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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Chris Clark will serve as the face of the city in 2014


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Chris Clark took the reins as Mountain View mayor last week. As in Los Altos, members of the Mountain View City Council take one-year turns serving as mayor.

Chris Clark assumed the role of mayor of Mountain View for 2014 at the Jan. 7 city council meeting. Following is an edited question-and-answer interview with the Town Crier.

Q: Tell us about yourself. Where are you from, how long have you been a Mountain View resident, where do you work and how did you get involved in city government?

Clark: I grew up on a family farm in rural Illinois and became interested in public service while serving as a page for the U.S. House of Representatives. I moved to the Bay Area to attend Stanford University and have lived in Mountain View for about seven years. I worked at a Mountain View tech startup that was acquired by a financial services company a little over a year ago and am now leading one of its product groups. I was first involved in Mountain View politics as a Human Relations Commissioner, subsequently transitioning to the Environmental Planning Commission and then won election to the city council in 2012.

Q: What are three goals you would like to see the city accomplish during your year as mayor?

Clark: This is the last year our current council will serve together. Three members are terming out at the end of the year, so I want to ensure that we wrap up several of the efforts my colleagues initiated. These include finalizing three of our major planning documents (San Antonio, North Bayshore and El Camino Real precise plans), carefully managing our budget until we fully recover from the recession and investigating ways to finance some much-needed infrastructure improvements.

Q: What do you see that the city does well, and where is room for improvement?

Clark: Mountain View is very well managed across the board, and a community survey last year indicated that residents are generally quite satisfied with our quality of life. However, there is always room for improvement, such as improving our transit infrastructure to reduce congestion and make biking/walker easier, streamlining the permit processes for residents and small businesses, and making more services and functions available online.

Q: What is the No. 1 concern residents bring to your attention?

Clark: I think residents right now are most concerned about the growth and development associated with our current economic cycle. Compared to most of the rest of the country, we are in the enviable position of having significantly more jobs than housing, but accommodating growth in an already dense 12-square-mile city is quite challenging and requires a delicate balancing act. Now that the economy has picked up, we’re dealing with some painful realities, such as the fact that no new rental housing was built in almost 10 years and that some level of new supply is critical if we want to keep prices somewhat in check and better meet demand. On the other hand, we must carefully balance this growth with the preservation of our quality of life.

Q: What do you see as the biggest misconception about the work of the city council?

Clark: One big misconception is that the city always says yes to developers and approves everything that comes before us. We have said no to spending any staff time on a number of projects and effectively turned them down at the earliest possible stage, but those decisions rarely make headlines. Having said that, we do vote to at least study and work with developers in many instances on projects we believe have the potential to provide significant community benefits. The misconception is that a vote to study something is effectively an approval. Even if a project makes it to the review process, the larger ones generally take a year or more of public meetings, scrutiny and significant revisions before coming to a final vote. Projects might be approved the majority of the time at the final approval stage, but that’s because months, if not years, were spent significantly revising the original plans to ensure that the project fits into the surrounding area well. We don’t always get it right, but we invest a lot of time and effort in the outreach and planning processes to try to ensure that we get it right.

Q: Are you holding office hours as mayor?

Clark: I plan to hold office hours twice a month, likely on Tuesday mornings. We’re still determining the exact time and will publish the schedule on the city website as soon it’s finalized.


Chris Clark becomes Mountain View Mayor - Photos by Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier

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