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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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LAH Council Briefs

Following are highlights from the Aug. 15 Los Altos Hills City Council meeting.

The next council meeting is scheduled 6 p.m. Sept. 19 at town hall, 26375 W. Fremont Road.

Grant program keeps giving

The council voted 3-2 to continue support for the town’s Community Service Grants program. The council awarded $65,000 in grants for the 2012-2013 fiscal year – ranging from $800 to $10,000 – to 16 community service agencies.

In a discussion initiated by Councilwoman Courtenay C. Corrigan, who expressed concerns about the town’s role in the “business of philanthropy,” councilmembers weighed in on whether the grants were an appropriate use of funds.

“I in no way want to degrade or downplay the role and importance you play in the role of our residents – this is not what it’s about,” Corrigan told representatives of the community groups in attendance. “The problem I’m having is the fundamental problem of taking taxpayer dollars and giving them away.”

Mayor Gary Waldeck and councilmen John Radford and Rich Larsen countered that the grant program was a necessary supplement to the town’s “meat and potatoes” services like roads and sewers.

Larsen described the program as a “community resource,” adding that the health, social and community services provided by the grantees “contribute to quality of life.”

LAH joins Lehigh appeal

The council voted unanimously to add the city’s name to a Midpeninsula Regional Open Space District amicus brief that supports an appeal by an environmental group targeting the nearby Lehigh Southwest Cement Co.’s Permanente Plant.

The group, Bay Area for a Clean Environment (formerly No Toxic Air), is appealing a Superior Court ruling that upheld the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors’ decision to allow vested rights for mining at the cement quarry in February 2011.

The pending appeal contends that the county board illegally granted vested mining rights to Lehigh, allowing the expansion of mining operations on the 2,656-acre quarry without the need for additional county approval or conditional-use permits.

To build a united front, councilmembers noted that they hope to urge at least one neighboring city – Los Altos or Cupertino – to sign on to the open space district’s brief with them.

New art committee launches

The Art in Public Places Standing Committee is officially on the books as Los Altos Hills’ 13th town committee.

Following four months of discussion and planning, the council approved the addition of the committee June 20 and added it to the roster this month.

Charged with identifying potential sites for art in town and raising funds for acquisition, the committee will shepherd proposals to the council for approval.

“We love our town and just want to make it more beautiful,” said committee member Karen Druker.

Six other residents will join Druker on the committee, and Corrigan will serve as council liaison.

Zoning change eases secondary-dwelling parking

Meeting the town’s requirement for an additional parking space within property setback boundaries can be a squeeze – literally – for Los Altos Hills residents, who are already mandated to maintain a minimum of four unobstructed off-street parking spaces for their primary dwelling.

“Parking compliance and available development area are often an issue for proposed Secondary Dwelling Units,” Community Development Director Debbie Pedro wrote in a staff report to the council. “The proposed Ordinance addresses both issues directly.”

Under the Municipal Code amendment passed by the council Aug. 15, the parking space for a secondary-dwelling unit no longer needs to be unobstructed. Pedro noted that the change could reduce the amount of hardscaping needed to accommodate the secondary-dwelling-unit code.

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