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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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New MVHS administrators greet students


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Dave Grissom, Mountain View High School’s new principal, addresses a group of students on campus last week.

When Mountain View High School students started school this week, they met their new principal, Dave Grissom.

Grissom, a San Diego native, assumed the position after eight-year principal Keith Moody transitioned to the role of director of the district’s Adult Education program in June.

Grissom discovered that he enjoyed interacting with youth while in college, when he coached baseball and football.

“I always saw myself doing something good for kids,” he said. “I loved (working with the students). I found my niche in life.”

Grissom began his teaching career at Santa Clara High School in 1994 and in 1998 became an administrator at Lincoln High in San Jose, eventually coming full circle back to Santa Clara High, where he served as principal for the past seven years.

“I just love being around kids – they bring such a zest for life,” he said. “I always thought I could bring a real positive change in their lives as well.”

Although he will miss the Santa Clara High community, Grissom expressed enthusiasm as he begins his tenure at Mountain View.

“I’ve never felt more welcome than I have at Mountain View,” he said. “I have met some very dynamic and great people already, and I’m really ready to start the school year.”

Rich in resources

Grissom praised the resources of the Mountain View Los Altos Union High School District.

“I don’t think I’ve ever been fortunate enough to be at a school and district that offers as much for their students as this one does,” he said. “The resources they offer to their students is bar none above what I’ve seen offered before.”

As to goals and objectives for his first year on the job, Grissom listed diving into the new grading policy and implementing the new common core curriculum as priorities.

“I want to work on the grading policy to help all,” he said. “I am trying to create some transparency there.”

Grissom described himself as a “hands-on leader” who enjoys “positive relationships with kids and families.”

Grissom and his wife of 19 years, Christine, live with their sons, Ryan, 15, and Connor, 11, in San Jose. In his spare time, Grissom spends time with his boys, usually involving sports.

An admitted sports fan, Grissom plays golf and serves as an umpire for Little League games. His coaching experience in college served as a bridge to his career.

“I found a love there, and the love transferred into the classroom,” he said. “Being a teacher was the greatest job I’ve ever had, and it pushed me into the profession I am in today.”

Other new faces

Grissom’s is not the only new face on campus this year. The district hired two assistant principals at the close of the past school year: William Blair, a Mountain View High instructor, and Lynne Ewald, an administrator who worked with Grissom at Santa Clara High.

Blair taught Leadership, Broadcast Journalism, Newspaper and English for the past nine years at Mountain View High. He received the Mountain View Los Altos Teacher of the Year Award in 2009-2010 for his outstanding teaching and work with myriad student groups, including the Iwata Japanese Exchange Program, the Associated Student Body, Camp Everytown and the Link Crew. He earned his bachelor’s degree in English and psychology from Virginia Commonwealth University and his teaching credential from the University of San Diego.

Ewald joins the district from Santa Clara High, where she served as assistant principal for 12 years. Ewald was responsible for curriculum, master schedule, student activities and special programs. She has received commendations for her work as a science teacher at all levels of biology and physics. She received her undergraduate degree from Florida State University and her master’s in educational administration from San Jose State University.

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