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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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Sculpture shapes Los Altos’ public image


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
The installation of Mircea Paul Goreniuc’s “Space Dance for Peace” in Lincoln Park launched Los Altos’ public art program in 1986.

While driving or strolling through Los Altos, visitors will inevitably catch sight of a few sculptures. From the multicolored "ZooScapes" creatures outside the main library to the life-size "Olympic Wannabes" at Village Park, public art weaves its way through downtown, the civic center area and local parks.

Los Altos’ first sculpture appeared in 1986 when the Public Arts Commission inaugurated the sculpture project. The city selected Mircea Paul Goreniuc’s "Space Dance for Peace" as its first piece of public art. Nearly three decades after its installation, the sculpture still calls Lincoln Park home.

Although some artwork is on loan from the artists, the city now owns more than half of the 30 pieces in its collection, thanks to donations from local residents.

"We’re bringing art to the city in the least costly way," said Faye Chapman, chairwoman of the Public Arts Commission. "Art really adds a lot and shows that the city really cares."

Members of the Public Arts Commission handpick and review the sculptures. When selecting works for display, members take into consideration the artistic talent invested, visual appeal and compatibility with the environment.

Artists often loan their pieces to the city for two years at a time and in return gain media exposure, public recognition and the opportunity to sell their work to local art lovers. When the two-year period expires, the artist may choose to donate the piece, take it back or renew the contract.

To find new sculptures, the commission releases a call for art and contacts more than 300 artists to find suitable additions to the growing collection. After selecting a sculpture, it takes approximately a year before it reaches public display. Commission members compare their search for the right sculptures to finding a needle in a haystack.

"We need something that won’t be a safety hazard and fits in with its surroundings," said Chapman of the commission’s criteria. "I see some sculptures and I can just imagine someone climbing all over it, or kids getting their fingers stuck in the cracks."

Chapman noted that sculptures may only be placed on land owned by the city, the primary reason so many are located at Lincoln and Shoup parks. Narrow sidewalks and limited public space downtown constrict the number of sculptures the city can display.

A number of sculptures await installation, including "The Guardian," a life-size bronze work in the shape of a fairy by New Orleans artist Karen Cauvin Eustis. "The Guardian" will stand watch in the open space near the Costume Bank at the corner of State and Third streets.

Santa Rosa artist Riis Burwell’s "Bird" - an 11-foot-tall bronze and stainless-steel abstract tribute to the late jazz musician Charlie Parker - is slated to land in Lincoln Park soon.

Once construction on First Street is completed, Chapman said an additional three sculptures will decorate the landscape.

In addition to the city’s sculpture collection, the Public Arts Commission plans to introduce other forms of public art - bike racks, murals and more - with support from the city council.

For more information, visit losaltosca.gov/publicartscommission/page/public-sculpture. n


Sculptures in Los Altos - Photos By Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier

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