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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BCS response seeks more facilities space

Bullis Charter School responded to the Los Altos School District’s preliminary facilities offer Friday, requesting significantly more space for a larger cohort of students at Blach Intermediate School next year.

The district’s preliminary offer included facilities for 125 in-district students at Blach for the 2013-2014 school year, including five classrooms, a restroom, three extra portables and office space. The district made the offer under the assumption that the charter school would send its sixth- through eighth-grade students to Blach.

Bullis Charter School officials based their counterproposal on the Blach camp school setup from 2004, when the district split the campus so that students from Loyola School could attend during renovations to their school. The counterproposal projects 200 charter school students at Blach and requests a self-contained space, with grade configuration at the charter school’s discretion.

Significantly more space

The charter school’s counteroffer seeks significantly more portables than the preliminary request. Officials are now asking for double the classroom space, from five classrooms to 10; a larger office; a separate teacher workroom and lounge; a multipurpose room; kindergarten classroom space; childcare space; a music room; a library; a service area; janitorial space; a computer lab; an art/science room; a locker room; a flexible-space room; a small-group space; and an additional restroom.

The charter school requested separate portables for all its space needs – a total of 21,600 square feet of additional portable space (i.e., the equivalent of 22.5 additional standard-sized portables) more than the building space provided in the preliminary offer.

The footprint of the charter school’s counterproposal includes the current Stepping Stones Preschool facilities, Blach’s baseball diamond and the shrubbery space at the entrance of the school. The charter school’s proposed map recommends moving the Stepping Stones facilities to another space on the Blach campus. The preschool facility has signed a multiyear lease with the district.

The charter school’s counteroffer also outlines requirements for shared facilities, including exclusive use of the City Gym or Blach multipurpose room 1.5 hours a week, tennis courts and soccer fields 3:30-5 p.m. two days a week and the track 3:30-4:30 p.m. two days a week. Officials also requested two two-week periods when charter school students would have exclusive use of the woodworking room and full-time exclusive use of one science room.

The counterproposal assumes that the Egan campus space allocation will remain the same, with continued use of the Egan music room, and asked for scheduled use of Egan’s City Gym.

List of problems

Charter school officials listed a number of problems with the district’s preliminary offer: the proposal did not include a contiguous site; the Egan site is still not “reasonably equivalent” based on previous court rulings; the district cannot mandate which grades attend which site; the district’s counterprojection of in-district students (the district projects 43 fewer in-district students) underestimates enrollment; and the charter school would lack blacktop space and specialized teaching space for sixth-graders at Blach.

The charter school’s response continued to “demand a contiguous site,” and officials claimed that they did not waive those rights with the counterproposal. The response cited Covington School as “best suited” for the Bullis Charter School program and also maintained that the district should have considered the full Egan campus as an option for the charter school.

The district is scheduled to submit a final facilities offer to the charter school by April 1, at which time charter school officials say their counterproposal expires.

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