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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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Almost: Los Altos takes top seed to 5 games in CCS final


R. ALAN HWANG/Special to the Town Crier
Los Altos High’s Carmen Annevelink goes for the kill in Saturday’s CCS Division II final. She totaled 30 kills in the match.

The Los Altos High girls volleyball team played just as coach Peter Kim had hoped – loose and with a nothing-to-lose attitude – and that was nearly enough to pull off the big upset of the Central Coast Section playoffs.

The underdog Eagles took mighty Mitty to five games in the CCS Division II final Saturday at Independence High. Los Altos twice served for match point but couldn’t put away the defending champs, who escaped with a 23-25, 25-11, 25-22, 23-25, 18-16 victory.

Despite such a close loss, there were more smiles than frowns among the Eagles after they took the fourth-ranked team in the nation farther than almost anyone expected.

“With energy and with hard work and hustling, we got this far,” outside hitter Carmen Annevelink said. “I’m super happy with what we did. We played really well.”

No one played better than Annevelink, who tallied a match-high 30 kills. The junior added three aces and 21 digs.

Kim said he couldn’t be prouder of his girls, who heeded his advice to play hard and have fun.

“That’s what we’ve stressed all year – especially this week,” he said. “I told them, ‘This is icing on the cake. Just go out there and enjoy the whole thing.’ Every girl feeds off of that – being loose and having a lot of energy.”

The enthusiastic Eagles appeared to enjoy the match a lot more than the methodical Monarchs. Second-seeded Los Altos (32-6) celebrated each point and played in the moment; No. 1 Mitty (39-4) seemed to treat the contest as just another step toward repeating as state champs.

The Eagles played with a similar style in the Nov. 20 semifinals, sweeping St. Francis to earn a berth in this week’s Northern California playoffs (the top two teams from each section qualify).

Knowing that the season wouldn’t end Saturday only aided their efforts against Mitty, according to Annevelink.

“I think that’s one of the reasons we could come into this match so easy and see what happens,” she said.

Annevelink notched seven kills – including the game-winner – in the first set, and the Eagles reacted as if it were the match-winner. Their fans were just as joyous about the two-point victory.

Mitty didn’t panic, though, responding with a resounding 14-point win in the second game.

Los Altos fell behind 7-3 in the third game but rallied to take a 13-9 lead behind three kills from Annevelink. The Monarchs countered with six straight points to reclaim control, only to see the Eagles answer again. But after taking an 18-17 edge on Katie Tritschler’s ace, Los Altos let the set slip away. Mitty scored the next four points and didn’t relinquish the lead.

The Eagles got as close as 23-22 – on a Sarah Tritschler ace – before Mitty closed the game on back-to-back kills by Natasha Kosowicz.

Going down two games to one didn’t deter Los Altos, however. The Eagles opened the fourth game by rattling off five straight points and withstood a Mitty rally to lead 13-9 on Annevelink’s deep kill. The Monarchs made another run to lead 17-15, but Los Altos produced the next five points, ignited by Jenna Hoover’s solo block.

The Eagles maintained the advantage the rest of the set, winning it on an Annevelink kill. She recorded nine kills and two aces in the fourth game.

“She played like she’s one of the best players in our area,” Kim said.

Los Altos got off to another strong start in the fifth game, scoring the first three points. The lead grew to 8-2 on a Michelle Albright kill.

That’s when the Monarchs turned to Clare Powers. Their 6-foot-3 kill leader, who did not appear to be at full strength Saturday, played primarily in the back row before the final set. But with the match on the line, Powers moved up front and showed her power. She notched two kills in a 6-0 run that tied the game.

The set went back and forth until Meghan McDermott’s kill put Los Altos in position to win at 14-13. Mitty’s Shirin Tooloee replied with a kill, however.

The Eagles had another chance to prevail after going up 16-15, only to be denied by a kill from Mitty’s Alexa Dryer. Lauren Speckman followed with an ace and setter Kelsey Crawford delivered a dump shot to win the match for the Monarchs.

Los Altos was scheduled to open the NorCal Division II playoffs in Chico Tuesday, after the Town Crier’s press deadline. If the third-seeded Eagles beat No. 6 Pleasant Valley (23-11), they play in Saturday’s semifinals at a place to be determined.

Mustangs claim DI title

The battle of familiar foes in the CCS Division I final led to a familiar result. Homestead, which beat Palo Alto twice in league play, did so again Saturday night to win the section crown.

The second-seeded Mustangs topped the No. 5 Vikings 17-25, 25-23, 25-20, 25-19.

“We are a better team and we executed (our) plan perfectly,” said Homestead coach Gary Carroll, who – along with four of his players – lives in Los Altos. “Set 1 we had uncharacteristic serving errors, (but) we settled and took control, getting better every point thereafter.”

In what the coach described as an “outstanding performance,” Morgan Robinson racked up 27 kills for Homestead (26-7). Los Altos resident Casey Carroll (the coach’s daughter) added 20 kills with only three hitting errors. Maria Balus registered 50 assists.

Homestead, the third seed in the NorCal Division I playoffs, was scheduled to host No. 6 Heritage (30-9) Tuesday. With a win, the Mustangs play a semifinal match slated 7 p.m. Saturday at a place to be determined.

“This team is posed to go even farther in the state bracket,” coach Carroll said.

Panthers fall in semis

Pinewood, in CCS for the first time since 2008, went as far as the Division V semifinals. No. 2 Woodside Priory beat third-seeded Pinewood 25-13, 25-14, 23-25, 25-18 Nov. 20.

Mehra den Braven – MVP of the West Bay Athletic League Skyline Division – paced the Panthers with 28 kills, while middle blockers Grace Taylor and Gabby Krohn “led us to our best blocking performance of the season,” coach Michael Shorts said.

Pinewood finished the season 14-12 and placed fifth in league.

“This was a very successful season for Pinewood,” Shorts said.

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