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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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LA Council Briefs

The Los Altos City Council took the following actions at its Jan. 22 meeting.

Pavement survey funds approved

The council unanimously approved a $6,600 contribution to partially fund a city pavement condition survey.

According to a city staff report, the city received a Pavement Management Technical Assistance Program grant in December that covers 80 percent of the $33,300 cost of a survey to examine and record the condition of all city street pavements.

The report noted that a consultant under contract with the Metropolitan Transportation Commission, which funded the $26,640 grant, would conduct the survey.

Funding for the city’s matching portion of the survey will come from the fiscal year 2012-2013 Annual Street Resurfacing budget.

Plastic bag, container ordinances delayed

The council opted to delay discussion of a $30,000 appropriation for city staff to prepare and implement ordinances on the use of single-use plastic bags and polystyrene containers by retailers.

Reached by the Town Crier, Los Altos City Manager Marcia Somers said city staff needs additional time to iron out the finer details in the proposed ordinances before bringing it to the council.

Last year Los Altos – along with neighboring cities – participated in a San Mateo County Environmental Impact Report for implementation of a model ordinance on single-use plastic bags. Because Los Altos’ proposed ordinances would differ in some aspects from the model ordinance, Somers said the city is “looking further into the original” (San Mateo County) EIR before proceeding. She added that city staff anticipates bringing the item back to the council for review in February.

The delay comes after a 4-1 council vote Jan. 8 directing city staff to prepare an ordinance that establishes a ban on single-use plastic bags at retail establishments of 5,000 square feet or more by April 22 – Earth Day. At the time, the council also directed city staff to return with a cost breakdown to implement the ordinances.

A second phase of the ordinance calls for the ban to be expanded to include all retailers in the city by Oct. 13. The proposed ordinance would also institute a nominal charge to shoppers who request single-use plastic bags at local retailers.

Councilwoman Val Carpenter cast the lone dissenting vote on the ban over reservations that it could negatively impact local businesses.

In addition, the council unanimously voted Jan. 8 to direct city staff to collaborate with other Santa Clara County public agencies on a California Environmental Quality Act review that bans Los Altos food vendors from providing food in disposable containers made from polystyrene.

Downtown Parking Forum slated next week

The city of Los Altos has scheduled a community forum on the city’s ongoing downtown parking management plan 7-8:30 p.m. Feb. 7 at Hillview Community Center, Room 17, 97 Hillview Ave.

City staff will report the results of occupancy counts conducted downtown in September and December. A consultant engaged by the city for the parking management study will present proposed strategies. Input from residents on the recommended parking management options is an important component of the project.

For more information, call Los Altos Economic Development Manager Kathy Kleinbaum at 947-2620 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

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