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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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Steinberg offers insider's view on growth of Silicon Valley

 Image from article Steinberg offers insider

Goodwin Steinberg, congratulations. You've authored a gem that tells about our daily living and it's your contributions that have made it better. It's titled, "From the Ground Up: Building Silicon Valley."

The book is the tale of a young serviceman and his bride who visited the San Francisco Bay Area during World War II. They came back to the "Valley of the Heart's Delight" and helped make it a place of legend and undreamed-of wealth.

"Goody" tells about the dazzling success story that is Silicon Valley -- how and why technology flourished here, who the players were, and how the pieces came together. He takes a behind-the-scenes look at the politics and personalities of the region.

Faced with the inevitable change that comes with an influx of people and a reputation for success, Santa Clara Valley government officials began to chart their future. Would they become bedroom communities, industrial pockets or a combination of both? As a young, fledging architect, Steinberg helped shape a way of life.

In an area blessed with a mild climate and an abundance of breathtaking vistas, architects found a new freedom in designing both residential and commercial buildings that would take advantage of views.

Not limited by the heavy heating and cooling demands of the Midwest, rooms here did not have to be framed by four interior walls to stay warm. Free of concerns about snow loads, balconies were expanded and views from the inside of the house to the garden were exploited.

Using his new architectural philosophy, Steinberg brought new concepts to a spec house in Los Altos Hills in 1952 that he had a hard time selling.

"From the experience came two lessons," Steinberg writes. "Timing can be everything, and sometimes you have to draw the hard line in order to get where you are going."

One of the first homes Steinberg built for a client was for Mr. and Mrs. Larry Dawson, who owned 30 acres of land in Los Altos Hills. They wanted a creative home to fit on a magnificent ridge that had unobstructed views of the bay on one side and the mountains on the other.

Steinberg realized that when architects partnered with landscape designers and craftsmen, the end product could be environmentally sensitive, aesthetically pleasing and very livable.

Another home Steinberg designed was for Bob and Jan Fenwick. Bob is one of the success stories in high-tech electronics. They had 40 acres and wanted something creative, original, aesthetic and fun.

Steinberg's range of buildings is remarkable. He has been the architect for public buildings, business parks, churches, hotels, community centers, libraries, museums and courthouses in addition to the homes of numerous Silicon Valley titans.

"Early in my career I was faced with a choice -- whether to build a national reputation or focus on my own community," Steinberg writes. "After a grueling and exhausting project in Florida, I made my practice one that focuses on building community. They aren't the most lucrative, but the most fulfilling."

Los Altos is Steinberg's community. He has designed the Los Altos Chamber of Commerce and, most recently, the Los Altos History Museum. His recent book signing in the garden patio of the history museum was well received by the community thanking him for his contributions.

The book is richly illustrated with 69 color prints of his projects, including some architectural drawings. Susan Wolfe aided in authoring "From the Ground Up: Building Silicon Valley."

The book has just been published by Stanford University Press and is available for $50. It is also available at Amazon.com for $34.97.

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