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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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Not on the menu? Councilwoman says no to Hillview, maybe to Rosita regarding school site

The city’s stance on Hillview Community Center as a possible school site hasn’t changed, according to a member of the Los Altos City Council.

Councilwoman Megan Satterlee told Los Altos School District board trustees Tammy Logan and Doug Smith that the city isn’t interested in discussing Hillview as a future school site when other options still remain open to the district.

“We’ve had this conversation multiple times and nothing’s changed,” said Satterlee, who added that she simply doesn’t see a “win-win” for the city and district.

Satterlee later added that she “still thinks there are options out there that don’t impact a community resource,” noting that the “threshold” to start conversations about a school site remains a stated assurance that the district will not exercise eminent-domain rights on city property.

The statements came after Smith and Logan told Satterlee and Mayor Jarrett Fishpaw during a Nov. 19 school district-city subcommittee meeting that the district was still interested in exploring a partnership on the site. Smith also broached the subject of a partnership recently during a joint meeting of the Los Altos and Los Altos Hills councils. Councilmembers from both cities discussed a possible alliance to jointly fund a new community center on the Hillview site.

Shared use of Rosita Park?

Reached by the Town Crier, Smith noted that the district remains interested in a “collaborative dialogue about how the interests of all parties might be served best.”

“I’m disappointed in Councilwoman Satterlee’s position, but it’s definitely not new,” Smith stated in an email to the Town Crier. “She has said that she doesn’t think there is a win-win scenario, but I’m not sure how she can say that since we haven’t explored anything yet.”

Smith noted that the district isn’t interested in giving up its eminent-domain rights because it would likely drop the issue of Hillview if joint discussions with the city go nowhere.

“I don’t think it’s appropriate for any government entity to require a person or agency to waive rights before seeing how they might work together to serve the community,” he added.

Instead, Satterlee said the city is more amenable to discussing a “shared use” of Rosita Park if the district exhausts all other school site options. Specifically, Satterlee told Smith and Logan that the district would need to create a proposal that includes the amount of parkland needed to build a school, proposed shared-use guidelines and an idea of which amenities would stay or go, among other details.

Satterlee later told the Town Crier that while the council hadn’t discussed specifics regarding the Rosita site, she believes it would ultimately seek an arrangement that “results in no loss of total land ownership for the city.”

“The reason Rosita is top of mind is because the field and parking lot at Rosita are not generally scheduled or in high use during the school day, making a shared-use arrangement workable,” she noted in an email, while also citing traffic flow concerns around the area as sticking points. “We have also invested a considerable amount in a class (I) pathway that accesses the backside of the Covington site (adjacent to the park).”

Smith said he believes that the district will bring proposals on the park to the city in the future. At the same time, he noted concern that potential talks between Los Altos and Los Altos Hills to rebuild the community center would leave the district out in the cold.

“We should be evaluating all options in parallel,” he said, “not single-streaming them in a way that one group thinks is most optimized for their particular view.”

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