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

Hoping it will all wash away

When the distracting colors appeared at the intersection of Fourth and State streets, I was dazzled by the bright colors which made my progress crossing Fourth and State streets hazardous because I could no longer clearly see curbs and a safe way to go.

I guess walking downtown may become even more difficult when the remaining five installations for “Project Los Altos” are complete. Painting over grass with royal-blue paint is disgusting. I just hope it will all wash away when the rains come.

Ruth Buneman

Los Altos

Stop signs needed, not paint

I may be one of the few people that doesn’t get all warm and fuzzy about the “Project Los Altos” painted intersection at State and Fourth. I want the Town Crier to give us the full inside detail as to who OK’d this project and where the money is coming from.

I would rather see my tax dollars spent on installing two stop signs at Main and Second streets, making it a four-way stop intersection.

This will create a safer pedestrian crossing as well as a better car crossing.

Bob Jones

Los Altos

What does school choice mean to you?

What does “School Choice” mean to you? When I first heard this term, I thought, “That sounds good, I like ‘Choice.’” But what does it really mean?

One thing that we know it means is “Cost.” We can’t have “Choice” without incurring some “Cost.” Anyone who argues otherwise is just trying to mislead us – or sell us on their choice. So, if “School Choice” costs more, is it still a good thing?

If all of our children were receiving a good education and our government had enough money to furnish educational choice, that would be wonderful. But, guess what? All of our children are not receiving a good education. Some of our children are receiving an excellent education – i.e., everyone in Los Altos public schools and some of our children are receiving a poor education (some areas of San Jose, Oakland and many other districts throughout the country).

So, the question really is: Where are our government dollars best spent? Offering choice to the wealthiest students or helping the students who don’t have a good public option?

This is the world that I envisioned when I watched movies like “Waiting for Superman.” I left the theater thinking, “What can I do to help these kids?”

Little did I know, this movie was funded by a “movement” looking to “reform schools” by offering rich kids more options. If you question this, take a look at the funding behind Proposition 39, the “Charter School Law.”

So, when I thought I was helping kids in need by voting for charter schools, was I right? Or was I accidentally supporting some type of political movement?

Tom Fenstermacher

Los Altos

Appreciates animal control services provided

One morning in August, I went out my front door to pick up my paper and was exposed to a gruesome scene: A dead animal, torn in half, in the middle of my front yard.

I returned to the house, called Los Altos police for advice, and they said they would call Palo Alto Animal Services.

Shortly after, an animal services truck pulled up in front of my house. The officer, William Warrior, picked up the entire carcass before talking to me. He showed me such kindness and compassion because I was obviously distressed. Sadly, it turned out to be my neighbor’s cat. Mr. Warrior talked to him also.

I have lived in Los Altos for 57 years and this is the first time I have encountered something like this.

Hats off to the public service officers who do their jobs so well in serving their communities. I will gladly donate to their fundraising event on Nov. 16 (see more information on page 12).

Pat Christofferson

Los Altos

Local women’s caucus announces formation

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

We would like to introduce ourselves. We are a newly formed organization, the Los Altos Women’s Caucus, composed of active and engaged Los Altos women.

Our purpose is to network with other Los Altos women throughout the city; to inform ourselves on current local events and issues; to foster constructive civic engagement with our various governing bodies; and to interact effectively on community issues.

We have been following your recent discussions about civic engagement in city affairs.

We have a strong interest in developing additional interaction between the community and city officials.

We encourage you to continue the dialogue about how to increase citizen participation in civic affairs. You could start such an effort by sponsoring:

• A workshop that includes citizens and businesspersons participating in a conversation with the council on civic engagement.

We would like to share our research on civic engagement that is utilized in other jurisdictions, including our neighboring cities. A few examples of approaches being employed by our neighbors are:

• Publishing a quarterly newsletter to the community.

• Annual or biennial citizen and business satisfaction surveys.

• Neighborhood-based community meetings/workshops on issues of localized importance.

We also support efforts to create a culture that welcomes citizen input. For example, the council could:

• Structure council meetings so there is more time for members of the public to comment on high- interest agenda items.

• Place items in which there is a lot of interest early on the agenda, ahead of the consent calendar and after public comments.

• Resume the practice of work/study sessions on issues that require deeper thought and dialogue before action is contemplated.

• Meet in various locations around the city to encourage more involvement on the part of the community.

We look forward to working together with you in the future.

The Los Altos Women’s Caucus: Brenda Taussig, Marge Bruno, Marie Young, Mary Prochnow, Emy Thurber, Vicki Reeder, Jane Reed, Andrea Eaton, Amy Pearl, Anabel Pelham, Robin Abrams, Maddy McBirney, and Penny Lave

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