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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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Passerelle plans to study Foothill Expressway intersections


Town Crier File photo
Passerelle Investment Co. will fund a study of two Foothill Expressway intersections to increase pedestrian and cyclist use.

Passerelle Investment Co.’s Community Development Director Brooke Ray Smith told the Town Crier that her company has issued a request for proposals (RFP) to study Foothill Expressway’s intersections at Main Street and Edith Avenue.

The goal of the study is to determine a way to make it safer to cross the Santa Clara County roadway, which could encourage more residents to walk or bike to downtown. Smith announced the company’s intentions at the Dec. 20 Los Altos City Council meeting and said she hopes to kick off the study sometime in January.

“We’re interested in seeing all the different ways people can come in and out of downtown without using a car,” said Smith, who added that the study will examine each intersection’s level of service, and Passerelle will likely schedule public meetings for input.

Smith, who expects to have the study completed by the end of March, said she crafted the RFP with feedback from city and county staff prior to its release. She plans to lean on their advice more as proposals roll in so that the study can meet the level of scrutiny typically required by public agencies.

“Anything that has to happen with the city and county has to run to their standards,” she said.

Smith described the study as “pretty open” in terms of approaches the company’s yet-to-be-hired consultant will take in examining the intersections. Among other things, Smith noted that the study aims to develop creative solutions that enhance pedestrian and bicyclist safety without the unintended consequence of negatively impacting an already congested expressway for motorists.

“The intent isn’t to be completely prescriptive about what this study has to say. … This should kind of be considered a living document,” Smith said. “We just want the best study possible. … What we wouldn’t want to have happen is to have the study go through, finish and have someone say that the consultant wasn’t effective.”

Smith noted that improving the intersections in the future could lead to “more feet on the street” in downtown Los Altos via increased pedestrian and bicycle traffic, among other benefits. In addition, Smith said the act of residents walking or riding bikes together into downtown builds community based on common interests.

According to Smith, the study’s findings could also lead to public-private partnerships to fund intersection improvements in the future and encourage alternative modes of transportation that could potentially alleviate another current concern for downtown visitors – the lack of parking.

“Everyone’s always talking about parking and congestion problems,” she said. “If we can get people within one-quarter of a mile to walk and bike to downtown, that would be a huge offset.”

For more information, visit passerelleinvestments.com.

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