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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LASD revises working agreement for bond measure

While no future facilities discussions between Bullis Charter School and Los Altos School District are currently scheduled, the district moved forward last week by revising a draft agreement to generate mutual support for a potential bond measure.

Following the Sept. 23 Los Altos School District board meeting, trustees revised the draft agreement designed to address short- and long-term charter school facilities issues in an effort to work mutually toward a successful district bond measure.

“This proposal incorporates all of the short-term requests that Bullis Charter School made that feasibly could be adopted, while also addressing community concerns in a way that respects the Bullis Charter School program while building community support for a bond,” wrote Doug Smith, district board president, in a letter sent to the charter school Saturday.

The draft agreement addresses:

• Enrollment and admissions practices. It was clear during previous facilities discussions that charter school officials did not want to alter their enrollment and admissions processes to gain support for a bond. The district changed the language defining the issue, calling for the charter school to “seek and achieve” an enrollment representative of the district’s student population.

The agreement also includes language removing the charter school’s current enrollment preference for the previous Bullis Purissima Elementary School boundaries (predominantly Los Altos Hills). Smith stated in his letter that he was unsure whether charter school officials would support the amendment.

• Bullis Charter School support for a bond. Los Altos School District parent Laura Orella, who attended the charter school’s Sept. 23 meeting, said she was shocked to hear charter school board member Janet Medlin’s statements objecting to a bond for the school district.

“I do not trust that the Los Altos School District would use the bond monies in a fair and prudent way given their long-term and recent behavior,” Medlin wrote in an email to the Town Crier.

• An end to all current litigation on both sides.

• Charter school financial support for a new site (estimated at $5 million to $7 million).

• Site certainty. The agreement includes language that calls for housing the charter school on a new site for no less than 15 years – “waiv(ing) any and all claims to obtain further facilities from the district under Proposition 39.”

• Extension of the split-site in the interim. The district’s letter explained that the annual facilities request-and-offer process generates conflict that is “poisonous to the bond effort.” The draft includes language that the charter school would agree to the same facilities for the 2014-2015 and 2015-2016 school years as it has for 2013-2014, providing “sufficient time to pass a bond.”

• Solutions to short-term problems with the Facilities Use Agreement. The draft agreement addresses the charter school’s difficulties with grade-level restrictions, enrollment caps and play equipment connected with this year’s facilities offer.

Future meetings

The district’s letter proposes that the parties meet soon to work through the draft to reach closure on an agreement.

Smith said district Trustee Mark Goines has attempted to contact charter school officials to schedule a final short-term facilities discussion but has yet to receive a response.

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