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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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Local brewmaster describes his inspirations


Courtesy of Derek Wolfgram
Santa Clara Valley Brewing Co. brewmaster Steve Donohue, right, and Jake McCluskey of Market Beer Co., center, listen at a July 9 release party as former San Jose Mayor Tom McEnery discusses the history of the Peralta Adobe, the oldest building in San Jose and namesake of Donohue’s Peralta Porter.

Santa Clara Valley Brewing Co. introduced its first beer, Electric Tower IPA (India Pale Ale), on local taps and in bottle shops throughout the Bay Area in mid-May. The brewery has generated significant buzz – no pun intended – among beer lovers in the area.

The company has a unique branding approach tied into the history of Santa Clara Valley. Brewmaster Steve Donohue has an excellent reputation, earning medals at the Great American Beer Festival every year from 2008 to 2011 while he was brewmaster at the FireHouse Grill & Brewery in Sunnyvale.

I recently conducted an interview with Donohue, who describes his inspirations and his products.

What inspired your brewery’s focus on the history of San Jose and the Santa Clara Valley in your names and labels?

My business partner, Tom Clark, and I have a great appreciation for the rich history of the Santa Clara Valley. We also felt that the South Bay needed a brewery that showcased this history. All of our beers will be named after something from the history of the Valley.

What initially got you into brewing beer? What’s the favorite

brew you’ve ever created?

I started brewing completely on a whim while in college at Chico State. A friend and I were bored one day and decided to make some beer. We went to the local homebrew shop, bought everything we needed and brewed. As for the favorite beer I’ve created? That’s a tough one. I’m proud of all of them, but the Belgian IPA I brewed at another establishment was quite good, in my opinion. Although, I’ve really been enjoying our new Electric Tower IPA lately.

With all of the IPAs available these days, what makes Electric Tower distinctive?

True, there are tons of IPAs on the market at the moment. I think what makes ours stand out is the balance that our beer has – it’s not just hop juice. It has a definite malt backbone that balances the bitterness and the extreme hoppiness.

Following the successful launch of the Electric Tower IPA and Peralta Porter, what beer do you expect to release next?

We released our draught-only Little Orchard Saison in late August. After that, we’ll have a rotating seasonal draught-only selection. I’m just not sure yet what will be after the Saison.

When you became the brewmaster at Stoddard’s Brewhouse & Eatery in 2000, could you have imagined a Silicon Valley Beer Week?

Man, the year 2000 seems like it was a whole lifetime ago. The craft-brewing industry has changed a lot since then. Fortunately, so have the consumers. They’re more educated about beer now. And thank God for that. So, no, I don’t think I could have fathomed a Silicon Valley Beer Week back then. I’m really glad there’s one now, though.

What has been the most challenging part of starting a new brewery?

It’s been relatively easy so far. Because we are currently brewing under contract, we haven’t had to deal with the process of building out a brewery yet. That should be forthcoming within the next year or so. I’m sure I’ll have much more to add once we start building our brewery and taproom. Hopefully, we’ll be up and running by late 2014.

Derek Wolfgram is chief communications officer for the Silicon Valley Sudzers Homebrew Club, which meets the first Friday of each month at a home in Los Altos Hills and welcomes both new and experienced brewers and beer enthusiasts. For more information, visit www.sudzers.org.

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