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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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LAH open space stewardship gets green light


Photo By: Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
The proposed 2013-2014 Los Altos Hills budget includes ,000 for open space stewardship. Thistles and piles of trash, like those found at O’Keefe preserve, above, populate some of the towns open spaces.

With more than 157 acres of town-owned open space preserves in Los Altos Hills, some residents argue that more weeds than people populate the areas.

Yellow starthistle, French broom and stinkweed are just a few of the offenders that residents claim deter them from enjoying the public spaces. A new stewardship program spearheaded by the Los Altos Hills Open Space Committee may uproot the thorny invaders.

The committee proposed that the city allocate $50,000 annually for invasive species management, native habitat protection, fire hazard reduction and erosion control in three of the town’s largest open spaces: O’Keefe Lane Preserve, Byrne Preserve and Juan Prado Mesa Preserve. After the Los Altos Hills City Council approves the 2013-2014 budget this summer, councilmembers plan to authorize a request for proposal to solicit a professional contractor for the work.

The new stewardship program is not only about eradicating weeds, it also aims to reinvent open spaces into valuable “town jewels,” according to Open Space Committee member Nancy Couperus. She said the committee has been lobbying the council to fund cleanup and restoration efforts at the open spaces since 2007.

Although the town currently performs periodic mowing in the preserves and the Parks and Recreation Department hosts pathways cleanups, a contractor with specialized experience in open-space management and community outreach is needed to ensure proper care, Couperus said. She envisions a group like Acterra, a nonprofit environmental agency that currently manages Redwood Grove, receiving the contract.

“The intent is to enhance its attractiveness for local residents in line with the town’s general plan,” said Couperus, who added that funding would improve O’Keefe Lane Preserve and other open spaces by opening opportunities for walking, jogging and bird watching.

In the future, the committee hopes to forge other partnerships for open-space management. Committee members are applying for a grant from the Santa Clara Water District to restore Purissima Creek and plan to approach the fire district about coordinating additional brush cleanup.

Residents voted in 2002 to enact an ordinance preventing the sale or development of town-owned open spaces without a vote.

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