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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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Why is Pope Francis Time's 2013 Person of the Year?: No Shoes, Please

Here’s how Nancy Gibbs, managing editor of Time magazine, explains it: “For pulling the papacy out of the palace and into the streets, for committing the world’s largest church to confronting its deepest needs and for balancing judgment with mercy, Pope Francis is Time’s 2013 Person of the Year.”

Compare that to Sarah Palin’s remarks about the pope being “too liberal” and Rush Limbaugh’s histrionic response that the pope is a “Marxist” simply because he has asked us to redirect our attention to the poor and disenfranchised.

Personally, I think he is doing precisely what any Christian leader ought to be doing, and it’s weird that some of us are put off or even threatened by that. I mean, the pope is advocating for those in need and admonishing the greedy. Isn’t that the Christian thing to do?

At the same time, I don’t think that Pope Francis should get any more power to spread his message than some TV coverage and the bully pulpit; it’s never a good idea when a religious leader is in charge of, for example, the armed forces or a political system.

However, like his predecessors, the pope has a big voice and a huge audience, and he’s chosen to use both in favor of people who have neither. That’s power enough, I believe.

I applaud the pope when he says we need to stop focusing on abortion and homosexuality. I don’t think he’s necessarily abandoning these issues entirely; he’s merely trying to push them down on the world’s agenda so that the more pressing problems of global inequality and human suffering can claim a higher spot. As reported, the pope sees the Church as a field hospital with high cholesterol.

And he’s right to do this. In terms of size, the number of those affected by starvation, cruelty, war, disease, poverty and lack of opportunities dwarfs the number of people in the world affected by abortion and gay marriage. And you can certainly make the argument that homosexuality in particular is not a source of human suffering.

As heated as the debate over gay marriage can get, same-sex couples do not inspire trauma or violence, unless of course you happen to walk over to that dark side on your own steam and legs.

I don’t know what the pope’s message to the world will be on Christmas Day, but from the looks of it, he’s all in. Therefore, I hope that on that day of family, joy, gifts and glitter, he maintains our focus on the people who don’t have access to those things, because they, too, are worthy of our attention and compassion.

For now, Pope Francis seems to be the best person to exert that kind of moral authority, not because he’s the pope, but because he walks the talk and doesn’t get self-righteous about it. His vision is simple and straightforward – we are our brothers’ keepers – and he’s unwavering on that point. I don’t think anyone in recent memory has made it any plainer.

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