Thu10022014

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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More than a game: No Shoes, Please

There is a lot about the Jonathan Martin-Richie Incognito situation that intrigues me. As I write, the full details regarding Martin’s allegations about his tenure as an offensive lineman for the Miami Dolphins have yet to be disclosed. However, by abruptly leaving his team and filing a formal complaint, Martin has been criticized by his former teammates and other NFL players for not standing up for himself and airing locker room dirty laundry in public.

Support for Martin has surfaced, too. People have questioned hazing rituals that really amount to nothing more than sanctioned extortion and abuse, in addition to criticizing Incognito’s use of the N-word in a text message to Martin.

I wasn’t surprised to learn that African-American players on the team found nothing offensive about Incognito’s message. It seems that Americans in general have been spoon-fed enough rap music that the N-word is OK in certain locales (locker rooms) with certain people (Caucasians like Incognito who are conferred “honorary” black status) and under certain conditions (when demeaning language is used to “toughen” someone up or even convey warmth and camaraderie).

However, I was shocked to hear reports that Martin – a Stanford University graduate with Harvard-educated parents – was considered “less black” than Incognito, whose thuggish behavior has been documented since his college career. It reminds me of complaints I’ve heard from African-Americans who say that their own community will accuse them of acting “too white” if they are educated and/or well spoken. Whether or not those misaligned values played a role with the players who lined up to defend Incognito’s behavior is unproven, but something smells weird to me.

The NFL investigation into the Miami Dolphins workplace environment will take some time because it’s not only a complicated situation, it’s also a chaotic hot mess. But I’m fascinated by several arguments already being made in the court of public opinion.

First, there’s the one regarding Martin’s manhood. When that particular assessment is at play, I can almost predict that the definition of said manhood is going to be extremely narrow, rigid and backward thinking, rather than broad, open and current. I wonder how long men will continue putting themselves through that lifetime gauntlet.

Second, there’s the argument that things are routinely said and done in any garden-variety locker room that are unacceptable in other workplaces. That’s called exceptionalism: Organization A is exempt from a normal code of conduct for X and Y reasons. OK, but explain how X and Y serve the common or team good, thereby qualifying Organization A for special dispensation – and “It’s always been that way” doesn’t count as a good reason.

Finally, there’s the admonishment that Martin should have kept things in-house regardless. A situation may merit attention and scrutiny, but it must be done out of public view. I’ve heard that old chestnut invoked under circumstances ranging from safeguarding personal privacy to covering up crimes like child molestation. So unless the Miami Dolphins locker room is a matter of national security, I think transparency regarding organizational practices is a good thing.

I can understand why players might be afraid of a little light, but I’d be more concerned about remaining in the shadows.

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