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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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Defendant cites SEC unfairness, inaccuracy in court case: Other Voices

My companies and I have been the subject of numerous articles in your publication over the past 15 months. I write this letter to set the record straight on a number of issues regarding the lawsuit SEC v. Small Business Capital Corp., et al.

The first issue is that the SEC indisputably used false financial illustrations throughout their lawsuit. This is not a matter of conjecture, as the SEC has admitted to using an improper formula. The SEC is the country’s foremost regulatory authority on accounting matters. Yet it managed to make “good-faith mistakes” (SEC’s term in its lawsuit pleadings) to overstate the funds’ actual distributions by 54 percent and, from there, make “Ponzi-like scheme” allegations. The allegations were used to seize $45 million of invested monies, much of this from local investors.

This is a civil lawsuit matter. However, the criminal equivalent of what the SEC has done, with its false formulas, is called “planting evidence” and creating false pretense. Additionally, the SEC falsely labeled the court-appointed receiver a “licensed CPA” in this lawsuit when he is not a CPA at all. While the rest of the business world calls such actions “fraud,” the SEC and the receiver are able to describe these matters as “good-faith mistakes.” Their actions make a mockery of the public’s trust in federal regulatory oversight.

The second issue is “bureaucratic and regulatory creep.” The subject businesses were in good standing with federal and state regulators at the time of the injunction. This includes oversight by the U.S. Small Business Administration that was involved with the investment fund’s federal licensing. Post-Bernie Madoff, the SEC tripled its enforcement actions. This includes reviewing companies that have never been advised of any need to register with the SEC and who, in fact, were already registered to issue securities under the state. Is it fair for a federal agency to suddenly apply the standards of publicly traded companies to small, nontraded private investment funds that had no prior federal regulatory oversight?

The third issue is the actions of the SEC to interfere with due process for legal representation. Both the SEC and the receiver have submitted to the court substantial numbers of false statements and material omissions. A “pro se” defendant (self-represented) faces huge obstacles in being able to conduct discovery (fact finding), and with establishing legal arguments in a format acceptable to the court. In the matter of this lawsuit, the receiver’s attorneys have, time and again, refused to provide information to the court by citing that this writer did not “cross his t’s or dot his i’s” in his requests.

Additionally, the court in its ruling stated the equivalent of “we’re not going to go through your information” to see if you have proved your point.

The court recently ruled in favor of the SEC in its request for summary judgment, which means that this lawsuit may never go to trial. This is a substantial disappointment not just to myself, but also to the scores of investment fund members who have written the court strong letters of disapproval.

More information on this lawsuit is available at markfeathers.com. An appeal was filed Aug. 29 with the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals to overturn the court’s summary judgment in favor of the SEC.

To read the court’s ruling in its entirety, visit this story online.

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