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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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Bold strokes on State Street draw colorful reaction


As passersby crossed the intersection at State and Fourth streets in downtown Los Altos last week, they found it difficult to overlook a new addition – “Cross Hatch,” the vibrant street painting by artist Jessica Stockholder that metaphorically pops off the pavement.

Some pedestrians stood pensively along the edge of the enlarged canvas on first encounter, trying to determine whether they should step on the colorful compilation of lines and shapes. Others jogged or drove by without missing a beat.

“I haven’t seen anything like this,” said Jim Wilson of the unique artwork he stumbled on during his visit to Los Altos from Fairfax, Va.

Wilson noted that the creation was different from anything he had encountered during years of international travel. His friend, Pam Yavorsky, chimed in that the artwork “gives a little town a lot of character.”

Los Altos resident Cyrus Heidari echoed Wilson’s and Yavorsky’s sentiments, adding that the aesthetics were pleasing and that the artwork “is not too expensive if it lasts.”

Stockholder’s project is the first of six installations for “Project Los Altos,” a collaboration between the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art and the city of Los Altos. The intersection transformed from asphalt to art in under 48 hours.

Although appearing random in both its emergence and physical location, Los Altos City Clerk Jon Maginot explained that the installation is quite intentional.

“SFMOMA and the artist proposed the installation and worked with city staff, including Public Works, to come up with something that would be safe as well as clearly marked for drivers and pedestrians,” he said. “The intersection was also chosen because of the relatively low amount of traffic that this location gets compared to other downtown intersections.”

In Stockholder’s “Cross Hatch,” sharp, abstract shapes extend onto the sidewalk and into the parking plaza driveway and Community Plaza, where royal-blue paint conceals swaths of grass.

The artwork bleeds across boundaries so much that some cars have veered across the sidewalk, leaving evidence via curbside tire marks. Maginot said the city is addressing safety concerns by working with the artist to incorporate additional visual cues to delineate the driveway. In the interim, orange safety cones dot the entry to the parking plaza.

Although safety hazards may not be part of Stockholder’s artistic vision, she uses the technique of extending her canvas in unexpected ways in many of her site-specific creations.

According to SFMOMA officials, how people and other elements interact with the artwork is part of Stockholder’s vision. Bleachers on the perimeter of the artwork reinforce the notion that the elements of intersection – people, cars, layers of leaves and even weathering – are an intentional addition to the two-dimensional base paint, providing an opportunity for observation and engagement.

With additional “Project Los Altos” installations scheduled November through March, residents can expect to see more modern-art surprises downtown.

For more information on “Project Los Altos,” visit sfmoma.org/exhib_events/exhibitions/572. For a full guide to "Project Los Altos: SFMOMA in the Silicon Valley," click here.


SFMOMA Project Los Altos - Photos by Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier

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