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News

LA council votes to delay community center update

LA council votes to delay community center update


Ellie Van Houtte/ Town Crier
The Los Altos City Council voted to delay adoption of a community center conceptual design plan last week. The plan includes elements from a design charette held earlier this fall, left.

The Los Altos City Council last...

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Schools

Scientists bring experiments into MV classrooms

Scientists bring experiments into MV classrooms


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
During a Science is Learning geology lesson, Theuerkauf Elementary School students learn about igneous rocks by observing how sugar changes form when heated.

Hundreds of local elementary students perform experiments w...

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Community

Local actors star in PYT's 'Oklahoma!'

Local actors star in PYT's 'Oklahoma!'


Courtesy of Peninsula Youth Theatre
PYT’s “Oklahoma!” features, from left, David Peters of Mountain View, Jenna Levere of Los Altos and Kai Wessel of Mountain View.

Time is running out to catch Peninsula Youth Theatre’s production of “Oklahoma!”...

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Sports

Eagles advance

Eagles advance


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Los Altos High’s Carmen Annevelink, left, and Kristen Liu put up a block against Mountain View. Annevelink totaled 20 kills.

Mountain View High’s out-of-the-gate energy could last for only so long against rival and he...

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Comment

Coping with addictions: Haugh About That?

Preparing to deal with my lifelong addiction, I stood in front of the mirror ready to confess the shame I’d been hiding. The first step to healing, I reminded myself, is to admit something is wrong.

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Special Sections

NASA, Google agreement preserves Hangar One

NASA, Google agreement preserves Hangar One


Bruce Barton/Town Crier
Hangar One, pictured here last January, will be restored under an agreement between Google and NASA.

NASA and Google Inc. forged an agreement last week that allows Google to lease a portion of NASA’s historic Moffett Fede...

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Business

State Street science center closing Nov. 30

State Street science center closing Nov. 30


Ellie Van Houtte/
Helix at 316 State St. is closing after the completion of a one-year grant from Passerelle Investment Co. The science center became a popular destination because of its various exhibits. Town Crier

A popular downtown destination...

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Books

Children's author signs books at Linden Tree

Children's author signs books at Linden Tree


Author Tiffany Papageorge is scheduled to sign copies of new her book 11 a.m. Dec. 6 at Linden Tree Books, 265 State St., Los Altos.

Papageorge’s “My Yellow Balloon” (Minoan Moon, 2014) is a Mom’s Choice “Gold” winner. In the book, the Los Gat...

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People

JAMES WINDELL SMITH

JAMES WINDELL SMITH

January 11, 1939 – November 6, 2014
Resident of Mountain View

James Windell Smith, a 40 year resident of Los Altos, passed away from complications after a post-surgery stroke November 6th, 2014 in Los Gatos, California.

Born on January 11, 1939 on...

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Travel

Olive Sonoma: There's more to the quaint town than wine

Olive Sonoma: There's more to the quaint town than wine


Eren Göknar/ Special to the Town Crier
While many day-trippers may think that Sonoma is all about the grapes, the region boasts other delights. Try a biplane ride over the patchwork landscape.

Sonoma, a scenic two-hour drive from Los Altos, boa...

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Stepping Out

LA Stage Company opens 'Fairway'

The Los Altos Stage Company production of Ken Ludwig’s new comedy “The Fox on the Fairway” is slated to run Thursday through Dec. 14 at Bus Barn Theater, 97 Hillview Ave.

A tribute to the English farces of the 1930s and 1940s, “Fox” is a romp that p...

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Spiritual Life

Author of Jewish historical novel slated at Congregation Beth Am

Author of Jewish historical novel slated at Congregation Beth Am


The Beth Am Women have scheduled “A Conversation with Author Maggie Anton” 7:30 p.m. Nov. 20 at Congregation Beth Am, 26790 Arastradero Road, Los Altos Hills.

Anton, winner of the 2012 National Jewish Book Award for Fiction, will discu...

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Magazine

Christmas At Our House home tour celebrates 26 years

Christmas At Our House home tour celebrates 26 years


Courtesy of Christopher Stark
Homes on the St. Francis High School Women’s Club’s Christmas at Our House Holiday Home Tour showcase a variety of architectural styles.

The days grow short on sunshine but long on nostalgia as the holidays approach...

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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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