised in poverty in rural Uganda.

Now imagine that you and your siblings were orphaned at an early age and you ass...

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Magazine

Local events add color to autumn calendar

Local events add color to autumn calendar


Van Houtte/town crier Visitors make their way through the Children’s Alley.

As Los Altos’ signature Chinese Pistache trees exchange their summer green for vibrant hues of yellow, orange and red in the fall, an abundance of local events also ad...

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Friendly rivals expect to vie for 3rd at CCS

Los Altos and Mountain View highs are fierce rivals in many sports, but not gymnastics.

The Eagles and Spartans train together at Los Altos under coach Shannon Thoke, who said, “The teams get along well.”

Well enough that when Mountain View edged Los Altos at the third meet of the season, the Eagles reacted with joy rather than disappointment.

“Los Altos was very happy Mountain View won,” Thoke said, “and Mountain View was very surprised (to win).”

That’s because the Spartans had never won a gymnastics meet. This is the first year Mountain View has had enough gymnasts (four) to compete as a team. And that April 15 win – in which the Spartans earned a score of 141.30, Los Altos a 140.30 and Mercy a 132.40 – marked the first time they had all four gymnasts competing at the same meet.

Elaine Silverman led Mountain View by posting an all-around score of 37.20, good enough for second place.

The freshman finished first on the uneven bars (9.60), second on the vault (9.20) and third on the balance beam (9.30).

“She should be competing for the top spot in CCS,” Thoke said. “She’s placed first or second (all-around) in every meet.”

Putting Silverman and another talented freshman, Elizabeth Murray, on a team that already included senior standout Emilia Mancilla – who qualified for the Central Coast Section championships as an individual last year – makes the Spartans a contender, according to Thoke.

“Elaine has a tremendous amount of skills, Emilia scores very highly, too, and Elizabeth is quite good – especially on beam,” the coach said. “They have a lot of talent on the team and should be just as competitive as Los Altos.”

While the Spartans may have more skill, Thoke noted the Eagles have the advantage when it comes to depth. Los Altos has eight gymnasts on varsity.

“Los Altos is deeper, but not all the girls compete in every event,” she said. “The Mountain View girls must do all of them (to produce a team score).”

The Eagles, who won their opening meet of the season against Half Moon Bay and Mountain View last month, have seven former club gymnasts on the roster. That includes senior captain Kelli Yamaguma, who placed eighth at CCS last year.

“She’s great all-around,” said Thoke, who added that Yamaguma’s best events are bars and beam.

Freshman Megan Schmiesing has flourished on floor, according to the coach, while senior Erin Woolley has made a strong comeback after missing the past two seasons due to injury.

“Erin has been solid all around,” Thoke said.

Emma Orner – who placed 14th at CCS last year – is on the comeback trail as well. Thoke said the junior missed the first two meets of the season with a back injury.

“I hope she can handle it the rest of the year,” the coach said. “I doubt she will compete all-around, but we hope she can do beam and bars.”

The Eagles and Spartans have two meets remaining before the Santa Clara Valley Athletic League South Division Finals, scheduled 5 p.m. May 8 at Los Altos. The CCS meet follows, slated 4:30 p.m. May 15 at Twisters Sports Center in Mountain View.

Both teams have already qualified for the CCS meet (which takes a score of at least 128), at which 13-time defending champ St. Francis is seen as the favorite. The three squads squared off Friday, with the Lancers producing a score of 148.85 to convincingly beat the host Eagles (140) and Spartans (139).

St. Francis gymnasts occupied the top three spots in the all-around: Abby Purnell (37.55), Melissa Seaman (37.45) and Tessa Divita (37.30). Mountain View’s Silverman (36.60) placed fourth.

Although Thoke conceded that St. Francis is “the team to beat” at CCS – with Lowell a close second – she is confident the Eagles and Spartans will be in medal contention.

“Both teams have a very good chance at third,” she said. “Los Altos and Mountain View are very even.”

The Eagles may be even better a year from now. Thoke believes the JV squad – led by junior Estefani Gomez – has a legitimate shot at winning the league title this season.

“A couple of the girls have the skills to move up (to varsity),” she said. “And there are three girls at Los Altos who didn’t join the team who were top-level gymnasts (in club) that we hope will join us next year.”

The Eagles’ and Spartans’ next meet is scheduled 6 p.m. Friday at Gymtowne in Moss Beach against Cupertino and Half Moon Bay.

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