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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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Foundation grant boosts LASD program


Photo By: Courtesy of Sheena Vaidyanathan
Photo Courtesy Of Sheena Vaidyanathan

Sixth-graders in the Los Altos School District demonstrate their skills in computer science at the district’s CSTEM (Computer Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) showcase last month. A Los Altos Educational Foundation grant targeted CSTEM education last year, and next year plans to fund dedicated STEM teachers at each elementary school.

The Los Altos Educational Foundation recently unveiled plans to raise $3.2 million for Los Altos School District programs next year, with an eye to enhancing the district’s science curriculum.

To determine the amount of the annual grant, foundation members survey parents and teachers to identify which programs are successful and to solicit opinions on those the schools’ community would like to add or prioritize.

The foundation will continue to fund the programs it underwrote in 2012-2013 school year, including physical education, library hours, project- and inquiry-based learning, differentiated learning to challenge all students, small-group language arts support for lower grades, reduced class sizes, music and art.

The foundation plans to increase its grant to boost the district’s science curriculum.

“Our parent community asked for an enhanced science program that capitalized on the innovative spirit of Silicon Valley,” said Kristine Bardman, foundation co-president. “With the support of the Los Altos Educational Foundation, the district is planning to do that, and more.”

Beginning in August, each district elementary school will be equipped with a lab room and a full-time Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) teacher who will collaborate with class teachers to reinforce science lessons with lab-based experiments. Students across all grades will participate in a variety of hands-on science lessons in addition to the standard lessons.

Alyssa Gallagher, assistant superintendent for curriculum and instruction, said the district and the foundation decided to focus on STEM education because they heard from parents and teachers that students would perform better with more opportunities in those areas.

“STEM helps bridge those four directions,” Gallagher said. “It helps students use design thinking and project-based learning to apply them in a scientific study.”

District staff is developing the curriculum for the new STEM teaching positions. Gallagher said the new curriculum would not replace the one currently being taught, but is intended to enhance and extend current science learning in the classroom.

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