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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

Show appreciation for Roy and Penny Lave

In the past few years, I joined a long list of people who have had the pleasure of working with Roy and Penny Lave – first on the Investment Committee of the Los Altos Community Foundation and then in the LEAD program, organized by the foundation.

The Town Crier’s Aug. 21 interview with the Laves (“Roy and Penny Lave reminisce about 50 years in Los Altos”) told me more about both Penny and Roy’s history. Having known them only recently, I especially enjoyed the picture of Roy on the city council in the 1970s – love the facial hair, Roy!

I encourage readers to show their appreciation for the Laves by visiting the foundation’s website at losaltoscf.org, by donating in their honor and/or by signing up to attend the foundation’s gala Sept. 9.

Amy Pearl Parodi

Los Altos

Commute times longer on San Antonio Road

In the Aug. 21 Town Crier, an article states: “High-density apartments are under consideration for the 420 San Antonio Road and 2580 California St. properties” (“San Antonio area headed for trouble?”).

How do we stop this?

I live off Los Altos Avenue and it is gridlock around school hours from parents who don’t want their kids to cross El Camino Real as it is. I can imagine how horrible the traffic will become when couples move into these new apartments, have kids and send them to Santa Rita and Egan Junior High schools.

Mountain View should not be allowed to add a single new housing unit until the city has a school on the other side of El Camino for the kids, so traffic can return somewhat to what it was before all the new building began.

San Antonio Road is gridlocked during commute times. When I moved here 19 years ago, it took six minutes to drive to Highway 101 in the morning from my house. If I left before 7 a.m., I could drive to work (Hewlett-Packard in San Jose on Trimble Road at First Street) in 12 minutes. These days, it is a 12-minute trip from my house to 101 during noncommute times (between 2 and 3 p.m.).

I feel that politicians are selling off our quality of life to developers in exchange for campaign funds. The subsequent zoning variances allow the developers to get rich packing people in like sardines.

Kirk Lindstrom

Los Altos

Reader lauds wisdom of TC columnist

While I’ve never had the pleasure of meeting her in person, I feel that I know a lot about Jackie Madden Haugh through her fabulous columns in the Town Crier.

To be completely honest, when I open the paper each week, her column – “Haugh About That?” – is the first thing I look to read. Her writing style is natural, somewhat whimsical and always enjoyable. She tastefully blends the human element with a touching and meaningful close.

No, God makes no mistakes (to quote her father in her last column), and He certainly made no mistake leading her to inspire our community with her wise words.

Jean Hephinger

Los Altos

Speed-limit rule a reasonable guideline

I noticed in an Aug. 21 Town Crier article (“Slow down: LA City Council rejects proposed speed-limit increases”) that Los Altos City Councilwoman Val Carpenter characterized the state’s 85 percent rule as “the real villain,” a policy that “lets the fastest drivers set the speed limits.”

I think a closer look at the 85 percent rule might be in order to avoid misconceptions.

The 85 percent rule has been used by California and communities all over the world for nearly 50 years as a useful tool to determine safe speeds. Far from letting the fastest drivers set the speed limit, the 85 percent rule effectively lets the large majority set the limit, which strikes me as a very reasonable guideline. Research has shown that accidents tend to go up when speed limits are set below the 85 percent rule.

Gary Brauch

Los Altos Hills

Paint disposal proves complicated

Have you ever tried to dispose of two half-gallons of used, oil-based paint legally? Here are the results of my attempt.

First, I asked an employee of our garbage company, who told me to set it next to our garbage tote on the day the regular trash is collected. On trash pickup day, the driver did not take the cans. He told me that they pick up water-based paint, not oil-based paint.

I would need to drive from Los Altos to the Household Hazardous Waste Drop-Off Station in Sunnyvale. There are two stations near that location. I have used one of them before, so I decided to leave the two paint cans there.

The lady in charge was smiling as I lifted out the two cans of paint. She said, “Stop right there, we don’t accept oil-based paint. You need to go about two blocks farther down the road, where there is a big sign: “Household Hazardous Waste Drop-Off Station.”

So I got back in my car to travel the two blocks on Carl Road. When I arrived, I was informed that they only accept hazardous materials on the third Saturday of each month. I couldn’t believe it.

What a day! Sometimes it is difficult trying to be a good citizen.

Donald M. Rauch

Los Altos

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