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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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Bullis board discusses future growth

With Friday’s deadline for a facilities request looming, the Bullis Charter School Board of Directors last week began examining options for potential growth for the 2014-2015 school year.

Over the past few years, the Bullis board has explored ways to grow the school to five sections of K-3 grade classes and four sections of 4-8 grade classes. Bullis added a fourth section of K-3 classes last year and is moving toward offering three sections of 4-8 grade classes.

Board member Francis La Poll reminded others on the board that the charter school’s plan was to add an additional kindergarten and first grade in the 2014-2015 school year, giving the school five sections of lower-grade classes.

But board member Janet Medlin said she has received feedback from parents opposed to expanding next year.

“There are families that are encouraging us not to add another strand,” Medlin said. “Many families are finding it challenging to do the two campus split and they want us to work out operating on two sites before we grow more.”

La Poll pointed out that those opposing expansion are parents of current students – not those on the wait list.

Medlin noted that the charter school could have filled two more kindergarten classes with interested in-district families.

“I don’t feel our program has diminished in any way because of the growth,” Medlin said. “There are still in-district community taxpayers who want access to our school.”

Board member John Phelps said he has also heard from parents regarding growth, some of them concerned with “cutbacks and a lack of play space” at the charter’s new location on the Blach Intermediate School campus.

“It is important that we really understand our ability to assimilate and hire,” Phelps said.

Board member Peter Evans said lack of space is a problem Bullis has to deal with year after year because the district doesn’t provide “adequate facilities.”

“Having 25 percent less space and being spread across two campuses – that is our reality,” he said. “That is not a result of growth – that is just another thing we have to work through.”

Phelps added that charter school officials have clearly expressed how they would like to see a two-site split work, for instance when they drafted a proposal toward the end of the facilities allocation process last year.

“If there is an opportunity to put this behind us, what is the intention in the district’s ignoring that proposal?” Phelps said.

Board Chairman Ken Moore said there were three options before the board –adding a kindergarten and first-grade class, adding only a kindergarten class or no new growth.

Before making a decision, board members agreed that they must consult their parents for feedback. The board scheduled an additional meeting Monday night, after the Town Crier’s press deadline.

Other business

One of Bullis’ newest board members, Joe Hurd, announced his resignation last week. He is leaving the area for a job in Washington, D.C.

Los Altos School District Board President Doug Smith said the Bullis board has agreed to meet face to face to discuss support for a future bond measure. The meeting is scheduled 7 p.m. today at Los Altos Hills Town Council Chambers. For a report on that meeting, read next week’s Town Crier.

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