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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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Letters to the Editor

Robinson’s story inspires reader

Amid recent articles about bank robbers, scam artists and the continued vitriol in the Bullis Charter School vs. Los Altos School District debate, a heroine emerged who deserves commendation.

Thank you for the inspiring story about a courageous woman, Sarah Robinson (“Rare cancer turns local resident into passionate advocate,” Aug. 14), who is facing a life-or-death struggle with a rare cancer and yet somehow finds the time and energy to help others. This is the spirit that deserves coverage and that inspires us as a community.

Sarah, I wish you permanent remission and many, many years ahead of you to continue your selfless path. You are incredible.

Amy Kull

Los Altos

The Makery a hit with local residents

What a wonderful surprise to walk into the colorful Makery on State Street.

Primary colors of every imaginable craft material are found on the shelves: fabric, yarn, threads, tissue paper, stamps, pre-packaged kits, how-to books and even more. Classes are promised in the near future.

We went in separately and both agreed that we could have spent much more time looking around and getting inspired. Such an exciting addition to State Street. The Makery is sure to become a Peninsula destination.

Barbara Mordo

Los Altos and Lois Adams

Cupertino

BCS lockout furthers LASD political agenda

When you think of the word “teacher,” what are the first things that to come to mind? Most would say: “students,” “schools,” “books,” “learning,” “role model,” “mentor” and a long litany of other positive labels.

One does not think of words such as “shut out,” “ligation,” “fear tactics,” “lack of equitable facilities,” “political agendas,” “deprivation of a civil right.”

Growing up, schools were the safe zone of a community, not a battlefield.

When I decided to go into teaching, the last thing I had ever envisioned for a teacher or a student was being locked out of a school that is ready to open its doors in just eight days. I think about the looks on their faces when I have to tell them that the people who were entrusted by the community with the duty to protect their citizens’ rights to an equitable education have failed them, and failed them miserably.

What message is the Los Altos School District Board of Trustees sending to public school students in the community by locking them and their teachers out of our campus, in order to further their own political agenda?

Jenny Cheng, teacher

Bullis Charter School

Lockout distressing for BCS parents, staff

My child attends Bullis Charter School in Los Altos. I am writing because we need your help. Our teachers have been locked out of their rooms at Blach Intermediate School by the top administration of the Los Altos School District. This is causing unnecessary stress on our staff and parents, who are all aware of what is going on. It is my understanding that district officials are withholding the keys from our staff in order to force our board to sign a faulty lease agreement.

Charter schools were created to promote innovation in education. The innovation at Bullis Charter School has been tremendous. Bullis has thrived despite ongoing battles with the school district and is currently the top-performing charter school in California.

Please help us encourage district officials to treat our staff and children fairly by allowing our teachers into their rooms.

Melissa Nolan

Los Altos

Speed-limit increase poses safety threat

I am concerned about the proposed speed-limit increase on Cuesta Drive between El Monte Avenue and Springer Road.

How does this proposed increase square with the long-term plan to “calm” traffic on a residential street? Raising the speed limit seems like it would be counterproductive to the city’s long-term plan.

How does raising the speed limit increase pedestrian and bicyclist safety? We have many children who bike and walk to the rear entrance to Covington School. Increasing speed limits around a school entrance should be discouraged. A crosswalk should be added on Cuesta at Arboleda Drive.

According to the Los Altos Police, most of the cars on Cuesta in the morning and afternoon hours are commuters taking a shortcut from Interstate 280 to Grant Road/State Route 237. Commuters should be taking Foothill Expressway, as it was designed.

I suggest a “No Right Turn” zone from El Monte to Cuesta during the morning commute hours, and the same in reverse (“No Left Turn” from Cuesta to El Monte) for the afternoon hours.

The truck traffic on Cuesta has increased lately. I believe this is illegal, as they are above the weight limit permitted on a residential street. Police presence needs to be increased to enforce the law.

I encourage the city to implement the City of Los Altos 2011 Collector Traffic Calming Plan for Cuesta. These traffic-calming measures would bring down the speeds on Cuesta, thus eliminating the need to raise the speed limit.

Susan Evard

Los Altos

License plate scanners prompt privacy concerns

The article “Police roll out license plate scanner” (Town Crier, Aug. 7)) should cause Los Altos residents significant concern.

The Los Altos Police Department would be well advised to refuse this “gift” from the Department of Homeland Security immediately. Individual privacy is only one of many issues that implementing automatic anonymous license plate scanning and database tracking of same in Los Altos raises. Few of the benefits of such a practice are positive for Los Altos, the people who live here or anyone else.

Quotes in the article from Los Altos Police Chief Tuck Younis and Sgt. Kurtis Stenderup of the Santa Clara County Sheriff’s Office are so incomplete and (especially) naive as to be laughable.

Maybe I missed it, but did this issue come before the Los Altos City Council? It really should get exposure in open public discussion.

License plate tracking is a much bigger deal than just adding another piece of “free” electronics to a patrol car whilst claiming officer involvement won’t be necessary.

The city council needs to think this through and involve the public.

Bob Perdriau

Los Altos

In search of Good Samaritan

About three weeks ago, my heart caused me to fall in my front yard. Trisha, my daughter-in-law, saw me on the ground and came out to take care of me.

A young man on a bicycle stopped by and asked what he could do to help. Trisha told him to get the neighbor in the house across the street. He did that, and the neighbor came out and called 911. The young man then took off on his bicycle – unfortunately, without leaving a calling card.

I would very much like to know who the young man was, as I’d like to thank him personally for his kindness and help. I hope he reads the Town Crier and will respond to my request.

Barbara Emerich

Los Altos

Parking problem isn’t solved yet

Ted and Jerry Sorensen’s “Other Voices” column (“Three solutions for improving downtown parking,” Aug. 7) was so self-serving that it was sickening.

They say that there’s no parking problem right now. The implication is to let their (unmentioned) project go forward without building adequate parking, and maybe others without building any parking.

With this thinking, there soon will be a problem, which they, as offered in other forums, suggest be solved by bulldozing the trees and small shrubs in our existing parking plazas so that they can be re-striped into narrower slots. Because of the curves of these lanes in our plazas, this will make it even harder to park and perform ingress/egress from our cars. Even this would be a short-term solution, especially if the Los Altos City Council permits more construction in the plazas themselves.

Ultimately, a parking garage will be necessary. My suggestion is for the city council not to approve any more projects without adequate parking. Also, pick a site now for a future garage and protect it so that when the time comes, we are not left with a site without any access to any street whatsoever – i.e., don’t let the city council box us into a corner.

Paul Brooks

Los Altos

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