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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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Firefighter's green thumb produces stations lush garden


Laura Tang/Special to the Town Crier
Mike Robbins of the Mountain View Fire Department grows vegetables and fruit trees in the garden at Station No. 1 on Shoreline Boulevard.

When Mike Robbins was stationed at Mountain View Fire Department Station No. 1 at 251 S. Shoreline Blvd., he spotted an overgrown patch of weeds behind the firehouse and saw an opportunity to transform it into a flourishing garden.

His project has since attracted the attention of the surrounding community. The public is invited to take a walking garden tour 11:15 a.m. Saturday, starting from the Mountain View Public Library to Station No. 1.

Robbins cultivated his love of gardening from an early age.

“I helped my family garden in our yard not just as a hobby, but as part of the household,” he said. “Being part of that experience really helped me to grow, and when I had some time at the station, I started doing more of it.”

His green thumb carried over to his job at the station, where he constructed three 18-foot-by-4-foot beds.

New gardens have been sprouting in the other four Mountain View stations, where he and his co-workers cook meals with the fresh, seasonal produce.

“Initially, people were apprehensive, but when they saw the garden’s tangible effects, they became interested,” Robbins said.

Robbins attributes his success to techniques he learned from Love Apple Farms’ classes in Santa Cruz.

“Soften the soil deeper than you expect the roots to grow,” he said. “When roots aren’t prohibited, they can expand and pull in more nutrients, and you end up with productive growth.”

Another successful technique is growing flowers to attract bees that can increase plant pollination.

“I’ve created a self-sufficient ecosystem out of my garden and it has made a world of difference,” Robbins said.

Today, his garden thrives and people from around the community contribute. Robbins said he and his co-workers form a close-knit group, and the garden has become an important part of their home.

Saturday’s tour begins in the lobby of the library, 585 Franklin St. The walk to Station No. 1 will take approximately 10 minutes. To register, call 903-6337 or visit goo.gl/Li9Lo.

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