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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

Resident supports bond because of charter school

After following the continuing disputes between the Los Altos School District and Bullis Charter School, culminating in children being locked out of school, I must speak for hundreds who are tired of this soap opera.

Being affiliated with neither, my personal observation is that Bullis Charter School is one of the most successful charter schools in history.

We are incredibly fortunate to have this dynamic, creative educational force in our midst. Because a well-educated society is a benefit to all, I would have absolutely zero problems supporting a bond to benefit the charter school.

District officials demonstrate brazen impudence in attempting to impose policy on the charter school under the guise of facilities negotiations. That is blackmail.

Time and again, the district has fallen on its face in court. This circus has to stop. Kudos to Los Altos Hills Mayor Gary Waldeck for bringing sanity to this discussion.

It would behoove the district board to show some humility and learn a thing or two from the charter school, which, frankly, has done a far better job of educating children.

Rajiv Bhateja

Los Altos Hills

Local tap water isn’t safe for everyone

I must respond to the advice given by a Palo Alto Medical Foundation physician, Dr. Amy E. Gilliam (“Getting the red out: How to manage your child’s eczema,” Sept. 18), who recommended various medications and treatments.

Those of us who are made sick by our tap water recommend first trying spring water.

I recall some years ago the Town Crier had a front-page article with a photo of a young man with debilitating eczema living in Los Altos Hills. The article mentioned a group, Citizens Concerned About Chloramine, which had formed because others in the area had gotten eczema from the local tap water after chloramine was added. Others had asthma attacks if they took a shower. Some people have gastrointestinal problems if they drink or cook with tap water. Some must avoid swimming pools.

Before starting medicines, for a month try drinking, bathing and handwashing only with bottled water, which is spring water without chloramine. Note that not all bottled water is without chloramine. I do not know which brands to recommend, except I know that Arrowhead Springs, Crystal Geyser and Calaveras Springs work for me.

For bathing, I add vitamin C to my hot tub water and have devised an outdoor shower using that. Dining out, I ask for lemon to squeeze into my glass of water, and I avoid soup, rice, pasta and steamed or boiled vegetables, which absorb the chloramine of the cooking water. At home, I cook with and drink only water that has no chloramine.

All this involves some effort, but it is far less trouble than having asthma, eczema and gastrointestinal problems.

It is hard to believe that public tap water is toxic in the U.S. We hear from Cal Water of Los Altos and San Francisco’s Hetch Hetchy water sellers to Los Altos Hills that our tap water is fine for people. But there have been no scientific studies proving that chloramine is safe to add to public water.

For more information, call the president of Citizens Concerned About Chloramine, Denise Johnson-Kula, at (408) 227-5767; email me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. ; or visit chloramine.org.

Marjorie Rauch

Los Altos

A call for a carbon tax

Last Friday, the United Nations’ Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released its Fifth Assessment Report, further solidifying the science of climate change and calling for action.

“The scientific evidence for anthropogenic climate change has strengthened year by year, leaving fewer uncertainties about the serious consequences of inaction,” according to the report.

While it may seem like a global or national issue beyond the scope of Los Altos, consider that the Los Altos City Council is actively working to complete the city’s Climate Action Plan. The council and most residents understand the global impacts of our local decisions.

Most people recognize the seriousness of the problem and do what they can in their own lives but worry that there is no good way to tackle the global issue.

Fortunately, there is a simple suggestion being proposed that really could help: a carbon tax. If we add a fee at the point where carbon-based fuels come out of the ground (or enter the country) that reflects the true cost of burning those fuels (environmental damage, health effects, etc.), then everyone downstream will make choices that move us toward a sustainable energy economy and prevent the full ravages of climate change. The time to enact this is now.

Karl Danz

Los Altos

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