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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Lording over the competition: Los Altos K9 cop places first in police dog trials


Courtesy of Julie Ognoskie
Los Altos Police Officer Julie Ognoskie puts K9 cop Lord through his paces at a recent competition. Lord won first place at the event.

The lone four-legged member of the Los Altos Police Department recently added some hardware to his trophy case.

That’s because Lord, the department’s 6-year-old police dog, placed first among 23 competing canines at the annual K9 Witmer-Tyson Trials. The competition, held Oct. 16 and 17 in La Honda, pitted the all-black German shepherd against police canines from neighboring agencies, including Palo Alto and Sunnyvale.

Los Altos Police Officer Julie Ognoskie, Lord’s handler, said the first-place award is a point of pride for her, also. The competition not only judges the precision of the dogs as they’re put through the paces, but their handlers as well.

“When they announced my name (for first place), I was actually really shocked,” she said, noting that several other teams at the event also had strong performances.

Lord has competed in the trials for four years, said Ognoskie, who became Lord’s handler in 2009, one year after she joined the department. Prior to his first-place finish this year, Lord had placed as high as second in the competition, which tests dogs in a variety of scenarios they might encounter on patrol.

The dogs and their handlers are tested in obedience and obstacles, in addition to search and protection. The protection competition, Ognoskie noted, can be particularly challenging because it demands that handlers control dogs in what she called a simulated “high-drive” environment – chasing after and catching suspects.

“He knows when he sees the guy wearing a full K9 Bite Suit, ‘Oh, I’m going to get to play with that,’” Ognoskie said with a chuckle, noting that Lord took just 23 seconds to sniff out his target in a simulated search drill as well.

Ognoskie added that confidence and trust are two key components in handling Lord while on patrol. That trust extends to other environments as well, including those with children. Her K9 companion is popular with children when visiting local schools to promote safety initiatives.

“He’s very good around kids, and we need that here in Los Altos,” she said.

Her partnership with Lord extends beyond the duties within the Los Altos Police Department. Being a handler is a lifetime commitment that includes taking Lord home and caring for him when off-duty. Once he retires, Ognoskie said she’d purchase Lord from the department and keep him as her own.

“He’s my partner, he’s my pal and he’s my kid,” she said. “It’s definitely a position in the department where you always take your work home with you – but with him, I really don’t mind.”

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