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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Food-truck restrictions not necessary: Editorial

The Los Altos City Council, at the behest of the Mountain View Los Altos Union High School District, directed staff to draft an ordinance that prohibits food trucks from operating near Los Altos High School. The rationale, from the district’s point of view, is that the trucks offer junk food, defying the district’s efforts to fight poor student diets and obesity.

We respect the district’s commitment to support healthful eating, but an ordinance that would require a food truck to move 100 feet away from where it currently operates (as is the city of Mountain View’s requirement at Mountain View High) seems like it would have little impact beyond simply wasting council and staff time in drafting the proposal.

As reported in last week’s Town Crier article by Eliza Ridgeway, lunch programs in place at Los Altos High offer relatively inexpensive, nutritious food. Opinions on whether the food is satisfying differ from student to student, but there is considerable effort to provide choices and keep costs down. Government subsidies help make food available to all, regardless of financial means. They’ve even eliminated those specially marked lunch cards that could cause embarrassment for low-income students whose lunches are subsidized. Rich or poor, all students have access to the cafeteria.

Still, we’re a free country – and the high school is an open campus, with students free to leave in search of lunch alternatives. Certainly, time is a factor, but if students want to patronize a food truck, Carl’s Jr. or Spot Pizza, that’s their prerogative. We just don’t see student choices varying much if a food truck were required to move 100 feet down the road. In terms of fairness, targeting the food truck affects only those students who want an off-campus dining option but are poor and don’t own a car.

The only rationale we see for a food-truck ordinance is the impact on residential neighbors. If the noise, traffic and trash from food-truck service become quality-of-life problems for surrounding homeowners, then a restrictive law makes sense. But it only makes sense if the trucks move completely out of the neighborhood, not a mere 100 feet as in Mountain View.

The solution for a healthier student community does not lie in moving a food truck out of the neighborhood. It’s about awareness, knowing that choices have consequences. Students have that knowledge and are more aware than ever. The rest is up to them.

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