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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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LAHS students celebrate History Week


Photo By: Photos By Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Photo Photos By Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier

Los Altos High School students, left, attended a variety of presentations during History Week, including one on human trafficking that featured Los Altos High alumna Mihn Dang, right.

Los Altos High School students heard from an engaging array of speakers last week during the school’s inaugural History Week.

School faculty and parent volunteers organized a host of presentations around the theme “Rights for All.” Speakers, films and workshops addressed a variety of human-rights-related topics, from Japanese internment during World War II to the American civil rights movement, Internet privacy protections and the social impact of women’s portrayal in the media.

“Students have the opportunity to be exposed to the world and see what they are learning in the classroom in the real world,” said Principal Wynne Satterwhite. “It really gives them the opportunity to see what they are learning and how it applies to where they are going in life.”

Students and community members attended a panel discussion Jan. 16 featuring the Hon. James Robertson, retired U.S. District judge for the District of Columbia and chief counsel for the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, and Lee Rubin, attorney and former prosecutor for the Department of Justice.

The evening presentation featured a screening of “Mississippi Burning,” a film that chronicles the investigation of the murder of three civil rights activists in a small Mississippi town in 1964.

“When we are young, we are oblivious to the history that is going on around us,” Robertson said. “It’s our life.”

Robertson shared with the audience his involvement in history as a lawyer in Washington, D.C., representing protesters arrested at demonstrations after Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s assassination in 1968. Shortly after his time in D.C., Robertson relocated to Mississippi, where he handled many civil rights cases.

Robertson recounted the history of the civil rights movement in the 1950s and 1960s, from the death of racial segregation in schools to the implementation of voting rights for African-Americans.

“All of this was happening around me,” Robertson said. “I knew about it, but somehow I didn’t think it was history. It was my life, too.”

Robertson compared realizing that one is living in a moment of historical import to a Chinese proverb: “What is the current to a fish? The fish doesn’t know whether he is swimming upstream or downstream.”

“The civil rights breakthroughs of the ’50s and ’60s have morphed into a much broader idea of human and civil rights that your generation is going to deal with,” he told students. “Internet ethics and privacy. Immigrant rights. Consumer rights. Women’s rights. Teen rights. LGBT rights. Human trafficking. This is the current your generation is swimming in, and it is history in the making.”

Rubin, a generation younger than Robertson, discussed his experiences as a lawyer advocating for voter rights and against what he deemed the more “subtle” ways cities and counties find to discriminate against minorities.

“Even now, 48 years after the passage of the Voting Rights Act, there are still controversies and struggles regarding basic participation in the political process,” he said.

Rubin recounted a case he tried in 1995 in which a group of threatening neighbors set a cross on fire in the front yard of an African-American family – an act reminiscent of the civil rights battles in the 1960s.

“These are the kinds of hate crimes that send ripples of fear through an entire community and disrupt people’s ability to do what should be a minimum guarantee as an American family – to enjoy the sanctity of their own homes,” Rubin said.

Rubin said he hoped “Mississippi Burning” and the legacy of the murdered civil rights workers would inspire students.

“As you watch this film, remember to follow your passion, to look for wrongs to right, and that each of you can make a difference,” he said.

In addition to the panel featuring Robertson and Rubin, History Week presentations included a Forbes Magazine blogger discussing social media and Internet commerce privacy rights, leaders in the sports community addressing student athletes’ rights and programs on immigrant rights, domestic violence and bullying.

Students received a special visit from Los Altos High School alumna Mihn Dang, recently featured in the media as a prominent face for victims/survivors of human trafficking.

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