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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City project proposes to coordinate directional signs


Photo By: Photo Courtesy City of Los Altos
Photo Photo Courtesy City Of Los Altos The city council is set to review a Wayfinding sign design concept that streamlines the look of directional signs throughout the city.

The Los Altos City Council is scheduled to review its project to streamline and unify the city’s directional and street signs.

According to Los Altos Economic Development Manager Kathy Kleinbaum, the council Jan. 8 will evaluate the city’s Wayfinding Sign design concept, reviewed by the Planning and Transportation Commission (PTC) in early December.

The project aimed to design a visually unifying look for the various directional signs throughout the city, especially those that lead visitors to key city destinations.

A city staff report on the project noted that the existing directional signs, developed over several decades, lacked “cohesion and are not comprehensive in nature.”

“The goal is to try to create a unified sign system to direct people to major destinations, including commercial districts and civic destinations,” Kleinbaum said.

The city’s Wayfinding Sign Task Force, appointed by the city council in May, and Explore Creative, a Sonoma-based graphic-design firm hired by the city, developed the proposed design. Task force members included representatives from the council, the Los Altos Village Association, the PTC, the Los Altos Chamber of Commerce and property owners from the city’s commercial districts.

According to the staff report, the signage program’s proposed design drew inspiration from the “rustic, yet modern nature of Los Altos.” Signs would include the use of reclaimed wood, black iron framing and stone bases with an off-white type and forest-green accent color scheme.

“We were looking for rustic materials with a clean, readable format,” Kleinbaum said. “You have to be able to read these signs traveling at 35 or 40 miles per hour.”

The unified look creates “general branding for the city so that people know they’re in Los Altos,” she said. “It helps direct visitors to key destinations along the most simple, direct routes.”

The project also has a practical purpose, Kleinbaum said. The task force identified the need to provide directional signs and entry markers for public parking in the downtown area and Loyola Corners.

“It’s something we’re lacking right now,” she said. “Other towns have signs directing patrons to off-street parking.”

Presently, Kleinbaum said, the placement of some directional signs prevents motorists from navigating to city destinations efficiently. The project calls for upgrading and replacing directional markers along the city’s major thoroughfares, including El Camino Real, San Antonio Road and Foothill Expressway.

The report specifically noted the need to replace the pair of identity markers for the civic center area, as well as the downtown identity sign in the flowered median at Main Street and Foothill Expressway.

If the council approves the design, a cost estimate must be determined before any timeline for implementation of the proposed signage can be scheduled.

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