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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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PrimeTime Project aims to resolve important issues in the community


Valentine Leborgne/Special to the Town Crier
Karen Duncan, director of the Los Altos Community Foundation’s PrimeTime Project, hopes to harness the wisdom and experience of seniors by engaging them in problem-solving in the community.

Los Altos boasts a strong community of retired seniors, and one local advocate aims to put them to work.

Karen Duncan, a Los Altos resident and retiree herself, has created a project that encourages older adults to contribute their skills and wisdom by volunteering to study issues deemed important to Los Altos – from library fees to Bullis Charter School – in hopes of resolving them.

Dubbed the PrimeTime Project, Duncan proposed the pilot program to the Los Altos Community Foundation in 2010. The foundation supported the project – assisting with reports and its website – which has now grown to 10 members.

Roy Lave, executive director of the foundation, said Duncan is the ideal leader for PrimeTime. Duncan spent her career in the health industry and in retirement works as a patient advocate focusing on quality-of-care reform for seniors.

“Karen is a great lady who knows a lot and has done analysis in her professional career,” Lave said. “She brought expertise to the project with the ability to analyze and write.”

Duncan, director of the project, hopes her knowledge can benefit the community through problem solving. She urges other residents to do the same by joining PrimeTime.

“We are looking for people who have a professional background that is of value to the issue we are studying at the time,” she said.

Ideal candidates include those who are healthy, active, open-minded, willing to set aside value judgments and know how to navigate the Internet.

While PrimeTime originally intended to leverage the life experiences of seniors, the program is now open to all age groups.

“We have loosened that requirement,” Duncan said. “Before, (the senior community) was an underutilized demographic in the community. We are looking for professional people that have the time and the interest and care passionately about the community and how it works.”

Duncan said she understands that even the greatest minds may not find solutions for the community’s most complex problems, but project members strive to provide the facts without using opinion, hyperbole, fear mongering and untruths.

“We are looking and analyzing factual information for the community,” she said. “We are defining problems and shedding light on them.”

Duncan added that she uses five criteria to determine whether PrimeTime will study an issue: It must be important, timely, controversial, have potential for high impact and amenable to fact finding.

Members published their first study, “Los Altos Informs: Implications of Library Operation,” online earlier this month. (To view the report, visit losaltoscf.org/LosAltosInformsLibraryOperation.) The analysis addresses the Santa Clara County Library District’s $80 fee for nonresidents who use the Los Altos Library. The study weighs library costs if it were city-operated instead of district-run. PrimeTime volunteers researched the pros and cons of the issue – including financial ramifications and impact on the community – allowing residents to draw their own conclusions.

Duncan said they next plan to tackle the issue of Bullis Charter School and its legal battle over facilities with the Los Altos School District.

Prospective PrimeTime members must attend “Joe Friday Training Day” – named after the “just-the-facts” police detective from the classic TV show “Dragnet” – to learn how to frame an issue, select resources, analyze information and present findings.

Those interested in joining may call Duncan at 949-5908 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

For more information, visit losaltoscf.org/primetime.

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