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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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St. Francis celebrates first CCS baseball title since 2001


Photo By: Town Crier file photo
Photo Town Crier File Photo St. Francis High senior Michael Strem contributed on the mound and at the plate during the Central Coast Section playoffs.

The St. Francis High baseball team has a lot to celebrate at today’s season-ending party. More than a week ago, the Lancers won their first Central Coast Section championship in 12 years and the first under head coach Mike Oakland.

“It should be a lot of fun,” said Oakland, who just completed his seventh season at St. Francis.

Michael Strem, whose pitching and hitting played a big part in the Lancers’ postseason success, seemed just as eager to reunite with his teammates to commemorate a year that ended with a 10-0 rout of Serra in the CCS Division I final.

“I’m going to miss all those guys for sure,” said Strem, one of 13 seniors on the squad. “We had such great chemistry, combined with talent, all year long. Even when we were down, we fought back. That was huge.”

The Lancers built such a huge lead against league rival Serra in the May 25 title game that it ended early on the 10-run mercy rule. St. Francis scored twice in the fourth inning, added five runs in the fifth and three in the sixth to finish off the Padres at San Jose’s Municipal Stadium.

Although Strem said he “felt confident” the Lancers (30-4 overall) would hit well in the final, he never imagined the game would be so one-sided. The teams split their two West Catholic Athletic League contests.

“I thought it was going to be a pitchers’ duel,” Strem said. “But we jumped on them early, and John had some of the best stuff I’ve seen him throw.”

That would be starting pitcher John Gavin. The lefthander surrendered just one hit and had a perfect game going until the fifth.

Yet Gavin’s complete-game effort, which included eight strikeouts, was only the second-best performance by a St. Francis pitcher during the playoffs. Strem pitched a perfect game – the first in school history – in the Lancers’ opening-round win over Monta Vista.

Each pitcher won two CCS games, with junior Gavin never allowing a run and Strem surrendering three.

For the season, Gavin notched 90 strikeouts and posted a 1.28 ERA, while Strem fanned 79 batters and had a 1.31 ERA.

“We tried to outdo each other every week,” Strem said. “He’d get a shutout and I’d try to match him, and vice-versa.”

This marked Strem’s first season as a varsity pitcher; he primarily played the infield as a sophomore and junior.

“I knew he could pitch – we just didn’t need him – but I didn’t think he’d be this dominant,” Oakland said. “He was phenomenal in CCS – he was lights out on the mound and did a great job at the plate.”

The Boston College-bound Strem recorded five hits and six RBIs in the postseason. Two of these hits came in the final.

Strem was among three starters who batted above .400 this season (along with Chris Baker and Champi Lucca); five Lancers hit at least .300 (Mark Cardinalli, Tyler Deason, Austin Guibor, Kort Peterson and Hunter Simmons).

While stats are nice, Oakland noted that St. Francis’ intangibles were just as important to the team’s winning ways.

“The chemistry was as good as it’s ever been,” the coach said. “They were the most focused and hardest-working group I’ve had in high school or college.”

Five team members are Los Altos residents: Lucca, Matt Bell, Brent Jarvis, Patrick McMullen and Casey Douglas. All of them played Los Altos-Mountain View PONY Baseball.

– Joe Schram contributed to this report

For more photos of the St. Francis High School baseball team, click here.

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