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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Joint councils consider community center options

When it comes to finding someone to help the city fund a new community center, Los Altos may have an interested partner in Los Altos Hills.

The topic of exploring a joint funding venture to replace the aging Hillview Community Center facility was broached last week at a joint meeting of the Los Altos and Los Altos Hills city councils. Los Altos Hills councilmembers expressed varying degrees of interest in talking about the possibility, an item placed on the joint-meeting agenda at the behest of Los Altos Councilwoman Val Carpenter.

For now, Los Altos City Manager Marcia Somers and her Los Altos Hills counterpart, Carl Cahill, will be “working together to determine if a committee can be formed in the future,” according to Los Altos Public Information Coordinator Erica Ray.

Los Altos Hills Mayor Gary Waldeck told the Town Crier the possibility of the cities working together “has a lot of merit” but added, “I think it’s going to be very expensive. The question now is, what’s involved?”

Councilmembers from both cities characterized the talks as exploratory in nature.

“This is a lot like a Rubik’s Cube with about 20 points per side instead of only three. Other than that, it’s simple,” Waldeck added with a chuckle.

The Los Altos council seeks to fulfill its 2013 priority to find a way to replace the Hillview structure with a new multipurpose, multigenerational community center.

The city hired a consultant earlier this year to study the city’s options.

A 2012 resident survey revealed inadequate support for a bond measure to fund the first phase of a master plan that called for the replacement of several civic center structures.

Los Altos Hills Councilwoman Courtenay C. Corrigan noted that the potential for the cities to “join forces” on future parks and recreation programming made a two-city partnership “even more compelling to me.”

Los Altos Hills Councilman John Radford, meanwhile, expressed interest in a potential third partner – the Los Altos School District (LASD).

“I’m very interested in a three-way partnership that has maybe a higher ability to pass a bond, but also then uses some of that space for the Los Altos School District … that would make it much more attractive to me,” he said.

However, Radford added, “Residents can only take so much, in terms of bonds,” and pointed to the potential for a LASD bond measure in 2014.

LASD Board of Trustees President Doug Smith told councilmembers his district’s involvement as a third partner could prove beneficial. He noted that the district has a lower threshold – 55 percent – to pass a bond measure, versus the two-thirds vote required by cities.

Other scenarios, he added, include the possibility of having LASD purchase or lease a portion of civic center land to help fund a new community center.

“We would love to participate in that and see if there is a way that we can craft something that works,” Smith said.

Los Altos Councilwoman Megan Satterlee, however, pointed out potential problems with having a shared site, noting conflicts between typical school hours and peak hours of use by community center patrons.

“Right now, our feeling is that there are other solutions to the need for a school site,” she said.

Satterlee later told the Town Crier that each city’s timing to see movement on the project – among other factors – will play a role in any future discussions with Los Altos Hills.

“It sounded to me like the (Los Altos Hills) council was open to discussions,” she said, “and that’s a good place to start.”

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