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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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Forbes touts morality of free-market economy at Conservative Forum appearance in MV


The free-market economy is not only the correct choice over big government, it is the moral choice, according to Steve Forbes, chairman and editor-in-chief of Forbes Media and two-time presidential candidate.

Forbes appeared locally at the Aug. 7 meeting of the Conservative Forum of Silicon Valley to deliver that message, the thesis of his latest book, “Freedom Manifesto: Why Free Markets Are Moral and Big Government Isn’t” (Crown Business, 2012). He co-authored the book with communications specialist Elizabeth Ames, who also addressed the crowd.

A packed house at Mountain View’s Portuguese Hall – more than 470 by one organizer’s count – heard Forbes turn around the myth that government morally does the right thing while those in private enterprise are greedy and can’t be trusted.

“It’s not greed – it’s about transactions,” he said. “The free market meets people’s needs and wants. … Free markets encourage cooperation. No one’s in charge – that’s why it works.”

Meanwhile, big governments “always thrive on conflict,” he said, and get away with what would normally be considered criminal activity.

“Social Security – look how they handle it,” Forbes said, noting that the system is supposed to hold $2.5 trillion in reserves.

In reality, Forbes said, the coffers are empty because the money has been spent.

“IOUs from the Treasury Department – think what would happen if you took money from workers, spent it, then gave them IOUs. You’d be in jail. But that’s government in action,” he said.

Forbes said free markets, on the other hand, encourage positive attributes like innovation and collaboration with a diverse array of people to achieve goals, optimism and responsibility.

“Economists describe the economy as the allocation of scarce resources. … It’s (really) about the creation of resources,” he noted. “Oil itself is glop. It’s human ingenuity that makes this glop something we can’t do without.”

Meanwhile, big government represents a threat to freedom, he said.

No big fan of the IRS – Forbes has long pushed for its abolishment and the establishment of a flat tax – the recent revelations of the agency’s prying into people’s private lives was one of several examples he gave. Another was the One Bay Area proposal that would concentrate housing on 5 percent of regional lands.

“That’s the Soviet Union – determining where you live,” he said.

He emphasized that his problem is not with government itself.

“If all of us were all angels, we wouldn’t need government,” he said. “But we’re not.”

But Forbes has no use for big government, which he characterized as becoming bloated, ineffective and losing track of its original purposes.

Forbes said the United States is still the most prosperous country on earth.

“We’ve had the environment no other country has had,” he added. “We must not lose it.”

For more information on the Conservative Forum of Silicon Valley, visit theconservativeforum.com. For information on Forbes’ book, visit crownpublishing.com.

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