Thu10022014

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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Solo guy dances to his own beat on MVHS Color Guard


Photo By: PHOTOS BY ELLIE VAN HOUTTE/TOWN CRIER
Photo Photos By Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier Andrew McCormick, center, enjoys the challenge of being the only male member of the Mountain View High School Color Guard.

Andrew McCormick is easy to spot on the grassy practice field at Mountain View High School. The junior is tall and slender – and the only male member of the school’s color guard squad for the 2012-2013 school year.

“It can be challenging,” said McCormick of being the only guy on the team. “Sometimes I have to watch what I say.”

But the disproportional ratio of 30 girls to one boy doesn’t bother him, and female color guard members pay little notice of him during team practices.

Color guard combines visual elements – such as dance and flag spinning – to complement the school’s marching band. With experience playing the alto sax and more than 12 years of dance lessons, joining the color guard as a freshman seemed like a natural fit.

“It was more fun than being in the band, and I didn’t want to memorize music,” McCormick joked.

His commitment to the activity is strong, despite a time commitment averaging 13-20 hours per week and weekend road trips to competitions during color guard and winter guard seasons.

Diane Corbett Esparaza, the team’s captain head, called color guard the “most well-known unknown” activity. It’s not a secret society anymore, she said, as the group has grown in popularity and prestige during the four years she has coached the team at Mountain View High.

“Color guard is not all about learning to spin equipment, but also about telling stories through the body,” she said.

Spectators in the stands at a football game may not recognize the hard work that goes into being a member of a color guard team – it fosters a strong work ethic and skills that carry color guard graduates far in life.

McCormick said he almost quit color guard after his first three weeks, as he struggled to learn flag tossing, but he kept practicing and eventually mastered the skill. Color guard reinforced the virtue of not giving up on something that doesn’t come easily.

With months of practice behind them, the Mountain View High Color Guard team earned the Silver Award at the California Color Guard Circuit Competition and first place at last year’s Cupertino Band Review.

McCormick isn’t resting on his squad’s laurels, however – he’s more concerned with how the team’s rendition of “Les Misérables” will come together for the Community Thank You show Oct. 6. He said he’s especially excited to perform to the song “One Day More,” a tribute to a classmate who has struggled with bone cancer.

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