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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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City Council Briefs

The Los Altos City Council took the following actions at its Sept. 24 meeting:

Historical house conversion approved

The council approved by a 4-1 vote a permit application allowing the conversion of a single-family Milverton Road home listed on the city’s Historic Resources Inventory into an accessory structure. Mayor Jarrett Fishpaw cast the dissenting vote.

The Costello family, owners of the property, plan to convert the nearly 100-year-old home into an accessory unit by removing the kitchen. The conversion would allow the construction of a new home on the property. The Los Altos Historical Commission designated the home, built circa 1916, as a Historic Resource in 2011.

In the late 1890s, members of the Costello family purchased several plots of land at what later became Costello and Covington roads, according to the city staff report. Some members of the family played a role in establishing and operating the San Francisco department store O’Connor, Moffatt & Co. – now known as Macy’s.

The historical home in question currently sits on a family-owned plot of more than 2 acres – designated as Lot 12 – bordering Adobe Creek. The land is part of the larger Morningside Planned Unit Development, created in 1985 with the addition of 10 townhome-style condominium units, the staff report stated. As part of its approval of the development at that time, the city restricted the Lot 12 site to only one single-family dwelling on the property.

The council voted in favor of the Costello family’s request despite objections from some Morningside residents about potential privacy concerns related to a new home development on the site.

Councilwoman Val Carpenter supported the historical home’s conversion because the alternative could mean demolishing it.

“The owners absolutely have a right to have one home on this private property of over 2 acres,” said Carpenter, who noted before the council’s vote that just 1 percent of the city’s buildings were listed on its Historic Resources Inventory.

“To me, it’s important to preserve these reminders of our past,” she added.

Directional signs OK’d

The council unanimously approved the installation of directional signs that would point highway motorists toward downtown Los Altos.

At a cost of $5,000, the signs will be installed at the northbound and southbound approaches to the El Monte Avenue/Road exit on Interstate 280. The council approved the installation after a city staff report indicated that it “is a common practice for cities to have highway signage indicating which exit leads to their downtown.”

The report noted that though there are existing signs along 280 marking exits for the city of Los Altos and Foothill College, there are none on the highway or the exit ramp specifically directing drivers toward the downtown area.

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