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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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Stanford scholars: Hurricane Katrina did not raise awareness of poverty

Contrary to a popular notion reported in news coverage of Hurricane Katrina, the 2005 Gulf Coast disaster did not reveal to most Americans that widespread poverty and inequality are the nation's "dirty little secret."

Rather, most Americans were aware of these problems before they were highlighted by the devastation of Katrina, according to a new study by Stanford sociologists. As a result, the event did not become a watershed in the debate over poverty, as some pundits had forecast. In fact, awareness of poverty and inequality actually decreased among some groups of Americans after Katrina, suggesting that some people may have reacted negatively to news coverage by what they claimed to be a "liberally biased media," according to the study, "Did Katrina Recalibrate Attitudes Toward Poverty and Inequality? A Test of the 'Dirty Little Secret' Hypothesis."

The paper, co-authored by sociology Professor David Grusky and doctoral student Emily Ryo, will be published in the spring edition of the Du Bois Review. Lawrence Bobo, the Martin Luther King Jr. Centennial Professor, co-edits the 2-year-old, peer-reviewed journal on race in the social sciences. The forthcoming issue, which includes a paper by education Professor Emeritus John Baugh, is devoted to new research related to Katrina.

Grusky and Ryo based their findings on data from the 2004 and 2005 Maxwell Polls on Civic Engagement and Inequality based at Syracuse University. The nationally representative surveys, which included a comprehensive list of questions on poverty and inequality, were conducted in October 2004 and October 2005. Taking place just after Hurricane Katrina, the latter poll allowed the researchers to gauge how attitudes changed following the disaster.

According to a Pew Research Center poll, 70 percent of the U.S. adult population claims to have paid "very close attention" to news about Katrina, making it the fifth most closely watched story in the last 20 years.

"It follows that Katrina had the potential to recalibrate public ideologies in ways far more profound than, say, the release of yet another government report on inequality and poverty." Grusky and Ryo wrote in the study.

According to the researchers, journalists broached many themes in their coverage of the disaster, but a common one was that Katrina cast a fresh light on the depth and extent of poverty in America.

Ryo uncovered this popular theme during an online search of national and local newspaper and broadcast reporting on the disaster, which, she wrote, was summed up by a poverty expert quoted in Newsday Oct. 2: "There has been a pulling back of the veil that hides poverty in America. ... All of a sudden, people are saying, 'Do we really have that level of poverty here? Are there people really trying to hold families together with substandard education, living in substandard housing and with no financial resources to fall back on?'"

Ryo, a fourth-year graduate student, said that after Katrina she, too, had accepted the premise that Americans had been "completely unaware" of the size of these problems. "It's easy to buy into the story that if only we had known about the extent of poverty in America, we would have buckled down and taken care of it," she said.

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