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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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State allocations put Foothill-De Anza district budgets in jeopardy

Enrollment of full-time equivalent students (FTES) increased 6 percent during the summer session and 5 percent during the fall quarter at the Foothill-De Anza Community College District. The state was unable to address the rapid growth in numbers of community college students, which resulted in 1,700 unfounded FTES.

"When we deal with unfounded FTES that means the state has not paid for them and we are unable to support them," said Vice Chancellor Mike Brandy, who added that the district had to absorb $1.4 million in support programs. "We had enough money in the ending balance to cover this, but we will have looming problems ahead of us."

The ending balance in the general fund on June 30 was about $19 million. Of that amount, portions were used to meet the 5 percent reserve target, purchase orders and departmental carry-overs. The adopted budget for 2002-03 reflects a forecasted operating deficit of about $5.1 million.

Strategies to address this deficit include an orderly discussion of the target for reduction and actual cuts needed to balance the budget, Brandy said.

Federal changes in visas created a decrease in nonresident students as well as a decrease in funding by about $615,000. Nonresident revenue is not turned over to the state like regular tuition.

Measure E for $248 million in general obligation bonds was approved by voters in November 1999, and the first $100 million was exercised in June 2000. In October 2002, the district refinanced the bonds to take advantage of lower interest rates. This action resulted in additional income to the Measure E bond program. It is expected that the second installment of bonds to be issued will occur in late 2003 or early 2004.

The initial planning phase of Measure E is in full swing. The first major new building (the Science Center at De Anza) is under construction, and the next 24-month period will be the most intense period of planning and construction during the Measure E program.

"The governor's budget in January can revise a lot of things with shortfalls, but there is a lot of uncertainty before the end of the year," Brandy said. "It appears the state will operate at a $21.2 billion deficit next year and for years will be at a $16 million deficit."

Brandy said one large concern about the state budget is that a number of one-time funding sources were used to balance the 2002-03 budgets, leading to speculation about midyear reductions as well as significant reductions in the 2003-04 allocations.

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