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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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Editorial: Propositions 1A-1F: No is right answer

It’s not easy to say no. A part of us wants to find real and reasonable solutions to the state budget crisis. We can easily blame our legislators for irresponsible spending, but the fact remains, we voted them in. And, of course, the economy has not been cooperative. In many ways, their spending reflected what many citizens have continued to do: spend and borrow, only to lose their jobs and homes as the economy turned sour.

What to do? We think state Propositions 1A-1F, on the May 19 ballot, are not the answers. All six come in the aftermath of our frazzled legislators’ finalizing the budget last February - seven months late. The propositions as a whole bid to raise our taxes over four years (1A) while shifting pots of money promised for preschool education (1D) and mental health services (1E) into the general fund to make up a multibillion-dollar deficit. Meanwhile, 1C would promote more gambling on the state lottery and commits future profits toward the general budget. 1F prevents legislator pay raises during deficit years.

1A is plainly deceptive. Calling for "restrictions on the state budget process," it would establish a 12.5 percent reserve fund to "stabilize" the budget and restrict spending even in good economic years. Sounds responsible. But the increased state taxes recently passed would be extended another two years under 1A. Then, in a cynical effort to get 1A support from the powerful state teachers' union, legislators added "Education Funding. Payment Plan" under 1B, which requires supplemental payments to school districts to address recent budget cuts. But the Legislature, as the League of Women Voters pointed out, can restore education funds on its own, in a more straightforward way. Because 1B is tied to 1A, passage is moot if 1A goes down.

1C is especially egregious, allowing the state to issue $5 billion in bonds that it would borrow from future lottery profits. Considering the state's poor credit rating, this could be easier said than done. Not only does it take money from education, 1C also gives $1 million a year to the state Office of Problem Gambling. Huh?

1D and 1E are shell games, taking money from children and the mentally ill to fund the general budget while creating the illusion that these groups would still be adequately funded. Short-sighted and clearly stopgap approaches, these measures deserve your dismissal.

1F is a gratuitous, populist move that promises no pay raises to legislators during budget deficit years. We say no here. A better proposal might be no pay for anybody in the State Capitol for each day past budget deadline.

So what is the solution? As far as we can tell, the best option is old-fashioned belt-tightening and living within our means. It simply means painful cutting until we have a balanced budget. Then we work hard to build a better economy and avoid the spending sprees of boom budget years that made our state go bust.

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