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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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Festival of Lights parade set to float into Los Altos Sunday


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
The annual Festival of Lights Parade features the new “Penguin Palooza” float.

This year’s Los Altos Festival of Lights Parade will offer a new entry among its lineup. Prepare for “Penguin Palooza” during the 37th annual event, scheduled 6 p.m. Sunday in downtown Los Altos.

“Penguin Palooza,” two years in the making, features penguins in colorful winter clothing enjoying a party with ice skating, fishing and roasting marshmallows. The new float was created on the bed of “It’s a Small World,” one of the parade’s oldest floats.

“Marie Backs and I have wanted to do skating penguins for a long time,” said Nancy Schneider of her co-worker at the all-volunteer Festival of Lights Parade Association. “I saw ‘Happy Feet’ and thought it had such appeal to all ages. Also, we both thought it was unique, totally different from anything else we had since it featured animals.”

According to Schneider, preparing the new float took much time and effort.

“We had San Jose Repertory Theatre update the base of the float early this year, fix the mechanics, and then had a group from the Stanford University Department of Theater and Performance Studies finish it up,” she said. “It wasn’t easy. There wasn’t anywhere to put the float to work on and finish it up. Erik Sunderman, an assistant technical director at Stanford, actually had to bring the float to his house and work on it there.”

Nonetheless, the project proved a labor of love.

“We had such fun thinking of the colors and the types of costumes to put on the penguins,” Schneider said.

Parade volunteers also redesigned the Mother Goose float.

“She is now sitting with bright-orange feet and a fancy bonnet reading her nursery rhymes, accompanied by her storybook characters,” Schneider said.

The revamped float is courtesy of Jacob Kidd, who worked on Mother Goose for his Boy Scout Troop 37 Eagle Scout project.

The parade’s 60 entries, including high school bands and choruses, costumed characters and 24 illuminated floats, all lead up to the grand finale – an appearance by Santa and his reindeer.

Parade organizers urge attendees to refrain from staking out a viewing spot until noon the day of the parade.

“Please do not use tape and chalk – it makes cleanup very difficult,” Schneider said. “Mark your place with blankets or tarps.”

The Festival of Lights Parade Association produces the parade, which costs nearly $20,000 annually.

“We would appreciate your donations, which allow us to update our floats and costumes,” Schneider said.

For more information, including parade routes and guidelines, visit losaltosparade.com. If there is a rain delay, information will be posted on the parade website after 3 p.m. Sunday. If the parade is rained out, it will be rescheduled Dec. 8.

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