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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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Filmmaker looks to Los Altos friends for support


Photo By:
Szymanowski

Longtime downtown Los Altos business owner Elizabeth Szymanowski has an acclaimed filmmaker in the family. Her son Matt is working on a new movie, “The Purple Onion.”

The screenplay merited recognition from the Sundance Screenwriting Lab, and the filmmakers have received development support from the San Francisco Film Society.

But transforming the screenplay into a movie won’t be easy. The film’s launch party was held Nov. 11 in Los Altos Hills at the home of supporter Mary Myers. She and other supporters are currently trying to raise $30,000 to cover preproduction and initial production costs. Their fundraising deadline is Dec. 16.

“That movie’s going to happen,” said Elizabeth, who has run Salon Elizabeth on First Street in downtown Los Altos the past 24 years. “It’s going to be fantastic.”

Set in San Francisco and named after the recently closed historical San Francisco comedy club, the tragicomic story follows hapless amateur comedian Johnny Lee at his dead-end job as a restaurant dishwasher. Clashing with his live-in mother, the comedian is prepared to leave everything behind. When his mother finds solace in a lonely and oddball neighbor, Johnny realizes he’s pushed away the one person in his life who cares the most.

The movie is based on a good friend of Matt’s, co-writer Edwin Li, who is tapped to play the main character. Matt said he was moved by the story.

“I woke up in the middle of the night and texted him, ‘We’re going to make a movie,’” Matt said of breaking the news to his friend.

Matt recognizes the parallel between the comedian’s struggles and his own as a film artist.

“It’s a modern-day Sisyphus,” he said. “He’s pushing a boulder up the hill forever and ever, and he keeps on doing it. He asks, ‘What am I doing this for?’ But he still hopes to get to his goal.”

The Purple Onion, founded in 1952, was one of the oldest venues for comedy in North America. The club showcased some of the most influential comedians from the early days of stand-up comedy, including Lenny Bruce, Woody Allen and Phyllis Diller.

Matt hopes “The Purple Onion” will prove a positive addition to his career credits, which include producing content for CBS’ award-winning CHOW.com; media agency MKSHFT’s clients Toyota, Gizmodo and HTC; the documentary “Nine Days That Changed the World”; and various local music videos.

His short film “History of Solitude” played at the San Francisco International Festival and was presented in Poland, France and Albania. It won the Jury Award at The European Independent Film Festival in Paris.

To contribute to the film, visit www.indiegogo.com/thepurpleonion.

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