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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LA Council Briefs

The Los Altos City Council took the following actions at its May 14 meeting.

City supports Santa Clara in Super Bowl bid

The council unanimously agreed to send a letter in support of the city of Santa Clara’s successful bid to host the 2016 Super Bowl. National Football League owners voted May 21 to award Super Bowl L to the South Bay city, which will become home to the San Francisco 49ers in 2014. The team is currently constructing a $1.2 billion 68,500-seat stadium near Great America theme park.

Mayor Jarrett Fishpaw told the Town Crier that hosting the Super Bowl would not only have a positive economic impact on Santa Clara, but on surrounding communities like Los Altos as well. Fishpaw cited the potential increase in hotel reservations in the area, among other things.

“Should the 49ers not make it to the Super Bowl (that year) – even though we’re naturally rooting for them – every hotel in Santa Clara County would be booked,” he said. “That’s definitely one area where Los Altos would have a positive benefit.”

In its letter to NFL Senior Vice President of Events Frank Supovitz, the city council called the region “an ideal venue for an event that celebrates athletic strength, strategy and spirit.”

In addition, the letter noted that the 49ers’ new home would “provide an extraordinary game-day experience for fans,” citing the stadium’s “state-of-the-art features and distinctive architectural design.” The letter added that the region experiences 300 days of sunshine annually and an average temperature of 62 degrees in February – when the Super Bowl is typically played.

City approves pact with truck drivers union

The council voted unanimously to adopt a resolution approving a new three-year contract between the city and Sanitary Truck Drivers and Helpers Union Local 350.

According to a staff report, the parties reached agreement April 25 on the new deal, unanimously ratified by Local 350 members five days later. The city’s current contract with the union was set to expire at the end of June.

The new agreement calls for 2 percent increases in employees’ base salaries starting the first full pay period of July 2013 and again in July 2014. A 3 percent increase will take effect in the final year of the three-year pact.

The agreement also provides for increased retirement contributions – totaling 6 percent over the life of the contract – by employees hired before October 2011. As a result, according to Los Altos Assistant City Manager J Logan, employees hired before October 2011 would increase their overall pension contributions to 8 percent.

Employees hired after October 2011 are not affected. Those hired after October 2011 but before Jan. 1, 2013, now pay 7 percent toward employee member contributions and are covered under the lower pension benefit of 2-percent-at-60-retirement formula.

As outlined in the Public Employees Pension Reform Act, state employees hired on or after Jan. 1, 2013, are covered under a lower benefit tier and contribute 50-50 to pension plans.

Artistic bike rack policy in the works

The council unanimously voted to direct city staff to develop a citywide policy regarding artistic bicycle racks.

According to a staff report, the city currently allows only black, horseshoe-shaped racks.

n 2012, the Public Arts Commission discussed the possibility of adopting a policy after a Los Altos resident saw artistic bike racks in Long Beach “and thought they would enhance the city of Los Altos,” the report stated. In March, the commission voted in favor of recommending that the city develop the policy.

– Diego Abeloos

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