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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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Tips to get the best deal on tax software


Photo By: courtesy of Brandpoint
Photo Courtesy Of Brandpoint

Taxpayers are encouraged to consider several factors when purchasing tax software, such as price and which type of program fits your tax-filing needs in 2013.

Finding the right tax software can be just as important to ensuring the best possible return as making sure you have all the necessary documents and information. When all the different tax software products available and the associated costs are factored in, finding the right program can be just as complicated as the process of filing taxes.

There are many variables to consider, and a few things can make the purchasing decision easier. Following are five tips to ensure that you get the best tax preparation software for your situation at a price you can live with.

• Determine what type of program you need. If you’re simply filing your personal income taxes and don’t have much in the way of additional enterprises, the basic version of a program will do. If you run a small business, or are self-employed, you’ll want to look for programs that have versions for single-owned LLCs, sole proprietors, consultants, contractors or whichever classification applies.

• Shop around for the best deals. In addition to identifying the program with the best price, look for special deals on certain programs. For example, there are seasonal discounts and cash-back rewards for top retailers like TaxACT, TurboTax and H&R Block at FatWallet.com. Browsing online resources can help you find the best tax software deals.

• Research out what others are saying. If you’re having a difficult time deciding on the best program, browsing online forums can help you make your decision. In addition to finding deals at FatWallet.com, you can access forums on finance and the latest tax tips to help you make smarter, money-saving tax filing decisions.

• Know what you’re getting. If you’re using a free software program, you’ll want to make sure it covers both the federal and state versions of your returns. There’s nothing worse than being surprised by an unexpected fee once you’ve finished your filing and are ready to send off your returns. If your situation calls for a more expensive option, make sure your product delivers needed enhancements. Advanced packages should offer clarity of current tax laws, links to IRS publications and features that will explain the best way to complete the return.

• Complete your return online, if possible. Using an Internet-based program as opposed to a desktop program will help ensure access to the latest updates to tax codes. When you file using an online program, your records will also be stored online on a separate server, which can be important if something happens to your personal copy of your returns.

Unless your taxes are so complicated that they’re better left to a professional, you can save significant time and money by selecting the right tax preparation software.

For more information, visit www.fatwallet.com.

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