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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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Safety counts: Developing after-school smarts


Courtesy of Brandpoint
After-school snacking can be a healthful habit if children enjoy nutritious treats. Nourishing snacks can keep them alert while they finish their homework.

The hours between the end of the school day and bedtime are a golden opportunity for parents to help their children develop safe and healthful habits that will last a lifetime.

Following are free, simple ways to incorporate messages about eating well, staying safe and avoiding injuries while children complete homework, participate in team sports or recreational activities, and relax with friends.

Personal safety

Many children engage in team sports or participate in extracurricular clubs after school. Others go home and spend time alone until their parents are finished working. Regardless of how a child spends the hours after school, personal safety is important and should be a topic of conversation between parents and children.

Consider how your child will spend his or her after-school hours and collaborate to develop a list of relevant safety tactics. For example, if your child plays a sport, discuss ways to avoid injury and make sure he or she always wears appropriate safety gear.

For students who arrive home before their parents, set ground rules, such as go straight home and check in via phone call or text once they arrive. Remind children not to open the door to strangers or answer calls from numbers they can’t identify. Safekids.org offers a wealth of safety tips that can be applied to virtually every child’s after-school situation.

Better snacking

Snacking is a healthful habit when done smartly. Teach children to reach for a sensible and filling snack to keep their minds alert for homework and their bodies fueled for after-school activities. Encourage children to use portion control and choose nutritious snacks like fresh fruits and vegetables or fat-free options like pretzels.

Portion-controlled, pre-packaged choices are convenient and healthful options for after-school snacking. Ample research – and common experience – indicates that chewing on something crunchy stimulates the brain. Try a low-fat combination of pretzels with apple slices or carrot sticks, which are more stimulating to a child’s brain than something sweet and fatty.

Follow a schedule

Naturally, all children want to work some fun into their day, whether it’s before or after homework is complete. Because most children thrive with guidance and structure, talk to your child about creating a schedule or to-do list for after-school time. Make sure that it includes a combination of fun activities, snack time and homework. Keep in mind that every child is different – some children need to run around before starting homework, while others do best when saving the fun time for last.

Limit screen time

Once children have completed their homework and engaged in a little physical activity, many may prefer to spend hours online, playing video games or watching TV. Finding a balance can be tough.

Many parents take a “homework first” approach, requiring that children complete school assignments before they’re allowed the treat of screen time. Consider parental-control software to set limits on when children can use the computer and to restrict when and where they can venture online.

Urge children to use technology in a manner that stimulates their brains, such as reading a book on a tablet, working on a brain puzzle on the computer or practicing keyboard or typing skills. Many schools provide lists of fun websites students can access at home or in the library to reinforce skills taught in school.

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