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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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Construction ends for two projects, ramps up in south Los Altos


Photo By: Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Photo Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier

Work on the San Antonio Road streetscape project wrapped up last week after construction crews planted vines for a living wall.

Following is an update on three major Los Altos construction projects.

First Street streetscape

Work on Phase 1B of the city’s First Street streetscape project is set to wrap up – albeit temporarily – to accommodate the annual Arts & Wine Festival.

The project includes widening the First Street sidewalks and corners, installing new storm drains and rain gardens and adding new streetlights and landscaping. The project was broken into phases to allow work along First Street, between State and Shasta streets, to wrap up ahead of this weekend’s festival.

Erica Ray, Los Altos public information coordinator, said work remains on schedule.

Crews have completed sidewalk construction on the northwest side of the street (near Bumble and Area 151) and installed irrigation for landscaping along the block, Ray said. They have completed the curb and gutter demolition in front of Pilates studio Evolve at 106 First St. – on the opposite side of the street. Concrete-pouring was scheduled to begin Monday (after the Town Crier’s press deadline) to form a new gutter and curb in time for the festival.

Ray said all but one drive aisle in Parking Plaza 7 would be open and accessible from First Street when the festival opens. Pedestrians should be unimpeded during the weekend’s activities.

Post-festival, the city is expected to commence streetscape work, which will require closing the State and First streets intersection for six weeks, starting Monday.

The city will open the State Street Green July 18 – a temporary public gathering area with green turf, seating and scheduled events – to occupy the closed-off roadway between First and Second streets.

“It’ll probably be open for people to walk through and enjoy by the afternoon of July 18,” Ray said.

The landscaping and streetlight installations are scheduled after the work at the intersection of State and First streets winds up in late August or early September.

San Antonio Road streetscape

The San Antonio Road streetscape project is essentially finished, according to Ray.

The project, which began in January and experienced delays related to the discovery of lead-tainted soil, called for the widening of sidewalks and curbs along San Antonio to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act, new median landscaping and the installation of rain gardens to capture stormwater runoff.

Crews wrapped up the project last week by planting vines along a 4-foot-high living wall along San Antonio. The wall screens views of cars in Parking Plaza 3.

Ray said that for a few days, residents would see construction workers in the area putting the “finishing touches” on the project, including minor crosswalk striping work near curb cuts.

“There may be some traffic cones up once they actually stripe the area, but there shouldn’t be any major lane closures,” she said.

Homestead Road safety improvements

While construction nears an end along San Antonio, work is just beginning at the other end of Los Altos along Homestead Road.

The project, scheduled for completion in November, includes the installation of a traffic signal and crosswalk at the entrance to the Foothill Crossing shopping center. New median islands and landscaping and a Class 1 pedestrian and bicycle pathway will be added on the north side of the road between Foothill Expressway and Belleville Way.

The Homestead Road Safety Improvements project began in May, slightly later than its slated kickoff toward the end of April. Ray attributed the delay to contractor scheduling, but added that residents in the area can expect “to see the project move very quickly.”

The project’s contractor – Pavex Construction – has focused on storm drains and grading for the pathway. The project is still on schedule, Ray added.

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