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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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Mtn. View Council Briefs


Rendering From City of Mountain View staff report
The Mountain View City Council July 2 approved plans for a three-story, 67,772-square-foot office building, above, at 250 Bryant St. downtown.

The Mountain View City Council took the following actions at recent meetings.

• Utilities cost more: Mountain View residents will notice increases in their utility bills. The council voted June 18 to boost electricity, sewer, waste management and water services for fiscal year 2013-2014, effective July 1.

Rate hikes include 9 percent for water, 7 percent for sewer, 6 percent for recycling bins and 9 percent for trash carts. According to city staff, residents can expect their 32-gallon trash-cart service to increase approximately $1.90 a month. Single-family homeowners will note a $9.80 increase for water, or 21.9 percent (based on 10 units of water plus meter charge), and a $1.85 hike for sewer. City officials said the hikes were necessary to offset increases by utility providers.

• Starting from scratch: Following public backlash over their approval of an animal control ordinance that required licensing for cats, councilmembers backtracked on the ordinance at their June 11 meeting.

The new action allows city staff to start from scratch on a proposed law that would allow beekeeping and leave cats alone. Councilmembers vowed to address the matter again in the fall and give ample notice to residents, several of whom complained that they had no advance notice of the June 4 meeting, when the initial ordinance passed.

In the meantime, city staff will review potential ordinance revisions that include microchipping versus tags, clarification on the issue of dogs in city parks and the number of animals allowed.

• Flood basin stays at Mc- Kelvey: Efforts toward a revamped McKelvey Park, complete with flood-detention basin, are moving forward. Following the council’s approval of revised designs in early May, the Santa Clara Valley Water District is set to begin construction on the basin and park improvements next summer. The improvements, including new bleachers, dugouts and bathrooms, are in effect an exchange for district use of the park for digging the 18-foot-deep basin. The estimated cost of the project is $9 million.

The water district board May 28 signed off on the McKelvey basin and one proposed at Rancho San Antonio County Park as part of the Permanente Creek Flood Protection Project. The city and district have proceeded despite relentless criticism from a small cadre of Los Altos and Mountain View residents closely following the project. Critics claim that the district’s calculations and rationale for the basins are flawed and that the basins are not needed. Water district officials conceded in the cases of Cuesta Park Annex and Blach Intermediate School, where plans for basins have since been shelved.

• Latest developments: The council July 2 approved plans for a three-story, 67,772-square-foot office building on 1.13 acres at 250 Bryant St. in downtown Mountain View. The project, by Smith Equities of Palo Alto, includes two levels of underground parking, totaling 153 spaces. Construction on the new building is scheduled to begin next month and wrap up by December 2014.

SummerHill Apartments plans to build a 150-unit project at 865 E. El Camino Real, following council approval and building-permit application. The city anticipates construction beginning in November.

Prometheus Real Estate Group received council approval for a 169-unit apartment project on 2.51 acres at 1720 W. El Camino Real, the site of the former Tropicana Lodge and Western Appliance. The company is expected to apply for a building permit this month, according to city staff, with construction set to start by December.

The city’s zoning administrator earlier this month approved the Sobrato Organization’s application for a 156,900-square-foot, five-story office building on a 10-acre site at 1255 Pear Ave.

A 19-unit rowhouse project at 1958 Rock St. received the council’s greenlight June 18. The Dividend Homes project would, pending building-permit approval in the fall, begin construction next spring. Dividend plans another 18 rowhouses on the 1-acre property at 111 and 123 Fairchild Drive. The council is slated to consider final approval in the fall.

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