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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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Police unveil new resident alert service


Town Crier screenshot
The Los Altos Police Department recently began using Nixle as a supplemental emergency notification system.

The Los Altos Police Department has a new tool to keep residents informed on anything from road closures to local disasters.

According to Los Altos Police Chief Tuck Younis, the department recently began using Nixle, a notification system designed specifically for law enforcement and other government agencies. The department unveiled the new system during the July 13-14 Arts & Wine Festival in downtown Los Altos.

Younis told the Town Crier that the city opted to purchase the system – at a cost of approximately $4,000 annually – after attending the Social Media, the Internet and Law Enforcement Conference earlier this year.

“It’s a wonderful investment in order to get word out to our community for all sorts of needs,” Younis said of the service free to residents, which he noted was “an enhancement to” and not a replacement for Santa Clara County’s AlertSCC system.

The AlertSCC system, like Nixle, distributes emergency alerts to users via mobile devices and email, but also landlines.

Younis said the Nixle system allows law enforcement agencies to disseminate information quickly and easily across multiple platforms. Residents who sign up for the service receive notifications via email, text message or by downloading the Nixle app to their smartphones. He noted that the system is integrated with the Los Altos Police Department’s Twitter feed and Facebook page.

According to the company’s website, the Nixle system publishes messages released by law enforcement agencies, which can also assign levels of urgency. The messages are then disseminated to users located in the affected geographic regions.

The system includes the ability to view maps and pinpoint the location of specific incidents. Residents can expand the notification by adding specified regions. More than 4,000 public agencies across the country use Nixle as a community notification system, according to the privately held company. Other Bay Area agencies currently using Nixle include the Mountain View, Oakland and Fremont police departments and the Alameda County Sheriff’s Office.

For Los Altos Police Department purposes, Younis said messages to participating residents would range from everyday housekeeping items such as road closures to alerts about missing persons, natural disaster emergencies and other community advisories.

“Clearly we have a need and an expectation from the public to send out timely messages,” said Younis, who added that he’s encouraging residents to sign up for both the Nixle and AlertSCC services. “This is a reliable tool that provides yet another platform for communication between residents and law enforcement.”

For more information, visit nixle.com/los-altos-police-department.

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