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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Los Altos studies December flooding, cites wayward debris as major culprit


Photo By: Town Crier File Photo
Photo Town Crier File Photo

Residents of St. Charles Court in Los Altos wade through the nearly knee-deep water after December storms flooded their neighborhood.

Localized flooding hasn’t been a problem since the Dec. 23 storm that dumped more than 4 inches of rain in parts of Los Altos, but city officials are preparing for the next major downpour.

Unretained soil and loose vegetation were primarily to blame for the storm-drain blockage that caused flooding just before Christmas, according to a recent Los Altos Public Works Department report. The report identified problem areas that should be corrected as part of the city’s effort to prevent future incidents.

In assessing storm-response measures, the Public Works analysis concluded that debris was responsible for blocking several storm drains and inlets critical for the proper flow of rainwater into area creeks.

During a Nov. 29 pre-storm inspection of 10 stormwater hot spots – locations with a history of flooding – no problems were detected. The city’s maintenance staff regularly performs debris clearing and pipe obstruction checks to ensure the city’s readiness for flooding, the report noted.

“Our storm preparation activities typically begin in October,” said Los Altos Public Works Director Jim Gustafson. “All of the pipe outfalls that convey stormwater to Adobe, Permanente, Hale and Stevens creeks are inspected and cleared of debris and vegetation as necessary to ensure that they will perform their intended purpose before the first major storm arrives.”

To prevent future flooding incidents, city officials studied the stormwater flowing through manholes and will propose additional capital projects as part of Los Altos’ Storm Drain Master Plan. They also intend to advise residents in flood zones about the availability of sandbags and other measures that can prevent dead vegetation and loose soil from impeding the flow of storm drains.

“All of the above are intended to address conveyance of the 10-year storm event, which is approximately what we had on Dec. 23,” Gustafson said.

The city’s police dispatch team and municipal service center recorded 44 calls from 42 locations across the city during the climax of the Dec. 23 storm. Los Altos received between 1 inch and 4.28 inches of rain in a 24-hour period, resulting in the most significant impact on local streams since 1998, according to the Santa Clara Valley Water District.

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