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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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Holiday book drive benefits children in need

I walked into my office last week and saw a huge box of children’s books donated anonymously for our annual book drive. It was a wonderful surprise, a reminder of how supportive the Los Altos community has been in our efforts to promote local literacy, confidence and creativity.

Books are at once a great escape and an even greater equalizer. When I was younger and had moved across the country with my family, I didn’t know many people. I spent hours reading, poring over biographies, historical fiction and narrative nonfiction. I would stay up half the night finishing a book started on a whim in the middle of the afternoon.

These days, I find my habit of needing to finish what I start to be an occasional handicap. Recently, Jojo Moyes, author of the best-sellers “Me Before You” (Penguin Books, 2013) and “The Last Letter from Your Lover” (Penguin Books, 2012), has been known to unintentionally thwart my afternoon plans after I innocently peruse the first few pages of one of her novels.

With the omnipresence of technological gadgets and interactive devices, we must continue promoting the simple act of reading more than ever. The social, emotional and economic impacts are hard to ignore. Research has uncovered a correlation between the amount of time children read for fun on their own and an increased level of reading achievement. Children who have not developed some basic literacy skills by the time they enter school are three to four times more likely to drop out in later years. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services estimates that more than $2 billion is spent each year on students who repeat a grade because of reading problems.

At my Green Ivy Educational Consulting office, I can quickly tell when students read regularly for fun. Parents often ask me how to improve test scores on standardized tests such as the ISEE, SSAT, HSPT, SAT or ACT (enough acronyms?). Typically, my answer is to encourage students to read more – even math skills are improved with increased reading, especially on tests with word problems. Reading helps with critical thinking, problem solving and creativity, in addition to offering a great way to relax and escape from the stresses of being a preteen or adolescent.

We are collecting books 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Thursdays through Sundays through Dec. 19 at our Los Altos office, 302 Main St., Suite 201, on the second floor above US Bank. There is a drop-off container in our front waiting room.

In the past, we have had entire elementary school classrooms clean out their bookshelves to participate. We are gathering books in new or gently used condition for children and young adults. All books are donated to The Children’s Project, which distributes them to hospitals, homeless shelters and the homes of children in need in the Bay Area.

Help us reach this year’s goal of 500 books.

Ana Homayoun is founder and director of Green Ivy Educational Consulting. For more information, call 472-0617 or visit greenivyed.com.

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