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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Letters to the Editor

Resident bemoans negative impacts of BCS

I am writing to express my great concerns about Bullis Charter School.

Bullis Charter School has tripled in size and can no longer accommodate what it initially intended. Now there are far too many students crowded into a tiny campus that is not built for that population. Because of this, there are very negative impacts on our small, cozy neighborhood, including:

• Massive gridlock traffic on West Portola Avenue, which affects regular nonschool commuters on San Antonio Road. It takes me at least 10 minutes to exit my driveway on West Portola, and I am always fearful that I will hit the numerous students and people milling around. In the afternoon, I am stuck in bumper-to-bumper traffic trying to get home.

• Great safety concerns for all children and adults walking or biking to school because of the heavy traffic on the roads.

• Cars taking shortcuts at great speeds through our neighborhood and posing danger to children and adults walking to school.

• Cars blocking the fire hydrants and our driveways, as well as creating problems for garbage collectors.

• Excessive car noise and pollution, thus depreciating our neighborhood value and every resident’s quality of life.

Los Altos School District Board of Trustees: Please help Bullis Charter School find its own permanent site that is not one of the existing district schools and that is in an area with an infrastructure that can deal with the insane amount of traffic generated by this commuter school.

Monique Yao

Los Altos

LASD needs to stop the circus

I am another Town Crier reader with no affiliation to either the Los Altos School District or Bullis Charter School. Several years ago, I asked the Town Crier to develop a timeline so that we could make some sense out of this ongoing saga.

The recent letter from Rajiv Bhateja of Los Altos Hills pointed out how “time and again the district has fallen on its face in court” (“Resident supports bond because of charter school,” Oct. 2). Yet the response letter from Rebecca Hayman of Los Altos states, “The charter school expects the district to bend to its demands and continues to weaken the already scarce financial educational resources by engaging in lawsuit after lawsuit” (“Letter favoring BCS deemed ‘offensive,’” Oct. 9).

Perhaps a review of the timeline is needed.

The reason the charter school was even proposed was that the district closed Bullis-Purissima School Feb. 10, 2003, and the kids of Los Altos Hills had to commute to other schools.

The parents proposed a charter school to fill their family needs at the closed school – that is why it is called Bullis Charter School. The timeline shows that the district rejected the proposal May 14, 2003.

Sept. 10, 2003, the Santa Clara County Board of Education approved the charter for Bullis Charter School, and the district has been fighting it ever since.

Bullis Charter School has to go to court to defend itself and to receive the equal facilities that a school district is required to provide under Proposition 39, passed Nov. 7, 2000.

I agree with Bhateja that this “circus has to stop.” It certainly is not a battle of what is best for the kids. It’s simply a battle of who wants to be the boss.

Bullis Charter School continues to make great progress. It is time that the district stop the circus. The district is beginning to look like the clown.

Bob Moore

Los Altos

Los Altos council backs intrusion on residents

Note: Following is an open letter to the Los Altos City Council.

A little background reading you may be interested in regarding your recent decision to subject innocent citizens of Los Altos to surreptitious surveillance.

The police department will use hidden cameras, day and night, taking photos at the rate of tens of thousands a day and sharing them (read: placed on an electronic network) with a so-called fusion center – an invention of the federal government, the Department of Homeland Security and the National Security Agency, which are paying Los Altos to implement this intrusion on innocent citizens.

You will also find information indicating how bloody naive the council was when it said it would monitor and demand limits on the data.

You have no prayer of limiting either distribution or storage longevity of the massive amount of data to be gathered. You can’t even control the collection of data on innocent private citizens. Neither can the police department do any of these things.

Do any of you read and contemplate current events beyond those concerning the “village”?

I’d welcome comments if anyone thinks this missive is inaccurate.

Bob Perdriau

Los Altos

Students can’t be forced to eat in cafeteria

After the flurry of controversy my letter to the Town Crier sparked last month, I was pleased to see that your editorial that agrees with me (“Food-truck restrictions not necessary,” Oct. 9). Notwithstanding the reaction from several other readers to my position on the subject a couple of weeks ago, my conclusion remains the same as yours.

The students are well aware of their choices in diet and the nutritional effect on their health. It’s their prerogative to eat the food they want, regardless of the National School Lunch Program. Moving or banning the food trucks won’t force the students to eat in the cafeteria.

And as I suggested in my previous letter, the only rationale your editorial saw for the food-truck ordinance, which impacts residential neighbors with noise, traffic and trash, is easily solved. Embracing the food-truck service by bringing it on campus and providing some picnic tables and trash cans would result in a safe, clean environment, with a variety of lunch choices. The school can extend invitations to gourmet food trucks that serve the most healthful foods. And it will make the students happy. What’s wrong with that?

Ron Knapp

Los Altos

Food vendors serve as ‘attractive nuisance’

I am responding to your Oct. 9 editorial, “Food-truck restrictions not necessary.”

The Mountain View Los Altos Union High School District Board of Trustees is engaged in fighting childhood obesity in our community by requesting that the Los Altos City Council adopt an ordinance that prohibits mobile food vendors from parking in our residential neighborhoods. Neighbors nearest Los Altos High School strongly support such an action, as these mobile vendors serve as an attractive nuisance.

The Mountain View City Council has enacted an ordinance that accomplishes what the Los Altos City Council is being requested to do. This proposal would also restrict mobile food vendors from operating in front of our elementary and junior high school campuses.

Currently, our students are eating food from these vendors that may not be served on our campus because it is unhealthful – high in sugar, fat and salt, all contributors to childhood obesity.

For those students desiring to leave campus for lunch, our downtown is within walking distance and there are many eateries that provide nourishing and nutritious foods. Our students would be supporting our downtown merchants!

We want to keep mobile vendors away from our schools and out of our neighborhoods.

Barry Groves, Ed.D. Superintendent,

Mountain View Los Altos Union High School District

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