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News

E. coli found in Los Altos water indicated breach, but only low risk

E. coli found in Los Altos water indicated breach, but only low risk


Courtesy of Microbe World
Colorized low-temperature electron micrograph of a cluster of E. coli bacteria

When E. coli and other bacteria were discovered in some Los Altos water last week, officials from the local water supplier, California Water...

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Schools

BCS hosts Stretch to Kindergarten program for underserved youth

BCS hosts Stretch to Kindergarten program for underserved youth


Traci Newell/Town Crier
The six-week, tuition-free Stretch to Kindergarten program, hosted at Bullis Charter School, serves children who have not attended preschool. A teacher leads children in singing about the parts of a butterfly, above.

Local un...

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Community

Google car painting project calls on artists

Google car painting project calls on artists


Google self-driving car

Already known as an innovator in the tech field, Google Inc. is now moving in on the art world.

The Mountain View-based company July 11 launched the “Paint the Town” contest, a “moving art experiment” that invites Califo...

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Sports

Pedaling with a purpose

Pedaling with a purpose


courtesy of
Rishi Bommannan Rishi Bommannan cycled from Bates College in Maine to his home in Los Altos Hills, taking several selfies along the way. He also raised nearly $13,000 for the Livestrong Foundation, which supports cancer patients.

When R...

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Comment

The truth about coyotes: Other Voices

The Town Crier’s recent article on coyotes venturing down from the foothills in search of sustenance referenced the organization Project Coyote (“Recent coyote attacks keep residents on edge,” July 1). Do not waste your time contac...

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Special Sections

Grant Park senior program made permanent

Grant Park senior program made permanent


Photos by Alicia Castro/Town Crier
Local residents participate in an exercise class at the Grant Park Senior Center, above. Betsy Reeves, below left with Gail Enenstein, lobbied for senior programming in south Los Altos.

It all began when Betsy Reev...

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Business

New State Street rug retailer has downtown Los Altos covered

New State Street rug retailer has downtown Los Altos covered


Alicia Castro/Town Crier
Los Altos Rug Gallery owner Fahim Karimi stocks his State Street store with a wall-to-wall array of floor coverings.

A new downtown business owner plans to roll out the red carpet – along with rugs of every other color –...

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Books

Book Signings

• Fritz and Nomi Trapnell have scheduled a book-signing party 4-6 p.m. Aug. 1 at their home, 648 University Ave., Los Altos.

Fritz and his daughter, Dana Tibbitts, co-authored “Harnessing the Sky: Frederick ‘Trap’ Trapnell, ...

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People

GRACE WILSON FRANKS

GRACE WILSON FRANKS

Resident of Los Altos

Grace Wilson Franks, our beloved mother and grandmother, left us peacefully on July 16, 2015 just a few weeks short of her 92nd birthday. She was born to Ross and Florence (Cruzan) Wilson in rural Tulare, California on Septem...

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Travel

Gearing up: Make travel more civilized with accessories

Gearing up: Make travel more civilized with accessories


Eren Göknar/Special to the Town Crier
San Francisco-based humangear Inc. sells totes, tubes and tubs for traveling.

In travel, as in romance, it’s the little things that count.

Beyond the glossy brochures lie the travel discomforts too mun...

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Stepping Out

Going out with a 'Bang'

Going out with a 'Bang'


Richard Mayer/Special to the Town Crier
“Chitty Chitty Bang Bang” stars, clockwise from top left, Alexander Sanchez, Sophia Sturiale, Deborah Rosengaus and Danny Martin.

Los Altos Stage Company and Los Altos Youth Theatre’s joint production of t...

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Spiritual Life

Build a 'light' house and get out of that dark place

Most of us have a place inside our hearts and minds that occasionally causes us trouble. For some, it is sadness, depression or despair. For others, it may be fear, anger, resentment or myriad other emotional “dark places” that at times seem to hij...

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Magazine

Inside Mountain View

Residents gather at NASA Ames for Pluto Flyby event

Residents gather at NASA Ames for Pluto Flyby event


Megan V. Winslow/Town Crier
NASA Ames’ Pluto Flyover event kindles the imaginations of young attendees.

Sue Moore watched the July 20, 1969, moon landing beside patients and staff members of the San Francisco hospital where she worked as a nurse...

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Child S.H.A.R.E. takes care of foster parents

Los Altos Hills residents Mark and Jo Anne Morris know first hand about foster family burnout.That's why they started Child S.H.A.R.E., shelter homes a rescue effort, to increase the quality of foster homes, to recruit more foster homes, and to provide support and respite care for foster families to help them avoid burnout.

After 14 years of marriage they had a baby daughter when they had given up on having children. They didn't expect to have more, they weren't sure about adoption, so they became foster parents.

"The very first child we had, we adopted," Mark Morris said. Their girls are now 15 and 13.

They continued being foster parents. They knew they couldn't adopt each child, but they vowed a child they took would not be bounced around, Mark Morris said.

"If a child is disruptive, the foster parents call and say, 'Take this child out of my home.' And it's called a 'failed placement,'" he said as he shook his head.

They kept their second foster child 18 months, and she was a difficult girl, Morris said. But they kept her until she could go back to her mother.

"We helped her," Morris said. "We love her." And they are still in touch.

"But we were burned out at the end. No one would help us. You must get fingerprinted, TB tested, be trained in CPR. You just can't ask your friends to help you."

Jo Anne Morris read about Child S.H.A.R.E. in a church magazine just after she had said she wouldn't do foster care again. She and Mark started a group in Los Altos. And they are still taking foster children.

Child S.H.A.R.E. is a public, non-profit organization. The Union Presbyterian Church on University Avenue gives it free office space. Mark and Jo Anne Morris accept no salary for their work. All donations go directly into their program.

They recruit through churches, asking if a congregation will take on a ministry to help a child.

"We'll help with the forms and getting fingerprinted," Mark Morris said.

They currently have 107 children in their network, which Child S.H.A.R.E. supports. They have recruited 12 homes that are now certified to accept foster children. And they have 50 homes that can offer some type of support to foster families, 43 in which a baby sitter is certified and seven that are respite homes that meet county regulations to take a foster child for an overnight or a weekend.

Mary Beth Orr answers the Child S.H.A.R.E. hotline.

"That's the primary thing we offer," Jo Anne Morris said. "It's more than just calling in and saying we need a sitter Thursday night. We also get calls with people saying, 'I can't stand it,' with people in despair.

"Mary Beth's really good at turning people's discouragement into strength."

That's what Child S.H.A.R.E. does.

"Together we are making a difference...child by precious child."

For more information, call Child S.H.A.R.E. at 917-1210.

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