Tue09302014

News

Meet the Santa Clara Valley Water District Board of Directors candidates

Meet the Santa Clara Valley Water District Board of Directors candidates

Two candidates have filed to run for the District 7 seat on the Santa Clara Valley Water District Board of Directors in the Nov. 4 election. The water district, established in 1929, oversees and protects water resources in Santa Clara County....

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Schools

New LAHS assistant principal focuses on school activities

New LAHS assistant principal focuses on school activities


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Suzanne Woolfolk, assistant principal at Los Altos High, teaches a leadership course for Associated Student Body leaders.

Suzanne Woolfolk – new assistant principal at Los Altos High School – said she is happy...

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Community

Petting zoo, car show highlight Chamber's annual Fall Festival

Petting zoo, car show highlight Chamber's annual Fall Festival


Courtesy of Los Altos Chamber of Commerce
The petting zoo is a highlight of the Los Altos Fall Festival. This year’s event is slated Oct. 4 and 5.

The Los Altos Chamber of Commerce has scheduled its 23rd annual Fall Festival 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Oc...

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Sports

Burlingame bowls over Los Altos

Burlingame bowls over Los Altos


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Los Altos High halfback Sean Lanoza looks for running room against Burlingame in Saturday’s home opener.

The opening drive of Saturday’s game against Burlingame couldn’t have gone much better for the Los Altos High fo...

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Comment

Does Los Altos have a parking problem, or is it a symptom? : Other Voices

Yes, and yes. It appears that the downtown Los Altos parking problem is a symptom of the city’s “Sarah Winchester” approach to planning that instead of resulting in staircases to nowhere resulted in a hotel without parking required by code.(1)

From ...

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Special Sections

Los Altos landmark Four families later, Shoup House goes on the market

Los Altos landmark Four families later, Shoup House goes on the market


Courtesy of Matthew Anello
The Shoup House dining room, above, features original elements. The 100-year-old house on University Avenue earned a spot on the National Register of Historic Places, a nod to its legacy as the home of city founder Paul S...

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Business

Longtime banker readies for retirement

Longtime banker readies for retirement


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Joanne Kavalaris is retiring at the end of October after spending the past 25 years of her banking career in downtown Los Altos.

A longtime Los Altos banker is calling it a career in a few weeks.

Joanne Kavalaris, Bank o...

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Books

A woman's perspective on the Greatest Generation

A woman's perspective on the Greatest Generation


During World War II, Virgilia Short Witzel, a young mother and U.S. Navy officer’s wife, grappled on the home front in Menlo Park with wartime rationing, shortages and loneliness. During the ensuing Cold War, she experienced adventure and misadventur...

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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

Pear builds wonderful 'House'

Pear builds wonderful 'House'


J. Smith/Special to the Town Crier
Betsy Kruse Craig portrays Trish in the Pear Avenue Theatre production of “House,” which closes Oct. 5.

Mountain View’s Pear Avenue Theatre is staging an unusual theater-going experience – producing two plays...

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Spiritual Life

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 add ...

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The adult-centered life

The note was waiting for us on the floor of our entryway when we returned home. It capped the end of an action-packed, fun-filled few days moving our younger son into his freshman dorm at the University of Oregon. While we were gone, our older son headed south for his senior year at UC Santa Barbara.

Written in our older son’s familiar scrawl, the note stated the obvious in three simple words: “You’re all alone!” This young man, who has always possessed a wicked sense of humor, knows he is loved and missed. So it wasn’t entirely clear whether he was trying to make us laugh or cry. Could have gone either way, but as luck would have it, we laughed – a lot.

Walking around the house just then, it still looked like boys lived here. A water pistol sat in the saucer of an orchid on our coffee table. Funny, I hadn’t noticed it before. The contents of a soccer bag, including a team roster dated Fall 2007, were dumped on the laundry-room floor. The boys’ bathroom was in its usual disarray.

In the kitchen, a large glob of batter had somehow landed on the towel rack and dried like concrete. Days before and in a hurry, I had made the boys’ favorite cupcakes – Ghirardelli chocolate with lemon cream-cheese frosting. Half the batch headed north to a dorm in Eugene, and the other half headed south to a house in Goleta. A little mothering to send the boys on their way.

It took a good week to tidy things up. Now the house stays neat, which feels pretty nice, actually. The dishwasher doesn’t need to be run twice a day, and the gas tanks in our cars don’t mysteriously deplete. The scissors and tape are always where I left them. But the large kitchen table looks out of place now; I need to remove a leaf.

A few days ago, we ran into some friends at the grocery store. They, too, had just sent their last child off to college. While my husband and I were choosing a bottle of wine to go with the Chinese takeout we had just ordered, they were buying two ready-made salads. We marveled at our light loads, that we only had to feed ourselves. Smiles all around.

And so begins our adult-centered life. The first weekend without the boys, we enjoyed the sort of activities previously passed over in favor of watching our sons play sports. We heard Capt. “Sully” Sullenberger speak one evening, and the next day we were treated to a day of sailing on San Francisco Bay with two other couples.

What, I wondered, should I bring on the boat? Grilled asparagus or baked Brie? Lovely, grown-up options, but before I could think it through, I was making cupcakes. Cupcakes, for six adults. How silly is that? Moving from a kid-centered life to an adult-centered one is going to take some time.

The “You’re all alone!” note from our son, I have decided, is a gem worth framing. It’ll be hanging proudly on the wall when the boys come home for Thanksgiving.

Kerri Havnen Gordon writes The Living Experiment monthly for the Town Crier. E-mail her at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

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