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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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More faces, more need in 2013 for RotaCare Mountain View



Volunteer medical staff help out at the RotaCare clinic near El Camino Hospital, providing care to underrepresented and uninsured patients. Ellie Van Houtte/ Town Crier

RotaCare Interim Manager and Clinical Services Coordinator Michelle Luttrell encountered an unusual sight at her Mountain View clinic. On a recent November day, it had more medical providers than patients onsite.

“We actually did not fill our provider schedules, but usually it’s the opposite,” said Luttrell, a nurse practitioner by trade. “Usually we have more patients than volunteers.”

In fact, Luttrell added, the need remains greater than ever. The clinic is currently averaging 530 patients per month – two-thirds of them between the ages of 19 and 64 – a pace far greater than the 3,500-plus patients it has served on an annual basis in recent years.

Although it has traditionally served low-income local workers who are either uninsured or underinsured, the clinic has seen an increased mix in the demography in 2013. That includes a bump in the number of unemployed and highly educated workers who are victims of what Luttrell calls “ageism” – those too young for Medicare but deemed too old to employ.

“That particular patient population is growing,” said Luttrell, who added that the clinic also has experienced a growing number of homeless patients in the past year. “I can’t tell you how many out-of-work engineers we see who are in their 50s and early 60s.”

Making matters increasingly difficult, she added, is a lack of awareness by some who assume that problems like being underemployed or uninsured don’t exist in prosperous Silicon Valley.

“People who work for themselves or work part time – or multiple jobs part time – they don’t have insurance,” she said. “It’s the behind-the-scenes folks, the person who cuts your hair or the person who serves your coffee. It’s your nanny (and) it’s your gardener.”

According to Luttrell, RotaCare doesn’t just keep the individuals healthy.

“We keep the family healthy and, by doing that, we keep the community healthy. … It’s a benefit to the public, which receives services from these people who are uninsured.”

Still, Luttrell said there’s plenty of room for optimism at RotaCare Mountain View. As usual, the clinic continues to offer traditional medical services for acute issues like coughs and colds as well as for chronic illnesses like diabetes or high blood pressure, among other maladies. This year, the clinic added cardiology, vascular and pulmonology services in an effort to meet more diverse medical needs.

Luttrell added that she’s particularly thankful for the horde of physicians, nurses and specialists who regularly volunteer their time and expertise to help those without the necessary means.

“We wouldn’t be here without our volunteers,” Luttrell said. “RotaCare would not exist without our volunteers. It’s a really special clinic and a special place to work because the people who are here want to be here.”

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