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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Jennings faces challenges as Owls’ new coach


Short on players and time, Richard T.J. Jennings has a tall task ahead of him coaching the Foothill College women’s basketball team.

When he began his one-year temporary assignment Sept. 27, Jennings had only six players and eight weeks to prepare the Owls for their season opener.

If that wasn’t daunting enough, Jennings has some supersized shoes to fill. He’s taking over for the most successful coach in the program’s history, Jody Craig, who was granted a one-year leave of absence in June and is now an assistant coach at Concordia University in Irvine.

“Replacing someone as successful as Jody is going to be very difficult, especially without the ability to practice as a team over the summer and play in a couple of summer showcases,” said Jennings, head coach of the Porterville College men’s basketball team the past four seasons. “We will implement a new system in a short amount of time that will allow us to focus on the strengths of the players that we have.”

The 31-year-old expects to have more players by the start of the season – his goal is to increase the roster to 10 – and he made progress last week.

“I was able to get some commitments from some girls playing other sports, so I would say we are up to eight,” Jennings said.

Forward Margaret Sun is the lone returnee from a squad that last season went undefeated in the Coast Conference North Division and 25-5 overall but was banned from the playoffs due to an enrollment violation.

With so much turnover, the Owls surely won’t be favored to win the division, though Jennings holds out hope that they can repeat the feat.

“It will not be easy, but I believe it is possible,” the Oakland native said. “Every time we step on the court, the goal is to win each play, each half and each game. If we play team basketball, limit our turnovers and rebound the basketball, we will have a chance to compete for a title.”

Jennings was voted Central Valley Conference Coach of the Year in 2012 after leading Porterville to its first winning season in more than a decade. Prior to coaching the Pirates, Jennings was the lead assistant for the Reedley College women’s basketball team for two seasons. He began his coaching career in 2004 at Fresno Pacific University, where he was the lead assistant for the women’s team.

“I would like to think that I am a players’ coach,” said Jennings, who played basketball at Fresno Pacific and earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees there. “I want the players to be able to learn the game so that they are able to make smart decisions and adjustments when necessary.”

In a press release announcing Jennings’ hiring, Foothill athletic director Susan Gutkind said the coach “has hit the ground running and already impressed us with his immediate contributions to the women’s program. Our team is building its momentum in anticipation of its first game at the Merced Tournament Nov. 21-23. I’m excited that this season our players will experience Jennings’ strong commitment and ability to help them stay motivated in their classes and on the court.”

Although Jennings was hired for only one year, he could remain at Foothill longer than that if Craig chooses not to return; she told the Town Crier in July that she would “never again set foot on the Foothill campus” with Gutkind as athletic director. But Jennings would have to reapply for the full-time job – which includes teaching physical education and kinesiology courses – next year.

“I would like to return as head coach beyond this season and build on the legacy Jody has built here at Foothill College,” said Jennings, who is relocating his family from Hanford. “Foothill College has welcomed me with open arms and I love the area, the people and the support for women’s basketball.”

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