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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Letters to the Editor

Downtown Los Altos needs Wi-Fi service

We live in the heart of Silicon Valley, yet when it comes to Wi-Fi in our downtown area, it is nonexistent. Yes, there are a few businesses that have Wi-Fi, but not enough.

The city of Mountain View has free Wi-Fi. Palo Alto is even adding free Wi-Fi to Cogswell Park (for the homeless?).

As we tear up our town, maybe a few bucks should be spent on adding Wi-Fi. Is this another case of the shoemaker has no shoes?

Bob Simmons

Los Altos

Don’t destroy habitat on chance of flood

“More than 100 trees and 200,000 cubic yards of soil” are scheduled to be removed from a nature preserve to accommodate a flood basin. When I read those words from a letter to the editor in the Town Crier (“Digging basins is a waste of money,” July 24), I was dumbfounded.

Why would the Santa Clara Valley Water District want to destroy habitat at Rancho San Antonio Open Space Preserve? Should watershed and riparian creeksides not be protected? Why would they spend $7 million on flood control on the chance of a flood in 100 years? Why are the opinions of outside engineers Richard Moll and Michael Hayden ignored? They oppose the project as unnecessary to protect property. Where is the environmental impact study?

I live in unincorporated Santa Clara County on Permanente Creek. In 40 years, we have never seen floodwaters. Making a huge concrete basin on Permanente Creek doesn’t make sense. I hope this project will be stopped.

Donna K. Aronson

Los Altos

Planning commissioner keeps his last name

In the Aug. 14 article on Mora Drive (Mora Drive neighbors fear dense development”), reporter Ellie Van Houtte changed my last name to Abrahamson. I object and will keep my old name, Abraham. Morgan Abraham brought it to America in 1713 from England; it has served my family well for a long time.

The reporter failed to convey what I said in a telephone conversation with her. She quoted me as saying efforts to develop substandard lots are done with very little success. We have many homes in Los Altos Hills on lots that are less than one acre. They are, for the most part, legal, nonconforming lots created prior to the town’s incorporation. Lots less than one-half acre are often difficult to develop because of their small size and the minimum setback requirements. Small lots are often merged into adjoining lots so as to create larger lots. Property owners have at times unmerged lots, restoring them back to the underlying lots. If this reduces the lots to less than an acre, the unmerging effort is often denied.

Regarding the subject of the article, I have not formed an opinion and will not until the issue comes before the Planning Commission, and that may never happen.

Jim Abraham

Planning Commissioner

Los Altos Hills

Find a Word puzzle bungles clue

I thought it was ironic that your Find A Word puzzle in the Aug. 7 issue had “Monterrey” as a California city to find, especially when the entire focus was on the “many fine cities” in California. Monterrey is in Mexico, Monterey is in California.

Betty Skov

Los Altos

Student praises Los Altos library

The Los Altos Library has always been a place for me to find books, work on homework and read for as long as I wanted.

When I was little, I used to love to go there for story time. Ever since, I have always enjoyed going to the library and reading. I also like the audiobooks, which I listen to on long drives with my family.

I am so glad that our little city has such a great library.

Thank you to all the librarians for making the Los Altos Library a great place for all the Los Altos families.

Neville Taraporevala

Freshman

Los Altos High School

Nature program deserves local support

It is not often that a high school student writes asking for support of a nature program that he experienced 10 years ago. Nico Noriega’s column in the Aug. 14 Town Crier (“Former camper laments loss of nature program”) did just that, for Keith Gutierrez’s A Touch of the Earth program.

As a former Deer Hollow Farm docent who worked with Gutierrez for approximately eight years, I add my request that all who value his talent for teaching our youth “how to stay in touch with and appreciate nature and past cultures” please send a donation to keep this program running.

Note that this program is not an official nonprofit and thus donations are not tax deductible. I have sent mine anyway, because Gutierrez’s ability to connect with young people is a gift that deserves support. Please read Noriega’s piece and judge for yourself.

Make checks payable to “A Touch of the Earth” and send to 14840 Union Ave., San Jose 95124.

For more information, visit atouchoftheearth.com.

Donna Poulos

Los Altos

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