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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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LAH Council Briefs

Following are highlights from the Sept. 19 Los Altos Hills City Council meeting.

The next council meeting is scheduled 6 p.m. Oct. 17 at town hall, 26375 W. Fremont Road.

Town awards community service grants

After reviewing applications and statements from local nonprofit organizations, the council awarded $51,500 in Community Service Grants for the 2013-2014 fiscal year.

Although 17 organizations applied for $90,158 in funding, only 14 received grants. The council voted to remove three applicants from the pool of eligible grantees: the YWCA, the Los Altos Rotary AIDS Project and the Community School of Music and Arts. During the previous grant year, the town awarded the YWCA a $1,000 grant and the AIDS Project a $2,800 grant.

Los Altos Hills renewed the grants of Friends of Deer Hollow Farm ($9,000), Hidden Villa ($9,000), the Community Health Awareness Council ($6,400), the Community Services Agency ($6,100), the American Red Cross Silicon Valley Chapter ($4,000), the Peninsula Humane Society & SPCA ($2,300), the Rotary Club of Los Altos Art Show ($2,200), the Los Altos Mediation Program ($2,100), the Day Worker Center of Mountain View ($2,100), Joint Venture Silicon Valley ($1,800), the Los Altos Chamber of Commerce ($1,800), Next Door Solutions ($1,700) and United Way Silicon Valley ($1,600). The only new recipient, the Center for Age-Friendly Cities, received $1,400.

Mayor Gary Waldeck explained the town’s use of taxpayer funds to underwrite the grants.

“We don’t have a downtown, we don’t have a library or a number of facilities we strongly benefit from,” he said. “Some of these grants go toward making these services available to us.”

Council proposes discussion on schools conflict

When Los Altos and Los Altos Hills city councilmembers convene Oct. 23 for a joint meeting at town hall, the elephant in the room – the ongoing conflict between the Los Altos School District and Bullis Charter School – may get cornered. That is, if a conversation on how the councils can ameliorate the situation succeeds.

“It’s about time the two cities most affected take a stand and do something about it,” Los Altos Hills City Councilman John Radford said. “Both councils want to see something happen.”

Although Councilwoman Courtenay C. Corrigan said she was concerned that the meeting might get “hijacked by the public,” she noted that the issue connected to other big-picture questions that councilmembers could discuss.

“Why are so many students commuting across town instead of being able to walk across town?” Corrigan asked, noting that she passes by several schools when transporting her children to school.

Other items on the agenda for the joint council meeting include shared funding for a new community and senior center, the sewer agreement, sidewalk construction on West Edith Avenue between Foothill Expressway and Cypress Drive and a proposal for a crossing guard to help students safely cross Foothill at Edith.

Radford, Corrigan selected mayor, vice mayor for 2014

Members of the previous council saved the town nearly $10,000 by appointing the sole three candidates to the council in the 2012 race instead of requiring an election, but they did not anticipate the challenge the decision would present in determining mayoral succession. In the past, the number of votes an incoming councilmember received determined the order of who would serve next as mayor.

During lengthy debate at the last three meetings, the council considered shortening mayoral terms from one year to allow all five members of the council a term as mayor for a shorter length of time. Following the discussion, the council unanimously voted to maintain the existing system of four one-year terms, even if it caused one councilmember to miss an opportunity to serve as mayor. Under the current process, when Waldeck’s term ends, three other members of the council can each serve a year as mayor.

“I’m willing to compromise,” said Councilman John Harpootlian, who agreed to hedge his bets in favor of the current system even though he may not get to serve as mayor.

As the longest-serving councilmember who has not served as mayor, Radford will take the position in 2014. Councilmembers nominated Corrigan to serve as vice mayor.

– Ellie Van Houtte

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