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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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Bullis Charter eighth-graders display their architectural skills


Courtesy of Bullis Charter School
Bullis Charter School students showcase their 3-D architectural design for a school of the future.

Eighth-grade students at Bullis Charter School presented 3-D architectural designs to a panel of judges Jan. 31 for the nationwide 2014 School of the Future Design Competition.

The Council of Educational Facility Planners International, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the American Institute of Architects and more than 20 additional organizations co-sponsor the annual competition, open to middle schoolers.

Bullis Charter School students used the Design Thinking process and technologies available in the the school’s FabLab to design environmentally responsive school sites during their Architectural Design and Engineering intersession, part of the core curriculum at the charter school.

Roxanne Lanzot, an eighth-grade science and math teacher with a background in architecture, led the project.

“The entire process mirrored what happens in the architecture and design industry,” she said. “From developing a program of requirements to designing on Google SketchUp to printing building models on the laser cutter, students worked in real dimensions and had to scale each piece before printing.”

Lanzot added that students learned a “tremendous amount” about sustainable structures and healthy buildings, which began with data collection and observation at their current school site.

Students were tasked with designing a school or classroom that facilitates a high-performance learning environment, incorporates sustainable features, engages the community and is responsive to the environment. The school models included features such as skyways instead of traditional walking paths, green roofs, organic gardens, community facilities (pools, dance studios, technology labs and art rooms), geothermal heating, quartzite walls, solar-panel shades and a geodesic dome structure.

The panel of judges included Torrey Wolff, campus space planner at Stanford University, and Suett Wong, interior designer at GoGo Creations. All the student entrants made presentations before the panel selected the design that will continue to the regional round of the competition.

“Every student had a phenomenal beginning understanding of the different environmentally responsive design options,” Wolff said. “It was clear to me that the students realized the importance of supporting the larger environment they live in. Their school designs showed that these students were really thinking about how an institution relates to its broader community, a major factor in any architecture and design project.”

Wong said she was “amazed” at the amount of in-depth learning students gained from the project in a short amount of time.

“For these young students to take this project from an idea to a scale model was really impressive,” she said. “I am so proud of everything they did.”

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