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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Overcome the winter blues with some tasty reds


Courtesy of Derek Wolfgram
Red Ales pair malty sweetness with a strong hop backbone. California brewers have been trending toward potent “Imperial” editions.

Red Ale, also known as Amber Ale, originated with California brewers, and many commercial versions are still brewed here. While the style highlights a balance of hops and malt, there is great variation in different breweries’ interpretations of that balance. Some beers present a predominant caramel malt sweetness with hop bitterness and flavor in the background, while others significantly focus on hops and drink more like a darker-colored West Coast IPA.

I sampled five California-brewed examples and ranked them by my personal enjoyment, ending with the finest example I found. Based on the hefty bitterness and relatively high alcohol levels for the style, most of these would be categorized as Imperial Red Ales. While I don’t always prefer beers with higher alcohol levels, in this case, my rankings fell in order by the strength of the brews.

Evil Twin, Heretic Brewing, Fairfield, 6.8 percent ABV

Although marketed as a Red Ale, Evil Twin pours a deep brown in color with a low beige head. Pungent, catty hops dominate the aroma, and the flavor highlights dank hop bitterness, balanced by a dark-chocolate malt backbone. The interplay between the hops and malt results in an earthy flavor – while caramel malts in Red Ales tend to produce some sweetness, Evil Twin is malty without coming across as sweet. The beer is very well carbonated, and the bubbles accentuate a spicy Columbus hop flavor that lingers through the finish.

Red Rocket Ale, Bear Republic Brewing, Healdsburg, 6.8 percent ABV

Bear Republic describes Red Rocket as a “bastardized Scottish-style Red Ale.” The malt dominance certainly reflects the brew’s Scottish heritage, while the bitterness levels represent the West Coast of the U.S. Mahogany brown in color with a medium tan head, the aroma highlights a graham-cracker sweetness. However, the first sip reveals a firm, spicy bitterness that persists through the finish. Medium full-bodied, with just a hint of roast on the palate, Red Rocket does not offer much hop flavor despite the pronounced bitterness.

Hop Head Red, Green Flash Brewing, San Diego, 7 percent ABV

Ruby red with a full beige head, the aroma of Hop Head Red showcases a balance of orange zest from Amarillo hops with a caramel candy malt – the blend actually reminds me of orange Brach’s Caramel Royals candy (in a good way). The medium-bodied beer features a delicious juicy citrus hop flavor in balance with a toasty caramel sweetness. With moderate bitterness from start to finish, Hop Head Red drinks like an excellent fruity IPA.

McCarthy’s Bane, Knee Deep Brewing, Auburn, 8 percent ABV

With a humorous mock-Soviet label for its “red” beer, Knee Deep has produced a fine Imperial Red Ale. The beer pours deep copper in color with a fluffy off-white head, and the complex aroma includes citrusy hops, spicy rye notes and a hard-candy sweetness. On the palate, the mouthfeel is velvety and the moderate bitterness and light caramel malt provide a backdrop to feature a pronounced hops flavor. The pleasant grapefruit twang of the hops is present from the first sip through the finish.

Shark Attack, Port Brewing, San Diego, 9 percent ABV

Shark Attack is deep ruby red in color, with a huge rocky beige head and a resinous, piney aroma backed by a hint of malt sweetness. Surprisingly smooth for its strength, the flavor features a complex interplay of smooth bitterness, crystal malt sweetness and a crisp citrus hop flavor, all highlighted by high carbonation. While there is a moderate alcohol bite, Shark Attack is one of the finest Imperial Red Ales available.

Derek Wolfgram is chief communications officer for the Silicon Valley Sudzers Homebrew Club, which meets the first Friday of each month at a home in Los Altos Hills and welcomes both new and experienced beer enthusiasts. For more information, visit sudzers.org.

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