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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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Climate Action Plan goes forward: Council directs staff to begin environmental review process


Town Crier File Photo
The Los Altos City Council plans to implement a Climate Action Plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The council previously approved installation of electric-vehicle charging stations, above.

A policy document that will serve as a guideline in making Los Altos more environmentally friendly recently entered a new phase.

The Los Altos City Council voted unanimously in favor of preparing a final draft of the city’s Climate Action Plan Sept. 24. In doing so, the council directed city staff to initiate an environmental review process, as required by the California Environmental Quality Act.

The council also approved $11,865 in additional funds to complete work on the plan, which outlines various measures the city can take to achieve a minimum greenhouse gas reduction target of 17 percent below the city’s 2005 level of 182,830 metric tons of carbon-dioxide equivalent.

The city’s Climate Action Plan complies with State Assembly Bill 32, known as the Global Warming Solutions Act. The bill, passed in 2006, established a statewide goal of decreasing greenhouse gas emissions to 1990 emission levels by 2020.

Prior to the vote, Los Altos resident Margaret Suozzo – representing local environmental group GreenTown Los Altos – told the council that the Climate Action Plan was “not perfect, but it’s an excellent start” and urged advancement of the proposal.

“We look forward to working with the city to implement the plan and reduce the carbon footprint of our community,” she said.

Gary Hedden – who serves as an Environmental Commissioner to the city but spoke on his own behalf – said the council should give measures outlined in the report the “highest possible priority” if the city aims to meet its reduction target by 2020.

Council reactions

Despite the unanimous vote to move forward, Councilwoman Megan Satterlee questioned whether the city had the manpower, time and resources available to meet the plan’s reduction goals. Specifically, Satterlee said that while she didn’t relish playing the spoiler role, she simply couldn’t foresee measures in the plan “happening by 2020.”

“I really sort of feel like we have to be a little more honest with ourselves,” Satterlee noted before voting in favor of the plan’s continued development. “We currently have a number of frozen positions on (city) staff, we have a backlog of CIP (Capital Improvement Program) projects (and) we have a backlog of council-requested items to come before us. You add this entire work plan on top of all that existing work and it ain’t all getting done.”

However, Mayor Jarrett Fishpaw noted that he’d like “to see us move forward,” while conceding that he also considered the backlog of work ahead for the city.

Councilwoman Jeannie Bruins praised the efforts of city staffers and consultants in their work while calling the plan a “roadmap” for the city to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions over the next several years.

“When I look at this, this really lends itself to this plan-do-check-act approach to things,” she said. “You plan something, you do it, you check it … and then we take it and act accordingly. I think it is structured to allow us to do that very successfully.”

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