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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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Letters to the Editor

Small cars could pose big problems

Those cute, colorful little cars I see around town that look as if half their bodies are missing are becoming too affected by their gorgeous physiques and their environmental fame.

As their drivers zoom around Los Altos’ crowded streets, they ignore some of the rules of courteous and cautious driving. I hope they do not end up in an accident.

To the super-energetic drivers of these common little cars, we appreciate your concern for the environment and your willingness to conserve gas, but please refer to your driving manuals and keep our streets safe.

Just a gentle and small reminder: When approaching a crosswalk in downtown Los Altos, offer priority to pedestrians – children, parents and seniors who may be walking slowly while carrying a cup of their favorite java.

Lina Broydo

Los Altos Hills

Broadcast video for quick capture of perps

Reading about the recent bank robberies in our area makes us wonder why those banks’ security videos are not shown repeatedly on local TV stations. The Boston Marathon bombers were captured within a few days after their faces were displayed on TV.

Having regular, short newsflashes of local crimes would most likely lead to the quick capture of the perpetrators.

Susan and Les Besser

Los Altos

‘Powers that be’ don’t support LA nightlife

Regarding Alyssa Jacobson’s “Other Voices” column (“Downtown Los Altos could take a tip from Los Gatos,” May 22), the best I can say is, “Right on.”

I am a longtime Los Altos resident who, like my friends and neighbors, goes to nearby towns like Mountain View, Palo Alto, Los Gatos and San Jose for evening activities. These cities collect revenues from the money we spend at their shops, services, restaurants, movie theaters, etc.

Attempts to upgrade Los Altos and make it a more attractive destination are turned down by “the powers that be” – whoever they are.

I attended meetings where I suggested constructing a pedestrian shopping mall for parts of Main Street, sponsoring a city shuttle to take people from the city center to downtown and around local neighborhoods, keeping shops and restaurants open late, permitting a small movie theater and building a parking garage.

All suggestions are met with a negative “We like the town the way it is” or a challenging “Where will the money come from?”

I conclude that we will never have a thriving, vibrant city that is an evening destination. We will need to go elsewhere for activities after 6 p.m. Oddly enough, I do not recall ever voting on this issue.

On another topic, there are many residents of Los Altos and Los Altos Hills who are tired of reading about the whining, complaining and demanding from the Bullis Charter School crowd. Can we move on to something else, or could they locate their special school elsewhere and not expect the rest of us residents to pay for them?

Myra Orta

Los Altos

New Boy Scouts policy ‘tragic waste of talent’

I’ve read numerous articles about the Boy Scouts allowing gay youth to become members.

I’m delighted that at least that step has been taken. But I’m truly perplexed that gay adults are still excluded. Where do the gay Eagle Scouts go once they cannot become Boy Scout leaders?

Do they become Girl Scout or Camp Fire Girl leaders? Or do they disappear from the Scouting scene with their skills disregarded?

To me, this seems like a tragic waste of talent.

Barbara Emerich

Los Altos

Sewer rate hike requires voter approval

A 46 percent increase (in my case) for sewer service is outrageous.

Many of us in Los Altos are retired and living on fixed incomes. Those fixed incomes are not growing at all in these times of zero interest rates.

The city says it needs a 7 percent sewer increase. How can that possibly justify a 46 percent increase for those in my category and be considered fair? The city needs to revisit this proposal and come up with a more equitable solution.

This type of property fee assessment overreach is exactly what Proposition 13 was passed several decades ago to curtail. The consultants’ recommendation: “If less than a majority of the properties affected by the proposed sewer fee submit written protests to the fee, then the city may establish the fee” is not a legal method for approval of this increase.

Proposition 13 clearly requires that this type of fee must be passed by a two-thirds vote at a scheduled election.

If the city needs to push through these ridiculous increases, then let’s have the courage to get approvals the way the system requires – at the ballot box, not through the back door.

Bill Goodman

Los Altos

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