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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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Los Altos fowl festival: Tour de Coop returns for second year Sept. 14


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
The Tour de Coop will showcase Casey Carsten’s backyard chickens.

Approximately 1,000 people pedaled their way around the Los Altos area to meet the exuberant owners of backyard chickens during the inaugural 2012 Tour de Coop. This year’s event is shaping up to be even larger.

Scheduled 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sept. 14, the Tour de Coop will showcase 34 chicken coops in neighborhoods on the Peninsula and in the South Bay, according to organizer Scott Vanderlip, a Los Altos Hills resident.

In addition to more backyard chicken-coop owners – and chickens – for participants to squawk about, the self-guided bicycle tour will include coop stops boasting beehives, cistern water systems, organic composting systems and backyard gardens.

After a successful launch last year, Vanderlip said expanding the tour to include different forms of urban homesteading seemed like a good complement.

“It’s amazing what you can do, how sustainable how you can be on a quarter-acre lot. … It doesn’t require acres of land to grow, to have coops and bees,” he said. “A lot of these should be pretty inspirational to other people.”

The 2013 Tour de Coop offers five routes for participants to cycle – ranging from family-friendly loops of 5-10 miles to a more challenging loop of 60 miles that runs from Menlo Park to San Jose. Although some coopsters may offer lemonade or baked goods for sale, Vanderlip encouraged participants to prepare accordingly for the ride.

Los Altos resident Casey Carsten said she is eager to share with tour participants how seamlessly her chicken coop and bees meld with her lifestyle.

A proponent of the quality, taste and appearance of fresh eggs, Carsten said she dreamed of owning chickens much of her life and finally made the leap to ownership after attending last year’s tour.

“I had this feeling that it would be always very messy and smelly,” she said. “But you just clean it up and compost and put it on the vegetable garden. … It’s a cycle. It’s kind of satisfying.”

Chicken ownership has been enlightening for Carsten and husband Jack, an avid gardener, who have discovered unexpected benefits.

Instead of ushering melon rinds, carrot tops and food trimmings down the garbage disposal or into the trash compactor, Carsten feeds them to her chickens. Her six hens deliver three to four eggs daily in shades of brown, green, blue and white, prompting wide eyes and smiles from her visiting grandchildren.

“It’s the first thing they do when they come over,” said Carsten, describing how her grandchildren flock to her coop to check on Tinkerbell and Batman – the names they gave two of the hens – and examine their nests for eggs. “They get so excited when they find them.”

For more information, visit tourdecoop.org.


Tour de Coop preview - Photos by Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier

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