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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Construction update: Downtown projects pick up pace


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
A construction worker directs the placement of a beam for the new Safeway store on First Street.

As the pace of holiday shopping in downtown Los Altos picks up, so does the schedule for the area’s ongoing construction projects. Following is an update on four projects currently underway – in varying degrees – in the downtown triangle.

First Street Safeway

Structural work on the new 45,000-square-foot, podium-style Safeway at 160 First St. is “significantly complete,” according to Keith Turner, Safeway’s director of public and government affairs.

Safeway representatives were slated to update the Los Altos City Council Tuesday night on the project’s progress – past the Town Crier’s press deadline.

In an email to the Town Crier, Turner said foundations and double-T structural supports are in for the new grocery store. Workers are currently framing the walls and roof for the southern half of the building, which will be approximately twice as large as the 1960s-era Safeway the new store will replace.

“All work is progressing nicely and without any significant disruption,” Turner said.

Turner added that the next steps include completing remaining structural work on the north side of the building and the installation of roof steel and walls. Then construction crews will enclose the building, which includes the installation of metal decking and exterior walls, by the end of January.

Work to install the store’s various electrical, plumbing and mechanical systems will continue within the building.

Turner anticipated that the store’s ground-level parking area slab will be prepped and poured in January or February.

The new market remains on track for a June finish, he concluded.

100 First St. condominiums

Construction crews are framing the third floor of developer Randy Lamb’s 48-unit condominium complex at 100 First St., according to David Dacus, sales manager for Lamb Partners LLC. He added that the project is currently slated for completion sometime in mid-summer.

Dacus said the project, built on the site of the demolished U.S. Postal Service office, is expected to “top out” with the completion of roof installation sometime early next year. Dacus noted that the lack of rain this fall meant that the project didn’t experience the on-again, off-again work interruptions construction crews typically endure.

“We make hay when the sun shines, as the saying goes,” said Dacus, who added that he still anticipates some weather-related impacts through the winter.

On the sales front, Dacus said early interest in the one- to three-bedroom units, which range from 800 to 2,700 square feet in size, has been significant, even though pricing won’t be revealed until early next year.

“We’ve had a lot of people reserving homes already,” said Dacus, without citing any specific figures.

For more information, visit 100firststreet.com.

Enchanté boutique hotel

Los Altos resident and developer Abby Ahrens told the Town Crier that her French-themed boutique hotel, Enchanté, is currently on schedule for a pre-summer finish.

“Definitely by May,” she said.

The 12,000-square-foot hotel at the corner of Main Street and San Antonio Road will feature 18 uniquely themed rooms with fireplaces, a lounge, a bistro and a public plaza. Ahrens said Comcast crews recently installed fiber-optic cable.

“It’s the best of both worlds,” said Ahrens, noting that hotel perks would include a canine concierge service. “It’s got a dark flavor with the best of technology.”

She added that construction crews are currently working to install the structure’s slate roof and electrical work. In addition, workers are installing a “several-hundred-year-old” antique French window – called an “oeil-de-boeuf,” French for “bull’s-eye” – on the upper level of the boutique hotel, facing its plaza and San Antonio Road. Crews are expected to begin applying final exterior coats for the building “in the near future,” she added.

Ahrens said her finishing touches to decorate the interior of the hotel would include “a smattering of antiques.”

For updates and more information, visit facebook.com/ EnchanteHotel.

First & Main mixed-use project

According to Los Altos Special Projects Manager Dave Brees, construction crews for the Jeffrey A. Morris Group are currently framing the podium deck that will top the underground garage of the developer’s two-story project.

Brees said a crew recently poured concrete to form the walls of the underground parking area, which will underpin retail and Class A office space at the corner of First and Main streets. Approximately half of the garage floor has been poured, he added, with the second half scheduled for completion this week.

Construction on the gateway project, which began last summer, remains on track to finish within its 14- to 16-month time frame, Brees said.


Downtown Construction Update: December 2013 - Photos by Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier

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