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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News Briefs

News Briefs

Preschool move to church site OK’d by PTC

The Los Altos Planning and Transportation Commission (PTC) last week recommended approval for the relocation of a preschool and day care facility to the grounds of Foothill Covenant Church at 1555 Oak Ave.

The item is expected to go before the Los Altos City Council for final approval at an undetermined date.

“Who can be against a church and a preschool?” Commissioner Ken Lorell asked prior to his Jan. 23 vote, eliciting laughter from supporters who spoke in favor of the school’s relocation effort.

The PTC voted unanimously in favor of the use permit and design review application that essentially relocates the Mountain View Los Altos Parent Education Program from the Mountain View High School campus to the Foothill Covenant Church property.

Plans call for the construction of three portable classrooms and two playgrounds on a vacant lot next to the church.

“This is really in line with what we’re interested in doing, which is being a resource to our community,” Foothill Covenant Church Pastor Hans Eric Nelson told the commission.

An accompanying traffic report concluded that the school’s relocation would increase traffic on Oak Avenue by less than 1 percent.

School officials noted during the presentation that the facility would include student drop-offs and pickups on-site.

In addition, the facility will employ staggered start and finish times for the twice-daily sessions to minimize traffic conflicts with nearby Mountain View High and Oak Avenue schools.

“I see this as the best possible way of integrating what I think is an important, valued part of our community into a good location for it,” Commissioner Phoebe Bressack said.

Under the conditions of approval, the facility has a cap of up to 102 students per day. The facility, according to the city staff report, typically hosts two class sessions, capped at 48 students each, per day. The facility also offers a third session once per week in the late afternoon.

Commission OKs office building at 467 First St.

The PTC last week unanimously voted to approve an office-building project slated for the corner of First Street and San Antonio Road.

The project, which calls for the construction of a 15,000-square-foot office structure on the sites of The Barking Lot, Burger Town and a former Chevron Gas Station lot, will head to the Los Altos City Council for final approval at an undetermined date.

The landslide vote came approximately two months after the commission rejected a parking variance by developer Southgate Partners LLC because the project lacked parking spaces needed to meet city code requirements by seven spots.

At the time, several commissioners expressed concern that allowing the project to move forward with a variance would increase the already high demand for parking downtown.

However, the second time proved to be the charm for the project. It returned to the commission with a 315-square-foot reduction in building size and a reconfigured underground parking garage that netted an additional six spaces, allowing the three-story, 42-foot tall project to meet its 51-space requirement.

The project includes a new parking management plan for the property, which features a handful of tandem (two-car) parking spaces for office tenants, and a redesigned plaza feature at the corner of San Antonio and First.

– Diego Abeloos

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