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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Letters to the Editor

Nutritious food benefits students

Not wishing to express myself with the same level of sarcasm and disrespect as Ron Knapp, I do find that I want to refer to his “bit of a rant” in the Sept. 18 Town Crier (“Let students decide what to eat for lunch”) a question: What planet have you been living on, Ron?

There has been a nationwide movement, backed and approved by parents and school districts all over our country, to serve more nutritious food. This has been concurrent with the removal of sugary soft drinks and candy machines from schools.

Ron, are you aware that the obesity rate among young people is soaring? Or that Diabetes 2 is increasing rapidly in the same age group – and not just in ghettos?

Yes, these may be young adults or any other student, and if they wish to bring junk-food lunches or go into town, no one is going to stop them.

Many students, as you point out, are 18, yet they are not allowed to smoke on campus. In years past, students were allowed to smoke at Los Altos High School and with changing times the rule was changed.

Healthful food, as viewed by your assessment, is “crappy food.” It is not just served at Los Altos High. This national movement is being espoused by educated people and parents who want the best for their children.

I wonder also about your statement that “vendors often have nutritious, tasty food, along with the sweets and snack food.” Can that be documented to any extent?

At times, I have heard these vehicles smilingly called “Roach Coaches.” My case rests.

Joan Mather

Los Altos

Writer of letter to editor earns a vote

Thank you for publishing the letter from Ron Knapp in the Sept. 18 Town Crier. Kindly let him know that as soon as he is ready to run for office (of any kind), he has my vote locked in.

Pam Adler

Los Altos

Mobile food vendors hurt local businesses

I agree with Ron Knapp’s letter (Sept. 18) that government should not be in the business of deciding what students should or should not eat. I also agree with Councilwoman Val Carpenter that an ordinance prohibiting mobile vendors within a certain distance from schools would not be effective.

However, Knapp, Carpenter and City Attorney Jolie Houston are missing a more important issue – how mobile vendors affect our local businesses.

We hear a lot about how Los Altos residents should support our local businesses. Allowing mobile vendors to park on our streets, take our money and then drive off to the next town is talking the talk but not walking the walk.

To allow someone who has no stake in our community, employs none of our locals, pays no rent and contributes nothing to our local government coffers to come in and take our money is wrong.

How many of our kids’ first jobs were at the Italian Deli, Spot Pizza, Miyo or so many other local businesses? It’s up to us to ensure their continued success.

Woody DeMayo

Los Altos Hills

Why should I support bond for charter school?

The Bullis Charter School controversy is now, apparently, at the “sit at the table and discuss” level. The intent appears to be to find common ground that will appeal to voters for a bond measure. There are two compelling questions that must be answered.

First: Why should I pay for a bond measure for a private school started under the premise of a “charter” school?

The premise and creation of a charter school was absurd, established by the excess money and legal bullying. Am I going to be asked to pay for a private charter school whose students may come from Los Altos Hills, Palo Alto, Menlo Atherton, Saratoga – all at my expense? Why should I do that? Apparently if I don’t, then funding comes directly out of the existing Los Altos School District funds. This is, in reality, an extortion situation. Nothing more. Nothing less.

Second: Any bond measure requires a premise of trust that funds acquired will be used as expected. Given the demonstrated behavior and coercion tactics of Bullis Charter School advocates, tell me why I should trust them with anything? Reality: There is no trust of Bullis’ motives.

I am quite willing to listen to Bullis Charter School advocates’ answers. You can first start by telling me why you really qualify as a charter school. Then tell me why you think I should pay for your school.

Bullis Charter School advocates should be ashamed of themselves for their reckless abuse of the legal system and acts of extortion.

Kurt Ayers

Los Altos

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