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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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Students helping students with conflicts at St. Nicholas School


St. Nicholas School students Alyson Perna and Mattie Carasciaro resolve a conflict on the playground with conflict manager Lauren Cheek.

The shrill of the bell fills the teeming playground at St. Nicholas School, in Los Altos Hills. Children run in all directions back to their classrooms. Three second-grade girls flag down an eighth-grade student, wearing a bright orange T-shirt with the words "Conflict Manager" across the back.

The orange shirts serve as a beacon on school grounds for those who have a conflict to resolve.

Early last August, the faculty was introduced to a conflict resolution program called "Tribes." The program focuses on building a stronger classroom community and aims to reduce stress and conflict. It is hoped that a safe emotional, physical and intellectual environment will be provided for students.

"Some parents were interested in starting a conflict resolution program and the school was very interested in doing the same," said Nicole Quinn, a second-grade teacher and Tribes coordinator at St. Nicholas.

Tribes is currently administered though Center Source Systems, in Santa Rosa. The program is used extensively in Bay Area public and private schools.

"It is a process that can be used by anyone, in any age group," said Jeanne Mancour, Tribes training services coordinator.

St. Nicholas is the first South Bay school to fully implement the Tribes program, according to Michelle Sklar, St. Nicholas publicity chairman.

"Tribes teaches students the life and communication skills necessary to build and maintain healthy relationships," said St.Nicholas principal Mary Williams.

"In addition, (Tribes) helps all students to feel safe and valued for their uniqueness."

Tribes is a step-by-step process to achieve specific goals. The students are taught four Tribes agreements: attentive listening; appreciation/no put downs; mutual respect; and the right to pass.

Students also learn a set of skills so that they may develop more long-term ways to deal effectively with conflict when it arises.

Students are taught to use I-messages to communicate and solve their problems. For example, "I feel (emotion) when (action or behavior) because (reason for emotion) and I would like (something to happen)."

Eighth-grade and fourth-grade students at St. Nicholas, elected by their peers, are trained as conflict managers. A representative from Tribes teaches the conflict mediators resolution skills.

This is part of the of the Conflict Resolution Educational Services and Training (CREST) program presented in conjunction with the Tribes program.

"The students in my class have really enjoyed having a student help them as opposed to a teacher," Quinn said. "It empowers the students to give peers support."

"I expected more conflicts but we have only had two or three. I think that it took a while for the kids to get used to having someone on the playground that could help solve conflicts, but it's been good,"said eighth-grader Lauren Cheek, a conflict manager.

Chip Kraemer, another eighth-grade conflict manager has learned from his experience.

"I have learned that I guess I don't remember as much of being a kid. I have figured out there are lots of complex problems, even with little kids. It is nice to have possible solutions."

Kraemer graduates this year from St. Nicholas, but hopes to contuine being involved in conflict resolution programs while in high school.

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