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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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The quest to preserve Immigrant House


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

Mary Kay Marinovich is on a mission to preserve Mountain View’s circa-1880s Immigrant House.

Mary Kay Marinovich proves the reliability of that old adage that one person can make a big difference.

The Los Altos resident has successfully spearheaded the effort to preserve a small, inconspicuous structure in downtown Mountain View that once housed immigrant families in the city’s early days.

Marinovich is inspired by personal history. Her family members from Croatia once lived in what is called “Immigrant House” at 166 Bryant St.

She remembers a friend of hers renting the house for $96 a month in the 1970s.

“We did Shakespeare and wrote plays here,” Marinovich said, standing in the living room. “The house has got a great vibe.”

Marinovich began her quest to preserve Immigrant House when she learned in July that developer Roger Burnell’s application to construct a 21,750-square-foot office building on the site met with Mountain View City Council approval.

Faced with losing the source of her memories, Marinovich pulled out all the stops. She led a petition drive, conducted face-to-face meetings with councilmembers and even wrote and performed a song about the house for a YouTube video (www.youtube.com/watch?v=AySFowHKnxA).

The city council approved preserving the building in October. Members OK’d a plan Jan. 29 that would fund $32,000 to move the 400-square-foot structure, built in the 1880s, to the city’s Municipal Operations Center on Whisman Road for no more than three years. The time would give city officials an opportunity to decide where to relocate the building permanently.

Burnell said his firm, Arnell Enterprises Inc., is taking charge of the move, scheduled for Sunday.

“We are contributing toward the engineering, (hazardous materials) remediation, management, administration and partial moving costs, and then also posting up the remainder of the funds for the balance until the city catches up and reimburses us,” he said. “Doing this saves much time, and almost two-thirds of what it would cost (the city), when one compares the bids.”

Burnell plans to begin construction on his project next month and finish the basic building by the end of October.

The search for a new site

A host of new locations for Immigrant House have been discussed, including placement at city-owned lots along Shoreline Boulevard, parkland around police headquarters, Pioneer Park and Eagle Park. Supporters said the house could be used for a variety of purposes, including as a small museum or meeting room.

“Preserving this little house will afford the opportunity for students and other interested parties to experience firsthand the culture and lifestyle of immigrant groups and its laborers who helped to settle and cultivate the Santa Clara Valley,” Marinovich wrote. “We save the homes of the wealthy – let’s save the home of the people who created them.”

Immigrant House shares its site with other small, decaying structures, including the 1,100-square-foot Pearson House, also from the 1880s era (see page 45). Pending unforeseen developments, the Pearson House and remaining structures will be demolished this month.

The next challenge for Marinovich is fundraising to restore the house. She said she has two years to raise the $100,000 needed for renovation work. She is partnering with members of the Old Mountain View Neighborhood Association, which is applying for a 501(c)(3) designation to allow fundraising events.

In the meantime, Marinovich is mixing and mingling. She joined the Mountain View Kiwanis Club, which donated $1,000 to the cause. She’s considering fundraising events and contacting key people in town for advice and guidance.

The structure has no asbestos or lead-paint problems that plague many old structures, Marinovich said, praising the sturdy redwood used for its construction.

“I keep thinking, 30 years from now, children can see this structure,” she said. “Let’s show what it looked like to the first people who came here.”

For more information on Immigrant House, email Marinovich at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

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