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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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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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