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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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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