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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LAH council rejects pressure to drop Lehigh brief


Town Crier File Photo
The Los Altos Hills City Council last week rebuffed a request by Lehigh Southwest Cement Co. to end its participation in an amicus brief filed by Bay Area for Clean Environment.

Despite hearing from a representative from Lehigh Southwest Cement Co., the Los Altos Hills City Council stood by its decision to join an amicus curiae brief filed by Bay Area for Clean Environment (BACE).

The brief requested a repeal of the Santa Clara County Board of Supervisors’ decision allowing Lehigh to grow its operations without oversight. If the ruling stands, the council is concerned that health and environmental consequences might follow.

Disregarding what Councilman Rich Larsen defined as “officious scare tactics” by Lehigh representative John Bruno, councilmembers not only reaffirmed their support for the appeal, but also approved a budget of up to $7,500 for their share of legal fees.

Bruno accused BACE of operating on an expired state license and the city of Cupertino of a possible ethical conflict if its council voted to support the amicus brief.

“It’s baseless,” said Bruno of the appeal against the county’s decision. “You enjoy a good working relationship with the county, and this doesn’t seem like the best course of action.”

“‘Do you really want to go against the supervisors? You have such a good relationship with them,’” echoed Los Altos Hills resident Jitze Couperus, quoting Bruno’s statements. “This is a not-so-clearly-veiled warning.”

Dispelling any concerns of possible repercussions, Los Altos Hills City Attorney Steven Mattas noted that the aforementioned issues “do not affect (the council’s) ability to support or not support this legal brief.”

Mayor Gary Waldeck rebutted Bruno’s characterization of BACE, noting that the organization’s state license was up to date.

Citing Los Altos City Councilwoman Megan Satterlee’s hesitance to endorse the brief, Los Altos Hills Councilwoman Courtenay C. Corrigan wavered on her initial support. In response, Waldeck noted that Satterlee ultimately supported the brief because it was the only recourse available to prevent unrestricted future quarry development.

Although Santa Clara County Supervisor Joe Simitian was invited to two council meetings to discuss the county supervisors’ decision, he did not respond to requests, according to Waldeck.

Larsen suggested that town voters might attract the supervisors’ attention even if the brief did not.

“The real point is to send a message to the supervisors,” he said. “We’re talking about several thousands (of voters). … This is the real power of this action.”

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