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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Letters to the Editor

Found perfect jacket at fashion show

Last week I attended the Los Altos History Museum’s fashion-show fundraiser, which featured 10 Los Altos clothing boutiques.

I needed a warm jacket to wear to an outdoor graduation, so I visited some shops I didn’t know existed until I went to the show.

I found the perfect warm jacket. Voilà!

Stanford Shopping Center has some things I might not find closer, but Los Altos is rich in interesting clothing and accessories.

Lucy Zemanek

Mountain View

Schoolchildren’s safety should be priority

In light of the recent pedestrian/bicyclist deaths of two students in crosswalks on their way to or from school, I am requesting that flashing crosswalk lights be considered on Berry Avenue in front of Loyola School.

We live on the Seena Avenue cul-de-sac and use the walk path leading to Loyola daily. Many children also use that path.

As one steps out of the walk path, often with cars parked on each side, one has to step out into the crosswalk to check for traffic. While there is a speed bump at that location, it does not do much to control the traffic. If there were solar crosswalk lights, as there are on Springer Road near Springer School, it could be much safer for all.

In the morning, when cars are going southwest toward Miramonte Avenue, the sun is blinding. The flashing of the lights on the road would clearly signal to drivers that someone is about to enter the crosswalk.

I understand that this is an expensive item, but the life of a child is too precious to put in jeopardy.

Please consider these lights for the safety of our children.

Marty Loughran

Los Altos

Saying goodbye to an old friend

I feel like my best friend has just moved out of state. No, I feel like my father has died for the second time.

The closure of the Safeway store on First Street has, for me, been traumatizing. Three times now my car has gone there on autopilot. Each time, I blinked and tried to tell myself, “It is over. Put the past behind you. Move on.”

My husband and I came to Los Altos Hills in l978, and Safeway soon became one of my most trustworthy friends. It reminded me of my father’s grocery store in Missouri, where comfort food was always on hand, something good was always on sale and the clerks were always friendly.

At Safeway, it was such a happy thing to bump into folks blocking the aisles with their carts while carrying on important conversations with friends who just happened to be there.

I hope the clerks are all still working, especially the young man who never gave up on trying to sell me fish. Well done, good and faithful servants.

JoAnne Morris

Los Altos Hills

Editor’s note: Safeway plans to demolish the existing 46-year-old building next month to make way for a new store at the same location, approximately twice the size of its predecessor – 45,000 square feet. Look for a new market opening as early as late spring 2014.

Los Altos in need of CERT

Imagine my surprise after reading Ellie Van Houtte’s wonderful series in the Town Crier on her Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) training to discover that while Los Altos Hills residents have a CERT program, Los Altos residents don’t (“Journey through CERT,” April 17 and 24, May 1, 8 and 22).

That’s right – we live in earthquake country, and it is not a matter of if the next one strikes, but rather when, and Los Altos has no community-trained volunteers the police and fire departments can count on.

Scientists don’t talk about if a big quake will hit our area, they talk about the importance of being prepared when it hits. And earthquakes are not the only disaster our community faces.

We have threats from fires, traffic and even industrial accidents, to name a few.

Who will help our fire and police departments when they are overwhelmed? Community volunteers trained and CERT certified.

Los Altos residents must attend programs in Los Altos Hills, Mountain View, Palo Alto or through the West Valley programs, because there is no CERT training in our community.

Los Altos residents can only attend if there aren’t enough residents attending their own local programs.

Even more disturbing is that Los Altos residents who become CERT certified are not connected to our local fire and police departments to be called on when there are problems and for follow-up training and certification.

When is Los Altos going to wake up and realize that we are not prepared as a community for when disasters strike?

Our city leaders have an opportunity to change this situation by including in the budget resources already allocated to CERT and emergency preparedness.

Heidi Sloss

Los Altos

Is BCS exhibiting ‘strength of character’?

It is beyond my comprehension that there is anyone in our community who has not heard of Bullis Charter School and its “mission.”

Why then would they place a full-page ad for their school in the Town Crier (May 22, Page 13)?

Simply because they can, I guess.

With their apparently limitless financial resources – money to bring lawsuit after lawsuit down on the Los Altos School District – they continue to forge ahead.

The young mother featured in the ad states: “When my children grow up, it’s not likely that peers, loved ones or employers will judge them by how many A’s they earned or home runs they hit. They will be judged by the strength of their character, and that’s why my kids attend Bullis Charter School.”

What kind of “strength of character” is Bullis Charter School exhibiting toward our community and public school system?

Joan Mather

Los Altos

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