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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News Briefs

Council approves city holiday closures

The Los Altos City Council Oct. 8 unanimously approved a one-week closure of city offices during the holiday season.

The council opted to close city hall and the Hillview Community Center offices Dec. 25 through Jan. 1. Essential city services, such as police, fire and maintenance, will remain open and operational during the one-week hiatus. Building inspection services will also remain available on request. Affected city departments are expected to resume normal hours of operation Jan. 2.

In past years, Los Altos traditionally closed city hall, the city’s Municipal Service Center and the community center early Dec. 24 and 31, with full-day closures Dec. 25 and Jan. 1.

A city staff report on the item outlines several reasons justifying the closure, noting that other nearby cities, including Los Altos Hills, have instituted similar closures because of “the low number of citizens seeking municipal services during this holiday time period.”

The report added that affected Los Altos programs and services – excluding public safety services – received 110 visitors Dec. 24-31 last year, spanning city hall, the community center and the Municipal Service Center. That number, according to the report, equates to an average of seven visitors per site, per day.

Approximately 75 percent of calls to the city last year were related to winter storm problems or emergency situations handled by Maintenance Services, the report added.

The report concluded that the closure will also result in a small savings to the city in reduced utility costs, as well as a reduced liability for accumulated leave time by employees.

PG&E project scheduled in south Los Altos

A three-day PG&E project has been scheduled in November to extend the height of two electric transmission towers in south Los Altos.

Work on the towers – one located at the intersection of Fallen Leaf and Louise lanes, the other at the PG&E easement adjacent to Stevens Creek off Holt Avenue – is slated Nov. 17-19.

According to city and PG&E officials, the work is needed to provide additional clearance between transmission wires and the ground.

Residents and visitors in the area can expect to see crews using cranes to lift and install extensions to the top or mid-section of existing transmission towers. Power lines will be de-energized and rewired as part of the work. Residents should not experience an interruption in service during the project.

Residents with questions or concerns can call Customer Outreach Specialist Pamela Stevens at (408) 282-7530 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

Water district hosts open houses

The Santa Clara Valley Water District is scheduled to host two open houses for residents to provide an overview of and answer questions about its Permanente Creek Flood Protection Project.

The first open house is slated 9 a.m. to noon Saturday in the Covington School multipurpose room, 201 Covington Ave., Los Altos. The second is set for 2-5 p.m. Saturday in the Mariano Castro Elementary School multipurpose room, 505 Escuela Ave., Mountain View.

The project, which aims to provide natural flood protection for more than 1,600 nearby properties, is funded by the Clean, Safe Creeks and Natural Flood Protection parcel tax, passed by county voters in November 2000.

Work on the project stretches more than 10 miles along the creek, starting at San Francisco Bay’s southwest shoreline and winding through Mountain View to Foothill Expressway in Los Altos. Four of five project design features are slated for construction starting next summer, including floodwalls, channel widening, a new diversion structure and a flood-detention basin at Rancho San Antonio Open Space Preserve.

For more information, visit valleywater.org.

– Town Crier Staff Report

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