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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LA grad Johnson makes MLB debut


Erica Caldwell/Charlotte Knights
Erik Johnson pitches for the Charlotte Knights approximately a month before his Major League call-up. He made his first start with the Chicago White Sox Sept. 4.

Just hours before making his Major League Baseball debut Sept. 4 at Yankee Stadium, Chicago White Sox starting pitcher Erik Johnson reached out to someone who could relate to the thoughts racing through his mind.

The 23-year-old called his coach at Los Altos High, Sandy Wihtol, a former pitcher with the Cleveland Indians who made his MLB debut on almost the same day 34 years earlier.

“I shared with him my experiences,” said Wihtol, whose initial big-league appearance came in relief against the Toronto Blue Jays Sept. 7, 1979. “I told him, ‘It’s just another game – it just happens to be your first – and you’re going to have plenty more games at that level.”

Johnson’s first start wasn’t an easy one – up against a playoff-contending team with a lethal lineup – and he took the loss in a 6-5 decision.

The big righty surrendered five runs, only three of them earned, and seven hits over six innings. He walked three and struck out one.

“It’s a real tough lineup they have over there,” Johnson said of the Yankees in a postgame video interview featured on the Chicago Tribune website. “I thought I could have done a little better job, but overall, I thought it was a good one to start with.”

After getting the first two batters he faced to ground out, Johnson gave up a home run to Robinson Cano. Two walks and a hit followed, but Johnson escaped the bases-loaded jam by striking out Ichiro Suzuki.

The 2008 Los Altos High graduate kept the Yankees in check the next two innings, and the last-place White Sox entered the fourth in a 1-all tie. But by the time the inning ended, Chicago trailed by five runs.

After giving up a leadoff single to Alex Rodriguez, Johnson committed a throwing error that enabled Suzuki to reach first base safely. Lyle Overbay followed with an RBI double and Brett Gardner drilled a triple that scored two more. Cano’s infield single then brought Gardner home.

Johnson settled down in the fifth and tossed a scoreless sixth as well before giving way to fellow rookie Daniel Webb.

Johnson’s family was in the stands to see his every pitch.

“I am happy that my son has achieved a dream of his,” father Roy Johnson said. “I might have preferred his first game not be against so many (future) Hall of Famers, but I am sure he loved it.”

Wihtol wanted to be there, too, but he was on his way to Arizona to play in a golf tournament with friends from high school.

“I’ll get out to Chicago to see him,” Wihtol said. “I’m really proud of him. It’s wonderful to have a guy from the community with so much talent who is so humble and has worked so hard to get where he’s at.”

Johnson, a 2011 second-round pick out of Cal, started this season at Double-A Birmingham and was promoted to Triple-A Charlotte in June.

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