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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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Reach Potential Movement Parent Project proves successful


courtesy of Reach Potential Movement
Reach Potential Movement sponsors the Bookshelf in Every Home Project, advancing literacy among children.

When the directors of Reach Potential Movement (RPM) learned of The Parent Project – a training program to empower parents raising difficult or out-of-control children – they knew it would be a perfect fit for their Sunnyvale nonprofit agency, which works with low-income families throughout Silicon Valley.

“The court will often refer parents of kids who are in the juvenile justice system to this program because there is so much results-based evidence that it makes an impact,” said Christy Tonge, who co-founded RPM with Rob Schulze five years ago. “It shows some real turnaround in the youth and in the parent-youth relationship.”

But there was a problem – The Parent Project was only taught in English, and the families RPM serves primarily speak Spanish. RPM remedied that by having its bilingual director of leadership development, Aimee Lopez, become a certified instructor.

RPM first offered The Parent Project last spring. The program proved so successful that Lopez is leading it again this fall. The three-hour sessions run Monday nights for eight weeks at the Gateway Neighborhood Center, where RPM is based.

“We tell the parents, ‘Give us 24 hours of your time and we will guarantee a change in your family,’” Lopez said. “It’s not just parenting tools, but an opportunity to give them hope.”

In the first session, the 15 parents enrolled in the current program learned how important it is to show their children they love them and ways to express it. Other sessions include subjects like active supervision (paying attention to such things as who their children are friends with, what they watch on TV and how to monitor Facebook), drug use and gangs.

Lopez said feedback from participants, who receive a certificate upon completing the program, has been extremely positive.

“In the last session, we had parents in tears saying, ‘Thank you, thank you,’” she said. “It’s exciting to hear that they’re seeing changes in their homes already.”

RPM changes homes in a different way through another popular program. The Bookshelf in Every Home Project not only provides a useful piece of furniture for Mountain View and Sunnyvale families with kindergartners, but also includes reading material. Aided by scores of volunteers, RPM built more than 500 bookshelves this year, according to Tonge, and doled out a bevy of books.

For youngsters struggling to grasp the words in those books, RPM offers a Reading Readiness Program aimed at kindergartners and first-graders falling behind in class. Referred by teachers, the students are tutored by RPM volunteers after school four days a week.

“It’s gratifying and rewarding to see these kids make progress when they get individual help,” said Tonge, who added that more tutors are needed to accommodate students on the waiting list.

When these children and their classmates get a little older, they can participate in RPM’s Dream4College program. It involves taking fourth- and fifth-graders and their parents on a field trip to Stanford University.

“Many of them aren’t thinking about college,” said Lopez, referring to the students and their parents, many of whom did not finish high school. “We try to plant that seed in their heads.”

To reinforce that, Dream4College includes a parent education workshop and classroom-based college and career activities.

For more information, visit reachpotential.org.

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