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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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Window closing on state tax credit

The window is closing for prospective California homebuyers to apply for a state tax credit. Earlier this year, legislators created two state tax-credit programs, each allotted $100 million.

As of last week, one of the programs received more applications for tax credits than funded, lowering, but not eliminating, the possibility of more first-time homebuyer credit allocations being issued.

The first state tax-credit program offers a $10,000 credit to first-time homebuyers who purchase homes between May 1 and Dec. 31. The second offers a $10,000 tax credit to buyers who purchase newly built homes after May 1 and before Aug. 1.

“Buyers need to be aware that the funds for the state’s tax-credit programs are limited, that there are specific requirements for each program and that they need to act quickly to take advantage of this opportunity,” said Jeff Bell, president of the Silicon Valley Association of Realtors.

According to the California Franchise Tax Board (FTB), as of June 29, the state has received more than 7,000 new-home credit applications, amounting to only $50 million of the $100 million allotment, and approximately 21,000 first-time buyer applications, amounting to slightly more than the $100 million allotment.

The numbers are estimates, according to the FTB. The board is still accepting applications, because it expects that a number of duplicate, revised or invalid applications will be denied.

Buyers are eligible for the first-time buyer program if they haven’t owned a home in California for three years prior to the purchase date. The property must be eligible for the California property-tax homeowner’s exemption and occupied as the principal residence for a minimum of two years immediately following the purchase.

Buyers are eligible for the new-home credit if the home they purchase is a single-family home or condo that has never been occupied. The same tax-exemption eligibility rules apply.

The state tax credits are available for buyers who purchase a qualified principal residence on or after May 1 and before Jan. 1 – the purchase date is defined as the date escrow closes. If funds are still available, additional credit can be allocated for taxpayers who purchase a qualified principal residence on or after Dec. 31 and before Aug. 1, pursuant to an enforceable contract executed on or before Dec. 31. Those who received a new-home tax credit in 2009 are ineligible to apply for the state-tax credit.

Homebuyers may apply for the credit by faxing applications no more than 14 calendar days after escrow closes. The tax credit is allocated on a first-come, first-served basis, based on the time and date the faxed application is received. The cutoff date for applications will be posted on the FTB Web site 24 hours prior to going into effect, to give applicants time to fax their applications.

State tax credits are limited to the lesser of 5 percent of the purchase price or $10,000 for a qualified principal residence. Taxpayers must apply the total tax credit in equal amounts over three successive tax years – with a maximum of $3,333 per year – beginning with the tax year in which the home is purchased.

Tax credits cannot reduce regular tax below the tentative minimum tax. The tax credits are nonrefundable, and unused credits cannot be carried over.

For more information, visit www.ftb.ca.gov.

The Silicon Valley Association of Realtors provided information for this article. For more information, e-mail Rose Meily at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

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