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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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Los Altos High duo collaborates to raise money for EP


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Best friends and Los Altos High students Zach Gospe, from left, and Riley Soward created a Kickstarter campaign to raise money to record Gospe’s EP. Gospe is the musician and Soward is his manager.

United in song since an art lesson in kindergarten at Almond School, Zach Gospe and Riley Soward have a friendship cemented by music.

The two Los Altos High School seniors are collaborating to create Gospe’s first professional EP (extended play, a recording that’s more than a single but not a full album), with Soward acting as his manager.

After meeting with Mark Mazzetti – an executive with Entertainment, Music and Media – Soward and Gospe began raising money to record the EP in Los Angeles with Mazzetti as producer.

The journey

Gospe was raised in a musical family and began playing piano at age 5. At 8, he took up drums and joined his parents’ jazz ensemble at the Community School of Music and Arts. At 12, he picked up a guitar and began writing his own music.

“I really like the freedom the guitar has as a writing tool and as an instrument,” said Gospe, who mentioned John Mayer and Eric Clapton as musical inspirations.

Last summer Gospe attended the GRAMMY Camp in Los Angeles, which pairs pros in the music business with high school students with musical aspirations.

“It was kind of an overwhelming, immersive jump into the music industry,” said Gospe, adding that the camp taught him how to be a songwriter within the music business while still maintaining his creativity as an artist.

Gospe has recorded his music before. Through one of Soward’s social-media connections, the duo borrowed some high-tech equipment and recorded five songs in a cozy Los Altos Hills cabin. The first EP featured only Gospe and his guitar.

Gospe and Soward attended the West Coast Songwriters Conference at Foothill College two months ago. Gospe sat in on songwriting lectures while Soward learned about the business side of the music industry.

After studying the faces of prominent people in the music business attending the conference, Soward spotted Mazzetti and introduced himself. After chatting a bit about Gospe, Soward introduced the two and they handed Mazzetti a copy of their first EP.

“It was unusual, because most people of his status in the music industry won’t call you back,” Soward said. “But he listened to the EP and he liked it, so he called us.”

Mazzetti owns Record Company in a Box, which provides one-on-one, specialized artist development for artists, singers and songwriters seeking commercial success. Mazzetti has worked with top-selling artists such as Mayer, Janet Jackson and Sting.

The EP

The return call from Mazzetti inspired Soward and Gospe to find creative ways to raise money for recording the EP with Mazzetti and professional studio musicians.

“It’s such a big project and it’s my dream,” said Gospe, who connects with Mazzetti twice a week via Skype to work on his song development. “It’s one of those projects that you can keep pouring time into and it just keeps getting better and better.”

Soward has spent several hours on the pair’s Kickstarter campaign, an online platform for creative projects that fundraises via pledges. Their goal is to raise $10,000 for the EP.

The two have been spreading the word at performances during school functions and local house concerts.

“It’s been cool to see him grow as a performer,” Soward said of Gospe. “We’ve scaled up the performances slowly. Seeing him grow as an artist is pretty impressive.”

They see the EP as a way to showcase Gospe’s talent and range as a musician and songwriter. Gospe said he hopes the six radio-quality tracks are a “stepping stone” to greater things.

Mazzetti said he is impressed with Gospe and Soward, praising their “real passion and enthusiasm.” After they make the EP, Mazzetti plans to help Gospe secure a distribution contract from a record company in Los Angeles.

Gospe and Soward are excited about the possibility, but they won’t regret all the hard work if it doesn’t pan out.

“This has the potential to be big, but even if it doesn’t go anywhere, this process has been great for us,” Soward said.

To donate to the Kickstarter campaign and for more information, visit kickstarter.com/projects/2032161415/zach-gospe-17-year-old-singer-songwriter-original.


Musicians on the rise: Zach Gospe and Riley Soward - Photos by Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier

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