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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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Letters to the Editor

Help stop vandalism at Redwood Grove

I’m writing this urgent request to the Los Altos City Council and Police Department to please take immediate action to stop the increasing vandalization at the Redwood Grove Nature Preserve.

In the past, I have observed and documented the destruction and have sent photos to the police and the Town Crier. I have continued to monitor the situation, only to see it deteriorate further.

Today, in addition to the usual cigarette butts, “roaches,” discarded rolling papers and empty beer cans, for the first time I observed black spray-painted tagging on a picnic table and several tree trunks.

Please understand that this intense level of vandalization only began when the property became vacant. It is not going to stop on its own. Acterra, the nonprofit group undertaking the preserve’s rehabilitation, can’t stop it. The occasional strolls through the property by police officers able to momentarily leave their fancy new SUVs haven’t stopped it. The neighbors are oblivious, even though their own properties are at risk from potential fires, etc.

We must have a deterrent. The only solution I see is to have someone living in the caretaker’s house. Perhaps the city could partner with Acterra to arrange that? Even motion-detection cameras directly linked to the police department would not substitute for the presence of a real person.

Redwood Grove is a precious gem in this area. As Los Altos’ population increases, it will become ever more valuable and ever more in need of protection. Please take action while the preserve is still here for all of us to enjoy.

Peggy Hennessee

Los Altos

Cyclists shouldn’t choose chatting over caution

As I read the article about the newly signed law requiring motorists to provide at least 3-foot spacing when passing bicyclists, I thought, “Seems reasonable – bicycling has enough inherent risks, and riders have so little protection” (“Some question effectiveness of new bike law,” Jan. 8).

Everyone is aware of this vulnerability. Yet many bicyclists choose to ride two or three abreast, often outside the bike lane (which is never wide enough for safe parallel riding). By choosing sociability over safety, they reduce their own safety cushion.

The photo accompanying the article makes the point: several bicyclists riding parallel, far outside the bike lane. They share the same roadway with 2-ton vehicles, trusting their lives to the skill and attentiveness of drivers. Vehicle drivers need to be cautious and considerate when near bicyclists. And although our young children learn not to “play in traffic,” riding parallel is fun.

Sadly, no law, regardless of its good intentions, can protect people from the consequences of their making poor decisions. And I think that riding parallel or outside the bike lane is a poor decision.

Michael Rappaport, M.D.

Los Altos

Chef Chu’s staff draws compliments

I would like to thank Larry Chu Jr. and the entire staff of Chef Chu’s for their kindness, support and professionalism when, without much notice and in the middle of the holiday season, they catered my mom’s memorial service after she passed in December.

During the 20-plus years we lived, worked and raised our family in and around Los Altos, Chef Chu’s always came through for the community and its families.

When 15 teens forgot to make a dinner reservation on a busy Friday night prior to a dressy and time-sensitive school event, one phone call to Larry solved the problem.

“When do they need to arrive?” queried Larry. And when I responded, “Oh, about now,” he said simply, “Send them over, we’ll make it work.”

Over the years, my book club has met there too many times to count. We stayed too long, talked too loudly and were always treated wonderfully.

Now, six years after we have moved across the country, a trip to Los Altos is never complete without visiting Chef Chu’s. And Larry always greets us as if we’ve never left.

Chef Chu’s is more than a restaurant, it is a town treasure. When it’s in your backyard, it is easy to forget this. But when you move away, it is easy to realize what you’ve lost. Coming back under stressful and emotional circumstances and hearing Larry’s calm voice say, “We’ll take care of it,” and knowing they would, was a blessing.

Meg Solera

Durham, N.C.

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