Thu10022014

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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Loyola holds Ability Awareness Week

 Image from article Loyola holds Ability Awareness Week

Abilities of all kinds were celebrated at Loyola School as part of Ability Awareness Week, Nov. 18-22.

Throughout the week, students participated in various activities simulating a range of learning and physical challenges -- from mobility impairments, blindness and dyslexia to fine motor challenges.

Parents and community members volunteered their time to manage various activities.

Many parent volunteers are also members of the Community Advisory Committee for the Special Education Local Plan Area, or SELPA 1, which includes the Los Altos, Palo Alto, Mountain View, Mountain View-Whisman and Mountain View-Los Altos High school districts.

The volunteer committee, formed in 1994, works on a wide range of issues related to special education in schools, including a handbook of guidelines for parents of special needs children in public schools.

Many of those guidelines were shared with the students. "We are teaching the students things like wheelchair etiquette," said Patty Hurley, a volunteer and parent of a special needs student. "For example, asking permission before touching someone's wheelchair, since it is considered as part of their personal space; or having eye contact and speaking directly to the person in the wheelchair."

In an activity meant to simulate a fine motor disability, students put socks on their hands while trying to button up a dress shirt in five minutes.

Students were given a "homework" assignment of not speaking for two hours one evening, forcing them to find other ways to communicate.

In other activities, students attempted to write their names upside down and backward, so that it would look correct in a mirror, to simulate dyslexia; or put on blindfolds and have a classmate lead them around campus to simulate being sight-impaired.

Sunnyvale resident Gail Bowen and her 5-year-old seeing eye dog Cody were also on hand to talk with students.

"The kids are learning how to tell if a guide dog is working or not and how to act around a dog," Bowen said. "Seeing the dogs really helps with giving more acceptance to people like myself out in public."

Acceptance is one of the main themes of the week. It was highlighted with brightly colored posters hung around campus with slogans such as, "It's OK to walk differently," "It's OK to be from a different place" and "Teasing is bullying using words."

Students in the special day classes at Loyola, who have many of the physical or learning challenges highlighted during the week, were in turn given tools to deal with bullying.

"We did some role playing on how to deal with teasing, and it was really successful," Hurley said. "The special day classes did every simulation the other students did, with this added element. The kids need these tools."

Hurley asked students to pretend what it would be like not to be in their bodies, but in the body of someone who might need assistance.

After attempting to navigate Loyola's Multipurpose Room using a walker, cane and wheelchair, fourth-grader Elizabeth Khouri said she was surprised at how hard it was.

"I always wanted to try out a wheelchair. It seemed so easy, but actually it's harder," Khouri said. "I learned that you can't see all disabilities and that I am luckier than a lot of people. I have all of my limbs and can see and smell, not like some other people."

Susan Sherwood, a fourth-grade teacher, said her students can put what they learned during the week to use in the classroom.

"I have a special needs student that comes to my class once a week," Sherwood said. "They are getting to know him as a person and they are less likely to tease him on the playground. We are all educating each other."

For more information about hosting an Ability Awareness Week or the SELPA 1 CAC, call Patty Hurley at 949-1926.

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