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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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Motorcyclists advised to ride single file

 

Q: I’m a motorcycle enthusiast and love to ride with a few of my close friends. Is it legal for us to ride side-by-side in one lane?

A: When riding in groups, do not pair up. Riding next to each other gives a person no place to go to avoid a hazard on the road. For safety in groups, the best formation to use is the staggered formation. This keeps ranks close yet maintains an adequate space cushion.

The leader rides in the left portion of the lane while the second rider stays one second behind in the right portion of the lane. A third rider rides in the left portion of the lane two seconds behind the first rider. The fourth rider keeps a two-second distance behind the second rider, and so on. You can see a diagram of the formation in the California Motorcycle handbook online at www.dmv.ca.gov/pubs/dl655/dl665mcycle.pdf. It’s located on page 33 of the PDF copy.

 

Q: I’m thinking about buying a new car and would like to know beforehand just how much it will cost me to register the various models I’m considering, so I can budget for the new purchase. Is there a way I can calculate this online?

A: Yes, the DMV Web site has a vehicle registration fee calculator that allows current and new residents of California to calculate an estimate of their vehicle registration fees, determine vehicle license fees for tax purposes and calculate fees for registration renewal for new and used vehicle purchases. It is available at https://mv.dmv.ca.gov/FeeCalculatorWeb/index.jsp.

 

Q: Are all DMV offices able to administer the commercial driving test, or do I have to go to a specific one?

A: Not all DMV offices are equipped to handle the commercial behind-the-wheel driving test. For a list of those that are, visit www.dmv.ca.gov/fo/offices/toc_cdl.htm. Driving test appointments for noncommercial class C and motorcycles are available online at www.dmv.ca.gov, but for all other driving test appointments, call (800) 777-0133.

 

Q: The car I have to take the behind-the-wheel test in is pretty beat up, but it’s the car my parents gave me, and the one I’ll have to drive when I get my license. Are there certain requirements my car must fulfill for me to use it for my test?

A: The vehicle you use for your driving test must be safe to drive. Before the test, the examiner checks for a number of things, including tires with no bald spots, a windshield that allows a full unobstructed field of vision and driver and front passenger doors that open from both the inside and outside.

For a complete checklist and other advice on passing the behind-the-wheel test, visit www.dmv.ca.gov/pubs/brochures/fast_facts/ffdl22.htm.

 

Q: What am I supposed to do during a traffic-signal blackout?

A: If a traffic signal is not working, proceed as if the intersection is controlled by a stop sign in all directions. This means that you must make a full stop and proceed when it is safe. Always observe your right-of-way rules. For more information, visit www.dmv.ca.gov or consult page 58 of the 2008 California Driver Handbook at http://www.dmv.ca.gov/pubs/dl600.pdf.

 

Q: A friend of mine got a DUI approximately six years ago. He insists that a recent law makes that DUI stay on his record for 10 years. He said that he called and someone told him that all DUIs become retroactive. Could you clarify this for me?

A: Your friend is correct – his DUI violation will stay in his record for a total of 10 years. The most recent record reporting law was passed by the Legislature and signed into law effective Jan. 1, 2007; as such, the DMV is mandated to enforce it. For complete information on the law, visit the DMV Web site at www.dmv.ca.gov. Look for “New DUI Reportability Requirements.”

 

 

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger appointed George Valverde California Department of Motor Vehicles director in March 2006. Valverde has been in public service for more than 30 years, focusing on operations and budget issues. Prior to his DMV appointment, he served as Undersecretary of the State and Consumer Services Agency (2004-2005) and Deputy Secretary for Fiscal Operations (1995-2003).

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