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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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Best of 2013 sports scene


Town Crier file photo
Los Altos High soccer players, from left, Annie Gaffney, Allie Crum and Rebecca Andrews celebrate Crum’s goal against St. Francis in the CCS final.

There were scores of successes by local high school teams and individuals in 2013. Many made school history, several earned section titles and a few even reached the state finals.

Here’s a countdown of the Town Crier’s top 10 sports stories of 2013.

10 Tremendous turnaround. The Los Altos High football team missed the Central Coast Section playoffs, but the Eagles accomplished plenty last fall under first-year coach Trevor Pruitt. He transformed a hapless team (0-10 in 2012) into a confident one that believed it could win. Los Altos went 8-2 and finished third in the SCVAL El Camino Division. The offense proved potent with quarterback Lambie Lanman throwing to receivers Victor Ruiz and Patrick McColl, and handing off to running back Sean Lanoza. The defense – anchored by linebackers Josh Williams, Ofsia Pati and Carlos Rivera-Salis – wasn’t too shabby, either, posting two shutouts.

9 On par with the best. Last fall’s St. Francis High girls golf team was the strongest yet. The Lancers won West Catholic Athletic League and Northern California titles – finishing second at CCS in between – and qualified for the state tournament for the first time. Led by senior Nancy Xu, freshman Bibilani Liu and sophomore Valerie Wang, the Lancers were tough to beat until state, where they finished fifth. “I’m pleased and excited for the girls – not only for this season, but for some seasons to come,” coach Phil Marrone said.

8 Eagles make baskets and history. The Los Altos High boys basketball team advanced to the CCS semifinals for the first time, thanks to a 75-66 upset of top seed Westmoor in the second round of the Division II playoffs last February. The eighth-seeded Eagles seized the lead at the end of the first quarter and never surrendered it. Point guard Nate Vieira played his best game of the season (22 points), supported by solid outings from forwards Daniel Rosenbaum (14) and Joey Malgesini (13). Los Altos, perfect in the SCVAL El Camino Division under new head coach Bob McFarlane, nearly made more history but lost 59-57 to Willow Glen in the semis, despite 19 points from Malgesini.

7 Panthers don’t shoot straight yet make state. The Pinewood School girls basketball team is known for its sharpshooting – taking and making more 3-pointers than almost anyone in CCS – but the Panthers reached their seventh state final after struggling from long range in back-to-back games. Pinewood beat Valley Christian-Dublin in the NorCal Division V semifinals and top seed Eastside Prep in the final, despite connecting on only nine of 50 attempts from beyond the arc. The Panthers won with defense, holding both opponents under 40 points. Despite lacking size, Pinewood pressured the ball with gritty guards like 5-foot-1 Marissa Hing. The Panthers couldn’t do it a third time, however, falling 47-33 to Sierra Canyon in the state title game.

6 Hurdling the competition. Mountain View High’s Kolisa Nhlapo set school records in the 100- and 300-meter hurdles at the De Anza Division trials and finals, then broke the meet record in the latter at the Santa Clara Valley Athletic League Qualifier the next week. The junior set the school record in the 100 hurdles at the April 30 trials – finishing in 15.46 seconds – and broke her own league-meet record in the 300 hurdles at the finals later that week with a time of 44.62 seconds. Nhlapo eclipsed her own record in the 300 at the league qualifier (44.61). She went on to qualify for the CCS finals in both events and advanced to state in the 300.

5 Fleet feet. In an area filled with dynamite distance runners – the likes of Los Altos High’s Lauren Jacob, St. Francis’ Julia Bounds, Mountain View’s Melissa Reed and Pinewood’s Nicole Colonna – no girl finished faster on the cross-country course than Gunn’s Sarah Robinson. The Los Altos Hills resident won the CCS Division I race in 16 minutes, 59 seconds – the sixth-fastest time ever recorded by a girl on the 2.95-mile course at Crystal Springs – then placed fourth in her division at state, running a 17:16 on the 3.1-mile course at Fresno’s Woodward Park. Only one girl from the CCS has run faster at state. The senior’s time was good enough to earn an invitation to the national meet in Portland, where she placed 11th to earn All-America honors last month.

4 Historic run for Lancers. In just his second season at St. Francis, veteran coach Brian Harrigan led the girls basketball team farther than it had ever gone before. The Lancers won the first NorCal title in program history by routing Lynbrook 44-19 in the Division II final behind players such as Lauren Johnson, Jennifer Lucian and Daisha Abdelkader. St. Francis lost to Lynwood in the state final, but Harrigan never lost sight of what his team accomplished. “Most people would say we overachieved, but we believed in ourselves and worked really hard,” he said. “I couldn’t be more proud of this team.”

3 Eagles exceed expectations. Not even the most optimistic member of the Los Altos High girls volleyball team could have expected such a sensational season – and neither did coach Peter Kim. The Eagles finished second in the difficult De Anza Division, took mighty Mitty to five games in the CCS Division II final and met the Monarchs again in the NorCal title match last month. Los Altos lost to Mitty – ranked No. 1 in the nation – in straight games, but it didn’t diminish what the Eagles achieved. Los Altos had never before made it so far in volleyball – or any team sport. “I think every single one of us, especially me as a senior, is going to look back at this and just be amazed at all we’ve accomplished this whole season and be proud of the team and the program we’re going to be building for the future,” co-captain Meghan McDermott said. Hanna Koehler, Michelle Albright and Katie Tritschler will be graduating as well, but Carmen Annevelink, Jenna Hoover, Joyce Christiansen-Salameh, Kirsten Liu and Sarah Tritschler figure to be part of that bright future.

2 No doubt about this one. The St. Francis High baseball team’s first CCS championship in 12 years came in decisive fashion last May. The Lancers skunked Serra 10-0 in the final, which ended early on the mercy rule. The Lancers posted a 30-4 record under seventh-year coach Mike Oakland, who had 13 seniors on his squad. That included Michael Strem, whose pitching and hitting played a big part in the Lancers’ postseason success. “We had such great chemistry, combined with talent, all year long,” said Strem, who teamed with John Gavin to provide St. Francis with a potent one-two pitching punch. “Even when we were down, we fought back. That was huge.”

1 What a kick. The Los Altos High girls soccer team didn’t take the easy route to the CCS crown – its first in six years – knocking off two WCAL powerhouses along the way last February. The fifth-seeded Eagles shocked top seed and nationally ranked Mitty in the semifinals and edged St. Francis in the final by another 1-0 score. Sophomore midfielder Allie Crum scored both goals, the latter on a free kick in the seventh minute. From there, Los Altos crowded the backfield and stymied No. 2 St. Francis with a suffocating defense featuring freshman phenom Carrie Wendelken in goal. “We were definitely the underdogs for Mitty,” said Crum, whose team started just one senior. “But once we beat them, we knew we could do it. I think we had a little more confidence (in the final), which helped us.”

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