Thu10022014

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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Los Altos bank robber pleads guilty, gets seven years


The Los Altos man arrested for a string of armed robberies in the city earlier this year is heading to prison for up to seven years.

Thomas Andrew Cronin, 26, pleaded guilty as charged “right out of the gate” last week to eight counts of armed robbery in Los Altos and two in Mountain View, according to Cindy Hendrickson, Santa Clara County Supervising Deputy District Attorney in the Palo Alto Branch Office. Cronin will be ordered to pay approximately $7,000 in restitution to the victims of his crimes, she added.

“It’s a testament to how strong the case was,” Hendrickson said of Cronin’s guilty plea Aug. 7.

Los Altos police arrested Cronin May 29 after he robbed the U.S. Bank at 1001 Fremont Ave. earlier in the day. He was later charged with twice robbing both Comerica Bank on Third Street and Standard Liquor on First Street and with once robbing Bank of the West on Main Street.

Cronin was also charged with single counts of robbing the Shell Gas & Service Station at 929 Fremont Ave. and Round Table Pizza at 399 First St. in mid-May. Among the details revealed by prosecutors after his arrest was that Cronin used a black Airsoft BB gun – with its customary red tip colored in black – to commit the crimes.

Hendrickson noted that Cronin pleaded guilty before preliminary examinations began and will be sentenced in early October. He initially faced the possibility of serving a maximum of 14 years in prison if found guilty on all charges, she added, but the prosecution offered to cut the sentence in half if he pleaded guilty before trial.

“It’s common and reasonable for someone to serve less time when they accept early responsibility,” said Hendrickson, who credited Cronin’s attorneys for expediting the outcome of the case.

Hendrickson noted that Cronin’s early guilty plea produced another positive result in addition to saving taxpayer money – it spared his victims from a potentially drawn-out trial.

“This (outcome) saved all of the victims from having to testify,” she said, adding that Cronin will remain in the Santa Clara County Main Jail until sentencing. “They don’t have to come and face him in court now.”

Hendrickson said Cronin – a former student at both Los Altos and St. Francis high schools – must serve at least 85 percent of his seven years because of the nature of his crimes.

“That isn’t anything that can be bargained away – that (sentence) is attached to the charge,” Hendrickson said of the 85 percent threshold, which equates to a minimum time served of approximately six years.

She said Cronin would likely begin his sentence with a 90-day evaluation period at San Quentin State Prison before being assigned to another state prison for the remainder.

“This is a guy who has never been to prison,” she said. “To have someone be able to wrap their mind around going to prison for such a long time is something. In this case, however, he deserved it.”

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