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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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Letters to the Editor

Los Altos already home to philanthropy

Robert Anson recently wrote a letter suggesting that Los Altos could be a headquarters for philanthropy (“Los Altos could become philanthropy HQ,” Feb. 20). I would like to point out that Los Altos is already one of the leading centers of philanthropy in the Bay Area. GuideStar, a nonprofit ranking firm, shows that Los Altos is home to nearly 300 public charity 501(c)(3) nonprofits. In addition, our community has more than 150 private foundations, and more than 50 of them have assets exceeding $1 million.

The Los Altos Community Foundation (LACF), in its 22nd year, uniquely benefits our community through grant making, program management, philanthropic funds management and bringing the community together to solve issues. One of its services, program incubation, gives 501(c)(3) sponsorship and funds management and mentoring to social entrepreneurs so that they can focus on solving the social problem they want to address. A number of LACF-sponsored programs have grown into independent nonprofits.

Another positive aspect of Los Altos is the strong spirit of volunteerism. Many individuals are willing to donate their skills, knowledge and time toward countless nonprofit causes. For example, LACF has more than 250 volunteers.

The spirit of doing good locally, regionally and worldwide is strong in Los Altos. Much of this work is done on kitchen tables and in coffee shops. A nonprofit incubator building, as Anson suggests, would be nice in our community and could be a physical showcase for social entrepreneurism.

In the meantime, our community can continue its momentum as a center of philanthropy.

Joe Eyre

Chief operating officer

Los Altos Community Foundation

Simple answers often solve complex problems

In regard to the Miramonte/Covington intersection, it’s clear that the various remedies considered by the Los Altos City Council are a case of treating the symptoms, not the disease.

The root cause of congestion at this intersection is the previous act of essentially privatizing two public streets, Carmel Terrace and Eastwood Drive, forcing all school traffic into the Miramonte/Covington intersection.

City Council, if you restore drop-offs on Carmel Terrace behind Blach Intermediate School and build a sidewalk on Eastwood Drive after lifting the turning restriction, you’ll eliminate the original problem and restore sanity to the Blach commute.

Bill Sheppard

Los Altos

Dispelling myths about electric vehicles

The New York Times recently published an account of a test-drive of a Tesla S that is apparently wholly inconsistent with the facts.

There are myths out there that serve individuals’ particular purposes – in this case, the “electric vehicles strand people” myth. They are supported by repetition and false facts, and over time, seem to take on some truth. However, they are still myths; their continued existence is due only to their importance to someone’s agenda.

Thought leaders and influencers evidently have an obligation now to be on the lookout for myths perpetuated by traditionally reliable or trustworthy sources, and openly call them out. No one else will.

Peter Evans

Los Altos Hills

All children deserve

proper care, guidance

I know a couple who adopted seven babies because the mothers couldn’t take care of them. I know a woman who has been an unpaid babysitter for 10 years for a mother from her “unplanned pregnancy” group and many others inspired by a genuine love for babies.

I’ll listen attentively when they condemn abortion. But when I hear someone trivializing the motives of people who do not think it is any favor to a child to bring it into a hostile world without parents who love it and can care for it – referring, condescendingly, to “inconvenience” – I’m witnessing someone who enjoys vaunting their supposed moral superiority over others.

Anyone who aspires to be a moral arbiter should acknowledge that the person who supports the choice of a woman not to give birth is also thinking of the child. “No one will bring him silver or gold” … or a warm home, someone to comfort him, teach him to get along with others, play games and help him with homework.

I believe tolerance for abortion began with the Vietnam War, when it became clear that most people’s love for babies was limited to clean, healthy ones, preferably white, and the churches lost the moral authority to claim they wanted to protect life when they failed to protect young men drafted into the military and sent into harm’s way. What’s the point of devoting your life to raising a child if your country feels free to destroy his life for a public policy of helping foreigners not be communist?

If we’re going to insist people have children, every one of them should receive a debit card at birth that entitles them to 18 years of nutritious food, health care and competent, caring teachers through college.

Any takers?

Stephanie Muñoz

Los Altos Hills

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