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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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A time to reflect on our good fortune

Pages of the Past

As I read stories about events in Los Altos during the past holiday seasons, I came across a Town Crier article that was written in 1995 which I'd like to share with you. The title of the story was " CSA volunteer turns potential downer into Christmas dinner for the homeless." It was about a volunteer who found 15 homeless people waiting outside the Los Altos United Methodist Church hoping to have their Christmas dinner. The volunteer couldn't find anything to give them at that particular moment so she called several restaurants to see if they could help. Never discouraged and several telephone calls later, she decided to get into her car and drove down El Camino Real looking for restaurants that might be open. The Hunan Hone's Chinese restaurant was the only one she found. She told the owner her story about the homeless people who will miss Christmas dinner. With his help, 15 boxes of Chinese dinner were delivered by this "miracle worker" named Mary Burkhardt.

How about 1945, when Christmas in Los Altos was designated as the first "war-free Christmas" for families here? Homes were brightly decorated and open houses continued through the week to welcome returning servicemen. Holiday decorations also adorned most of the downtown merchants' window displays and many Christmas trees were anchored around Main Street. As a holiday observance, the big oak tree that had become a favorite landmark in Los Altos, was illuminated with Christmas lights.

Back then, our servicemen did not have the pleasure of one-year tours "in-country." When they left for the war, they knew they would be gone until it was over. At any time, being home during the holidays gives one a special sense of warmth. Can you imagine returning to our little town when it was fully decked out? What a great reflection.

Finally, there's the story about the Santa's helpers who last year helped area children by working with local companies to establish "Family Giving Trees." "Wish Cards" from children were used as Christmas tree decorations, the cards were selected and sorted, presents provided in response to those cards, and then distributed to the right recipients. Thousands of little children received their "only" Christmas present thanks to those many "Santa's Helpers."

I have collected some wonderful letters from my readers since I came on board and I want to say "thank you so much." You may send special Christmas and family memories, and any suggestions, to my e-mail address and I will try to include them in my future issues.

So, as we say goodbye to this year and say hello to the real Millennium, we have a great time to reflect - not only on our own good fortune but on being surrounded by so many in our community who take the time to reach out to others.

Hill is a member of the Los Altos History Museum Association. Send comments or suggestions to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

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