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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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Foothill-De Anza district selected to lead Brown's statewide Online Education Initiative

The Board of Governors of the California Community Colleges recently awarded the partnership of the Foothill-De Anza and Butte-Glenn community college districts a $16.9 million competitive grant to launch Gov. Jerry Brown’s Online Education Initiative in California.

Building on the existing California Virtual Campus, the launch team will develop a one-stop statewide online education portal where California community college students can apply, register and take online courses from participating colleges.

The initiative’s goal is to increase the number of California students who earn associate degrees and transfer to four-year universities by dramatically boosting the number of online classes available and providing online students with support services to help them succeed.

Rather than requiring each college independently to define separate courses and degree programs, the Online Education Initiative will provide funding, support and best practices for all California community colleges to offer courses and programs via a statewide portal and common course management system, backed with an array of student support services.

An Online Education Initiative Advisory Committee representing all community college constituency groups will provide oversight for developing the initiative, with the faculty playing a primary leadership role.

“This is a cutting-edge vision for California,’” said Foothill-De Anza Chancellor Linda M. Thor. “I believe it will transform online learning for millions of community college students.”

Participation in the consortium of colleges delivering courses through the statewide portal will be voluntary, according to the launch team’s executive dean, Joseph Moreau, Foothill-De Anza’s vice chancellor of technology.

“California community colleges have always led the state in online education,” Moreau said. “By bringing together the talent and expertise within our own system and building on the technological innovation in Silicon Valley, we believe we can create an online education environment that will exceed anything any of us could accomplish alone.”

Moreau added that a statewide system has the potential to decrease operational costs by reducing overlap and taking advantage of economies of scale.

Scheduled to begin the project next week, the grant partners have recruited a launch team of community college veterans and will assemble a permanent staff. Moreau is slated to meet with technology companies to inform them about the project and exchange thoughts and ideas for implementation. In addition, Foothill-De Anza has been examining issues related to student retention and success online with the Stanford Graduate School of Education and intends to expand that partnership as part of the initiative.

Demand for online courses is on the rise. In 2011-2012, 27 percent of California community college students were enrolled in distance education courses – a 14.5 percent increase over the previous six years. That same year, more than 50 percent of California community colleges offered at least one degree or certificate through distance education.

Foothill-De Anza has been an early leader in distance education and was the first community college district in California to offer courses online. It has expanded its catalog of online courses to meet student demand and currently offers 20 fully online degrees. Additionally, the district is experienced in online course development and open source learning management systems. The Online Education Initiative grant is the largest in Foothill-De Anza’s history.

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