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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

Let students decide what to eat for lunch

Only in the government-run re-education schools can an administrator get away with telling high school students what they can and can’t eat for lunch. I’m talking to you, Mountain View Los Altos Union High School Superintendent Barry Groves (“Food fight ahead? City council asked to consider ban on mobile vendors near Los Altos High,” Sept. 11).

Many of these students are already adults, and the others will be adults very soon. The reason they all want to go out to the street to buy lunch from food trucks is because they don’t like your food. Educators don’t know this, but this is the free market at work. Students are willing to pay more for their lunch with less convenience to escape the crappy food the school has to offer.

No one had to force them to buy from the food trucks, and no one had to force the food trucks to sell it to them. If you had your way, you would make lunchtime in the school cafeteria mandatory and force-feed your students.

This must be a terrible admission of failure to prepare these high school students to go out and get a job or go to college if they don’t even know how to eat lunch. What would happen if their future employers told them what they could and couldn’t eat for lunch? They would quit, and their employers would not be able to get enough good employees.

The students are not breaking any laws or acting immorally by wanting good, tasty food from these vendors, which, in fact, often have nutritious, healthful food along with sweets and snack food. If you get the town to ban them from selling to the high school students, the trucks should also be banned from selling anywhere in the town, including festivals and farmers’ markets. And while you’re at it, you can make a list of other banned items, including certain cars, light bulbs, toilets, clothing, music and anything else you don’t like.

Superintendent Groves, it’s not up to you or the Central Committee what high school students eat for lunch. It’s solely up to them and their parents. You wouldn’t understand. You’ve been in public education way too long.

Ron Knapp

Los Altos

High school food equal of gourmet trucks?

I read your article “Food fight ahead?” with great interest. But I was puzzled by this sentence: “However, unlike the popular gourmet food truck trend often seen in metropolitan areas, the mobile vendors near the high school sell items to students that can’t be found on campus – candy bars, sugary sodas, quesadillas and more.”

Are you implying that the food served at Los Altos High is the equal to that served by gourmet food trucks?  If so, I believe a review of the Los Altos High food is in order.

Or you might have meant that gourmet food trucks serve healthier food than those behind campus.  I look forward to your nutritional analysis comparing a random sample of “gourmet” food trucks with those working at Los Altos High.

Tony Lima

Los Altos

A lesson in bag economics

Basic economics teaches us that whenever a product is banned or restricted, three events will happen: a black market for the banned product appears; the price of the restricted product increases dramatically; and localities that do not have the ban or restrictions will see an increase in migration, for example, our best writers moving to Europe to flee Prohibition in the 1920s and today’s potheads moving to Colorado.

The current ban on plastic bags and fee restrictions on paper bags provide a case in point.

The use of paper bags for storing old newspapers and the use of plastic bags for dog droppings will always be there. Over time, your current stash of bags, which is crammed next to your refrigerator or washing machine, will be depleted and you will not only start paying 10 cents for a paper bag, but also will buy more fruits and vegetables just to get those skimpy plastic bags that are still offered.

Supermarkets will recognize this increase in paper-bag demand and will most certainly double or triple the fees that are charged for them. At the same time, the price of bootleg plastic bags on eBay will soar.

Fortunately, there are enlightened communities such as Fresno that still cherish our bag freedoms and have not succumbed to pressure for any type of bag restrictions. These communities will see a tidal wave of migration as the access for free bags eclipses education as the prime motivation for buying real estate.

There are two ways that all of us can now profit from the situation: Invest in plastic bag futures and buy land in Fresno.

Wayne King

Los Altos

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