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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Graduation jubilation: Families celebrate Class of 2013


Photo By: Photo Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Photo Photo Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier Los Altos High School students, above, show off their diplomas after graduating Friday.

High school graduations remain special, a rite of passage as we cross over the line from children to adults. It’s a tradition as ingrained in our way of life as Fourth of July picnics and Super Bowls. The familiar strains of “Pomp and Circumstance” fill the air, reminding us that life itself passes by quickly and we need to fully appreciate these moments.

Our local graduates of 2013 have now completed that rite of passage. It’s a time of celebration, but also anxiety. From this point on, life poses increasing responsibilities with diminishing help from parents. But as our grads have shown through their early successes, they’ll meet the challenges ahead.

Los Altos High School

Families, friends and the Los Altos High School community gathered on Los Altos High School’s track and field Friday to celebrate the Class of 2013.

Student Masters of Ceremonies Tyler Polen and Ideen Seyed greeted the crowd and shared the top 10 reasons graduating from Los Altos High School was great for the Class of 2013. Topping the list were the class’ efforts toward creating a positive culture.

“We have chosen to have fun over the past four years,” Seyed said, followed by loud applause from her fellow graduates. “We are inclusive, competitive and always make the best of our situations. From floats to tug-of-war to dodgeball and athletic events this class has always been there – ready to get involved.”

Principal Wynne Satterwhite praised the Class of 2013 for their philanthropy and their passion, which “extends beyond their own dreams and desires.

“Today is your day, Class of 2013,” she said. “Choose your path carefully. Take action. Do something. Respect yourself and others. Find your passion and share it. You get to choose where you go, and I for one can’t wait to see the great places you’ll go and the world you’ll create.”

Vanessa Barajas’ speech contained both English and Spanish portions. She shared what she learned during her four years at Los Altos High.

“We all went through some hard times in high school,” Barajas said. “Every time we thought we weren’t going to make it to the finish line, we stumbled, we got back up and today we finished.”

Barajas concluded with a message of advice to her class, “We have waited four years for this moment. Make it count and wherever you are going, make it worth it.”

Student speaker Michael Johnson, who has a self-proclaimed passion for food, compared his educational experience to eating at his favorite restaurant, The Cheesecake Factory.

The baked bread and appetizers represent the elementary and junior high preparation for high school, while the main course was freshmen, sophomore and junior years. Senior year was the dessert, which was “savored.”

“Now our meal is coming to a close, but don’t you worry, you will be hungry again,” Johnson said. “The most beautiful thing about being full is that it never lasts. We will have many meals to come, but wherever your next meal will be – be it Chipotle, the workforce, the military, college – I hope you enjoy every bite you take.”

Student speaker Jerry Liu recounted his class’ many successes, citing “The Great Gatsby” as all the students are just waiting for their green light.

“It’s been a long ride Class of 2013, and I wish you all the best of luck,” he said.

– Traci Newell

For photos of Los Altos High School's graduation ceremony, click here.

Mountain View High School

Mountain View High School’s commencement ceremonies began when Senior Class President Kevin Bastoul introduced the graduating class.

The reality that his class was graduating, Bastoul said, didn’t sink in until that morning, when he arrived on campus and viewed the multitude of empty white chairs. As the sun beat down on the friends and family who filled those chairs, Bastoul recounted some of his favorite memories from homecoming festivities to basketball games against longtime rivals. He affirmed that even as the graduates move onto differing futures, they would remain united as a class.

“As we make our individual paths, the same heartbeat will carry us all forward,” Bastoul said.

Principal Keith Moody began his remarks by thanking key individuals and school board members. After announcing that the class of 2013 had once again ranked in the top 2 percent of all American high schools, he reminded the graduates that all things are possible.

“My wish is that you all win your own personal Super Bowl,” Moody said.

Libertine Circle, a band formed by graduates Henri Boulanger, Kyle Dewitt and Greg Manoukian, provided a musical respite during the ceremony. They thanked their supporters before performing their original song “Down the Road.”

Graduates Arman Jaffer and Viet Nguyen styled their speech as a letter to their parents. They thanked their parents for the support and encouragement – from the beginnings of dragging them to preschool to listening to their problems. They added their apprehensions of moving forward in a future without their families beside them.

“We’re scared that one day we’ll be on our own,” Jaffer said.

Nguyen added, “Compared to this, puberty was a walk in the park.”

Jaffer and Nguyen closed by adding that even though they might change in the future, they will always be the same kids deep down.

“We’ll always be the same kid who dressed as Harry Potter for Halloween five years in a row,” Nguyen said.

After the graduates received their diplomas, the Madrigals sang “My Wish For You,” arranged by Andrew Carter.

For their final gesture, the graduates ceremoniously moved their tassels before heading to the football goalpost. As the students threw up their caps, parents cheered, foghorns blared and cameras flashed – a fitting end to the high school experience.

– Sophie Ho

Alta Vista High School

Families and friends celebrated the graduation of Alta Vista High School’s Class of 2013 May 29.

Alta Vista, the Mountain View Los Altos Union High School District’s alternative high school, provides an accredited program for students whose needs are not met in traditional high schools.

Student speaker Joyce Dizon emphasized the qualities that make Alta Vista such a wonderful place to attend school.

“Look at the person next to you,” Dizon told her fellow graduating class. “Think of all the things they have accomplished to sit in that seat. If someone asked me what hope, believing and success look like – I’m looking at it right now.”

Michael Aguilar spoke of the journey and hardships his fellow classmates faced throughout high school.

“It’s really important for everyone to recognize that Alta Vista graduates are among the strongest people in our society today,” he said. “There is no doubt in my mind that my fellow graduates won’t have a hard time taking on any challenge in the future. For Alta Vista students, there isn’t a challenge in the world big enough they can’t overcome.”

Dizon and Aguilar also thanked the Alta Vista staff for helping to push them to the finish line.

Student Ana Aviles sang for her fellow graduates and audience members.

District board members congratulated each graduate as they presented the diplomas and a rose in recognition of their achievements.

– Traci Newell

For photos of Alta Vista High School's graduation ceremony, click here.

MVLA Adult Education

At the Mountain View-Los Altos Adult Education Program’s graduation Thursday, a record 113 students earned their high school diplomas or equivalency degrees.

The buzz of young children’s voices throughout the event provided a nonstop reminder of what motivated many of the young people on the stage at Mountain View High School’s Spartan Theater. Over and over, new graduates cited their young children as their inspiration to get an education while continuing to work and support their families.

District Superintendent Barry Groves noted that adult schools across the state have been under siege this year due to funding cuts. He celebrated the local emphasis on preserving adult education as a community priority. Local groups, including Kiwanis and Rotary clubs, awarded a total of nearly $20,000 in scholarships at the graduation.

Ruth Sherer, delivering five scholarships from the Nicholas B. Ottaway Foundation, saluted students Emerit Cisneros, a single, working mom who has plans to become a paramedic, and Martin Perez, who dropped out of school at 16 to work but is now determined to be the first in his family to graduate from college. Perez will enroll at Foothill College and major in business. Oscar Jimenez and his wife Luz Garcia-0Gomez graduated together and received scholarships to continue their education as “a beautiful team,” Sherer said.

Cintia Loaiza, a familiar face in Rick’s Cafe in downtown Los Altos, described balancing her work as a server with her dreams of becoming a teacher. After serving as a mentor at Camp Everytown, she became dedicated to leading young people and resolved to return to school and take the GED. Years earlier, she had dropped out of high school after finding she couldn’t sustain classes by day and a job that kept her at work from 11 p.m. to 7 a.m.

“I know we have a long road ahead of us, but I know that we are all determined to better our lives, and we have chosen education as a way to do it,” she told the audience.

– Eliza Ridgeway

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