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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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Grow your own "Eat me first" winter greens


Tanya Kucak/SPecial to the Town Crier
Viola flowers, above, are an ornamental and tasty addition to cool-season salads.

Winter greens are some of the most nutritious foods you can eat, and they are best fresh from the garden.

Jo Robinson, author of “Eating on the Wild Side: The Missing Link to Optimum Health” (Little, Brown, 2013), said in an NPR interview that certain vegetables are “heavy breathers,” meaning that they use up their sugars and antioxidants quickly after being picked, so you should eat them within a day or two.

Robinson’s “Eat me first” list includes artichokes, arugula, asparagus, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, kale, lettuce, parsley, mushrooms and spinach. Other vegetables, such as roots, can be stored much longer without declining in nutritional value, she added.

Leafy greens and brassicas are good cool-season crops.

Parsley deserves to be eaten in salads for its own bright flavor, rather than being demoted to a garnish. In my gardens, it reseeds itself and comes back year after year. Rather than pulling it out when it flowers, I keep at least one plant to attract beneficial insects and to produce seed.

Arugula is another easy reseeder. As a member of the cabbage family, it has a more assertive flavor than most salad greens. I grew to like it when seeds blew into my garden from a neighboring plot this spring. For several weeks, I grazed on arugula and brought some home to eat in salads with whatever I’d picked from the garden, such as Mache, Redventure celery, beet tops, parsley, sunchokes, miner’s lettuce, viola flowers or kale. I often topped my spring salads with chunks of cooked butternut squash, marinated tofu or a ginger sauce.

I’ve given up on broccoli a few times because it’s an aphid magnet. But I have found one variety, Purple Peacock Broccoli, that seems less attractive to aphids, produces side shoots for months and has a lovely, sweet flavor. It’s a broccoli-kale cross, so its magenta-accented leaves are delicious as well.

Kales are my winter staple. Red Russian Kale and Dinosaur Kale (also known as Tuscan, Lacinato or Black Kale) are both choice varieties and easy from seed. All kales get sweeter after they’ve been touched by frost, so they’re an especially good winter crop. If you sow them directly, you can eat the thinnings as baby greens.

I like kales so much, in fact, that I rarely grow lettuce or spinach. The most versatile varieties are loose-leaf types, rather than head lettuces. You can pick exactly what you need, cutting the outer leaves first, and the plant will continue to grow. Choose red-tinged varieties to bump up the antioxidants.

Tanya Kucak gardens organically. Email her at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

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