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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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In recognition of unsung heroes: Editor’s Notebook

The continual deadlines of a newspaper, even one publishing once a week, have many of us rushing from one assignment or meeting to another. In such an environment, we don’t allow ourselves enough opportunity to take a step back and appreciate what excellent contributors we have at the Town Crier.

We often refer to ourselves as a community newspaper. What is that? To me, it means hyperlocal coverage. It also means a newspaper that belongs to the community. The Town Crier, 65 years strong, has been and will continue to be successful, not because of any one publisher or editor, but because of the high level of interest and involvement by those who read it.

Our readers are part owners, the way I see it. They feel entitled to use our pages for items that are important to them. From wedding announcements to stories about service clubs offering scholarships, we’re here to help them spread the message.

Then there are our regular contributors – those who write columns, take photos, draw comics or offer time to help with whatever the needs are. We’ve come to expect them to show up like clockwork with another contribution – much of the time free of charge – as if they were required to do so.

I’m taking the time here to say thank you to them all. The creativity of their work and the commitment involved leave me appreciative beyond words. To all of you, and you know who you are, you make the Town Crier better than it otherwise would be. Your work is not taken for granted.

The names of regular contributors over the nearly 20 years I’ve been here are too numerous to mention in this space. That said, I feel the need to name names.

Let’s start with our copy editors, the unsung heroes often considered the backbone of newspapers. Colleen Schick and Joan Garvin have been with us for several years, tirelessly dedicated to getting things right. Our paper has improved a thousandfold with their presence.

I also salute our op-ed columnists – the names you see atop page 9. For more than a decade now, Kerri Havnen Gordon and Grace Acosta have offered very intelligent insights on their lives and the world around them. Ditto for relative newcomers Jackie Madden Haugh and Allyson Johnson. And a thank you to former columnist Charlotte Jarmy, whose “Reflections” ran for approximately 15 years.

Young Girl and Boy Scouts taking tours of our paper often say the Comics & Puzzles Page is their favorite. That’s thanks in part to three local comic-strip creators – Matt Cuson, Matt Taylor and Bob Garrow – who consistently brighten our day with their work.

Our special sections are special in part because of people who are knowledgeable and passionate about subjects – gardening (Tanya Kucak), cars (Gary Anderson), books (Nancy Dickenson) – and impart their expertise regularly.

Some just show up in the office and ask what they can do to help. Thank you Zoe Morgan, Renny Glasner, Tamara Hahn, Charles So and a host of other interns from years gone by.

Two gentlemen need special mention: One is the late Richard Billings, who regularly showed up for seven years to type up messy, handwritten letters to the editor or three-paragraph briefs about upcoming events. He never received a byline, but that’s not why he was here – he just wanted to keep busy. We also enjoyed singing in the office together, much to the chagrin of our co-workers.

And what can be said about Clyde Noel that hasn’t already been said?

For the better part of nearly 20 years, he’s been here as a volunteer, flagging down passersby for our Sidewalk Interviews (at left) and writing and taking photos on a wide range of events. He, too, offers his financial expertise in a regular column for our business section.

A few other contributors from the past deserve a special shout-out: Carol Watts and the late Richard Campbell, who spent countless hours getting our early websites up and running, also free of charge; the late Lee Lynch, a former Los Altos mayor who showed up dutifully once a week for volunteer work; and the late Mary Cristy, whose beautifully written columns and sentiments graced this paper for 50 years. These are rare, giving people who are truly missed.

These contributors – and many, many others, to whom I apologize for not including – are what make this paper special. They donate their time to and demonstrate their passion for the community through their local newspaper.

Thank you, contributors, past and present. You keep our “little guy” smiling.

Bruce Barton is editor-in-chief of the Town Crier.

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