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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LAH Council Briefs

The Los Altos Hills City Council took the following actions at its Oct. 17 meeting. The next council meeting is scheduled 6 p.m. Tuesday at town hall, 26379 W. Fremont Road.

Trust lowers cost of sewer connections

When the Malavalli Revocable Trust signed onto a sewer reimbursement agreement with the town in June 2011 – fronting the costs for the estimated $2 million, mile-long Natoma Road Sanitary Sewer Main Extension – the trust’s representatives drafted a plan for 25 future users to share in the cost of the project. Several years later and with no other users signed on for a sewer connection, the trust’s representatives approached the council with a proposal to entice more users to sign up for sewer connections.

According to an amendment presented to the council, offering a month-long “discount incentive” would reduce each future user’s share of project expenses or usage fee from $85,000 to $35,000, plus administrative fees and a percentage of the construction cost index. With no cost to the town, councilmembers approved the request, recommending that the trust extend the discount window from 30 days to 90 to allow potential users more time to assess the full cost of a sewer connection.

The council directed staff to create a template to advise future sewer-connection applicants who may not be aware of all the steps and fees involved in the process.

Council approves variance, sticks homeowners with bill

After much back-and-forth, the council voted unanimously to approve a variance allowing an illegally constructed 10-foot-by-12-foot utility shed to remain on a residential property.

According to a staff report, when the homeowners built their 3,200-square-foot house in 2003, they were required to dedicate an additional 30 feet of right-of-way along Moody Road as well as 0.52 acres of their property for conservation easement. During a staff inspection of the property in January following heavy December rains, staff discovered the shed and reported it to the town.

Noting the half-acre for conservation, the council approved the variance and decided that the property owners should pay the $7,800 variance fee, bucking the Los Altos Hills Planning Commission’s 4-1 vote in favor of waiving the fee. Councilmembers expressed reservations about absolving the property owners from paying the fee, as it would condone violating the town’s planning and building codes.

Public invited to weigh in on Page Mill project

When Caltrans signaled its intention to install traffic lights at the north- and southbound off-ramps at Page Mill Road and Interstate 280 to improve safety for motorists, Los Altos Hills recommended additional safeguards for non-vehicular traffic.

In collaboration with the city of Palo Alto and Santa Clara County, Los Altos Hills staff drafted two preliminary design proposals – a long-term “ultimate” plan and an interim “concept” plan. With the goal to make the intersection safe and functional for all users, including motorists, pedestrians, bicyclists and equestrians, the plans propose design modifications, additional striping and a bike lane, among other elements.

The town plans to present the recommendations to Caltrans after soliciting feedback from the community. Local residents can review the designs and add input at a meeting scheduled 6 p.m. Nov. 12 at town hall.

To view the concept plans and submit comments to the town online, visit losaltoshills.ca.gov/announcements/491-signals-i-280.

Arastradero Trail opens Nov. 1

Los Altos Hills trail users will be connected to their neighbors in Palo Alto after the $1.19 million Arastradero Trail Improvement Project opens next month.

Funded by Stanford University, the project includes the rehabilitation of existing town pathways and the construction of a new one to link the intersection of Purissima and Arastradero roads in Los Altos Hills to the Pearson-Arastradero Preserve in Palo Alto.

A dedication ceremony and ribbon cutting are scheduled 9 a.m. Nov. 1 at the footbridge near the Park and Ride lot at Arastradero and Page Mill roads.

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