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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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LASD partners with zSpace to enhance STEM curriculum


Traci Newell/Town Crier
The Los Altos School District launched a partnership with zSpace, Inc. a company that designs units offering a 3-D personal computing experience.

The Los Altos School District recently joined forces with zSpace Inc., a startup that produces 3-D visualization stations, to boost its Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) curriculum.

The zSpace system re-creates the standard personal computing experience into an immersive and interactive 3-D environment, commonly used in the business world for computing, creating and visualizing but now being pioneered in local schools as a learning tool.

The zSpace unit, which includes a screen, lightweight glasses and a stylus, enhances the 3-D experience. The glasses track the position of the user’s eyes to determine the appropriate plane of vision. The stylus can be used to reach into the screen and pull out an object to hover in a different area.

The district piloted the equipment with fifth-graders at Covington School during their study of the heart. Using the equipment, students could see a beating, fully functioning heart and dissect it using the stylus, which simulated the heart’s beats. With clicks of the stylus, students could peel off layers of the heart to peer into particular veins and chambers.

After their tryout at Covington, the zSpace units moved to Santa Rita School. The district acquired another set of units for use at Springer and Gardner Bullis schools this year. Students at Egan Junior High and Blach Intermediate schools can also experience zSpace technology, possibly in math courses.

“Through our partnership with zSpace, we will help develop and expand STEM learning tools in Earth, space, physical and life sciences for students in third through eighth grades,” said Alyssa Gallagher, district director of strategic initiatives and community partnerships. “Should the first two phases of our pilot be successful, we plan to engage all nine Los Altos School District schools in phase three, beginning fall 2014.”

Gallagher said the district’s teachers and STEM coaches are collaborating with zSpace employees to identify which units would be most appropriate to integrate into district classrooms.

It is a mutually beneficial relationship, according to Gallagher, because district teachers can provide feedback to the zSpace team to help them optimize technology for students in the future.

“Our benefit is that our students and teachers are getting exposure in the very early stages,” she said. “We have the ability to help shape and craft this technology the way we wish to use it in the classroom.”

For more information, visit zspace.com.

The Town Crier presents: 3-D tools for schools

Los Altos schools explore a 3-D world of learning

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