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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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SFMOMA’s ’Project Los Altos’ strikes nostalgic chord with LAHS students


Photo By: Courtesy of SFMOMA
Photo Courtesy Of Sfmoma

“Drill Team Homecoming Parade 1974” lives on. A video of the project is scheduled for display during the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art’s “Project Los Altos SFMOMA in Silicon Valley,” slated to run Nov. 9 through March 2, 2014.

When Los Altos High School teacher Charles Garoian’s art students approached him in 1974 with a performance-art idea they warned might “disrupt” that year’s homecoming parade, he took a deep breath.

“If you do something intelligent, I’m all for it and I’ll support you,” he told his students. “Otherwise, you’re on your own.”

Hired in 1969 by Principal Dude Angius, Garoian believed that conceptual art had an “ironical, paradoxical element that appealed to adolescents.”

After listening to his students’ idea, Garoian opted in, laboring all night on “Drill Team,” a “walking float” based on a visual pun about drilling. Students practiced marching on the football field while he shouted, “Hup one, hup two.”

Nearly four decades later, their project – “Drill Team: Homecoming Parade 1974” lives on. It is scheduled for display during the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art’s “Project Los Altos: SFMOMA in Silicon Valley,” scheduled to run Nov. 9 through March 2, 2014, in various venues throughout Los Altos.

SFMOMA called Garoian two months ago requesting permission to install a video of the work for “Project Los Altos.” He also plans to give a public talk about his art history classes at Los Altos High, his first teaching job.

Parade performance

The performance work was “started by art students who felt excluded by the pep girls and athletes, the marching bands and drill teams, but who got to march through the Los Altos village that day,” Garoian said. A leading performance artist and now professor of art education theory at Pennsylvania State University, he spoke with the Town Crier by phone last week.

Students marched in cadence in the mile-long parade, sporting chambray shirts and work boots. Each row carried a two-by-four, with two teens in the middle actually drilling into the boards.

The art students landed right behind two brand-new Porsches carrying the homecoming king and queen, creating a further contrast with their sight gag. Garoian told students to look serious and play it straight, because “a comedian never laughs at his own joke.” Plenty of chuckles could be heard from spectators along the parade route, though, and the school’s official drill team brought up the rear.

Garoian taught at Los Altos High for 16 years. He chronicled his experiences in “Performing Pedagogy: Toward an Art of Politics” (SUNY, 1999). He originally intended to use his first teaching job to subsidize his studio art, but he soon found the classroom to be “an extremely rewarding experience in itself.”

The Fresno native introduced “live performance art” to his classes. Springing from the Dadaist and futurist movements, performance art often uses visual puns in an “unannounced happening, sort of like a street performance,” according to Garoian.

At Los Altos High, Garoian said many performances occurred behind closed doors. In particular, he said he exposed students to artist Allan Kaprow’s popular ideas on “Happenings,” which call for using performance art “as a laboratory for experiments.”

Often, performance art occurred when students filed off buses in the morning or into the courtyard as they ate lunch at noon. Garoian said adolescents particularly benefited from conceptual art, which was “exploratory, experimental and improvisational.”

“It got them to take risks, and it got them to experiment in ways other than using drugs,” he said.

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