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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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'Sully' lands in Cupertino for Celebrity Forum

Sullenberger

Capt. Chesley B. “Sully” Sullenberger III, hailed as a hero for crash-landing an Airbus A320 on the Hudson River and sparing the lives of 155 passengers and crew, told a Celebrity Forum audience Oct. 1 that his story is that of “an ordinary person who found himself in extraordinary circumstances.”

After disabled US Airways Flight 1549 landed safely on the water in Manhattan in January 2009, Sullenberger, thrust instantly into the media spotlight, achieved what he jokingly called “Santa Claus status,” with mail arriving at his Danville home marked simply “Hero Pilot.”

Sullenberger said the outpouring of support – letters, e-mails, Facebook fan pages, keys to cities – from around the world was humbling.

“We received thanks from every continent on the planet,” he said.

With the “Miracle on the Hudson” now 18 months in the rearview mirror, Sullenberger has taken time to process what happened and ponder why the event struck such a chord.

He concluded that the fateful landing happened at a time when the world was in the throes of a financial meltdown and “people were actively searching for good news.”

“It was seen as life-affirming – it gave people hope,” he said.

Sullenberger credited his four crewmembers – and first-responders to the crash, who sent ferries and blankets within four minutes of splashdown – and said Flight 1549 is a reminder of what’s at stake when we fly. People tend to forget, he said, how modern an endeavor flying is – the Wright Brothers first took flight only 106 years ago.

“We make it look easy, but it’s not,” he said. “It’s hard. Flying requires skill that rises to the level of mastery.”

It’s not uncommon to be unfamiliar with your crew, Sullenberger said – he and his first officer and three flight attendants met for the first time three days before the crash. And though he believes that as captain “everything, ultimately, is my responsibility,” hearing his fellow crewmembers performing their jobs during the landing inspired confidence in him.

A “realistic optimism” set in, Sullenberger said, a duality of mind – he and his crew could achieve goals while at the same time confronting immediate and dangerous circumstances.

“We never stopped working as a team that day,” he said. “I am very proud of the fact that the crew and I were up to the challenges we faced that day.”

In hindsight, would he do anything differently?

“Given the outcome, I would be reluctant to change anything about that day,” he said.

In the aftermath of the emergency landing, Sullenberger has made it his mission to advocate airline safety and use his newfound celebrity to advance charitable causes.

“I feel an intense obligation to use this situation for good,” he said.

As for the future, Hollywood’s calling. Producers have optioned the movie rights to Sullenberger’s memoir, and the captain laughingly said he expects George Clooney to play him.

Celebrity Forum has scheduled paleontologist Louise Leakey, Ph.D., to speak Oct. 27-29 at Flint Center at De Anza College in Cupertino. For tickets and more information, visit www.celebrityforum.net.

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