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News

E. coli found in Los Altos water indicated breach, but only low risk

E. coli found in Los Altos water indicated breach, but only low risk


Courtesy of Microbe World
Colorized low-temperature electron micrograph of a cluster of E. coli bacteria

When E. coli and other bacteria were discovered in some Los Altos water last week, officials from the local water supplier, California Water...

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Schools

BCS hosts Stretch to Kindergarten program for underserved youth

BCS hosts Stretch to Kindergarten program for underserved youth


Traci Newell/Town Crier
The six-week, tuition-free Stretch to Kindergarten program, hosted at Bullis Charter School, serves children who have not attended preschool. A teacher leads children in singing about the parts of a butterfly, above.

Local un...

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Community

Google car painting project calls on artists

Google car painting project calls on artists


Google self-driving car

Already known as an innovator in the tech field, Google Inc. is now moving in on the art world.

The Mountain View-based company July 11 launched the “Paint the Town” contest, a “moving art experiment” that invites Califo...

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Sports

Pedaling with a purpose

Pedaling with a purpose


courtesy of
Rishi Bommannan Rishi Bommannan cycled from Bates College in Maine to his home in Los Altos Hills, taking several selfies along the way. He also raised nearly $13,000 for the Livestrong Foundation, which supports cancer patients.

When R...

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Comment

The truth about coyotes: Other Voices

The Town Crier’s recent article on coyotes venturing down from the foothills in search of sustenance referenced the organization Project Coyote (“Recent coyote attacks keep residents on edge,” July 1). Do not waste your time contac...

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Special Sections

Grant Park senior program made permanent

Grant Park senior program made permanent


Photos by Alicia Castro/Town Crier
Local residents participate in an exercise class at the Grant Park Senior Center, above. Betsy Reeves, below left with Gail Enenstein, lobbied for senior programming in south Los Altos.

It all began when Betsy Reev...

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Business

New State Street rug retailer has downtown Los Altos covered

New State Street rug retailer has downtown Los Altos covered


Alicia Castro/Town Crier
Los Altos Rug Gallery owner Fahim Karimi stocks his State Street store with a wall-to-wall array of floor coverings.

A new downtown business owner plans to roll out the red carpet – along with rugs of every other color –...

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Books

Book Signings

• Fritz and Nomi Trapnell have scheduled a book-signing party 4-6 p.m. Aug. 1 at their home, 648 University Ave., Los Altos.

Fritz and his daughter, Dana Tibbitts, co-authored “Harnessing the Sky: Frederick ‘Trap’ Trapnell, ...

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People

GRACE WILSON FRANKS

GRACE WILSON FRANKS

Resident of Los Altos

Grace Wilson Franks, our beloved mother and grandmother, left us peacefully on July 16, 2015 just a few weeks short of her 92nd birthday. She was born to Ross and Florence (Cruzan) Wilson in rural Tulare, California on Septem...

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Travel

Gearing up: Make travel more civilized with accessories

Gearing up: Make travel more civilized with accessories


Eren Göknar/Special to the Town Crier
San Francisco-based humangear Inc. sells totes, tubes and tubs for traveling.

In travel, as in romance, it’s the little things that count.

Beyond the glossy brochures lie the travel discomforts too mun...

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Stepping Out

Going out with a 'Bang'

Going out with a 'Bang'


Richard Mayer/Special to the Town Crier
“Chitty Chitty Bang Bang” stars, clockwise from top left, Alexander Sanchez, Sophia Sturiale, Deborah Rosengaus and Danny Martin.

Los Altos Stage Company and Los Altos Youth Theatre’s joint production of t...

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Spiritual Life

Build a 'light' house and get out of that dark place

Most of us have a place inside our hearts and minds that occasionally causes us trouble. For some, it is sadness, depression or despair. For others, it may be fear, anger, resentment or myriad other emotional “dark places” that at times seem to hij...

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Magazine

Inside Mountain View

Residents gather at NASA Ames for Pluto Flyby event

Residents gather at NASA Ames for Pluto Flyby event


Megan V. Winslow/Town Crier
NASA Ames’ Pluto Flyover event kindles the imaginations of young attendees.

Sue Moore watched the July 20, 1969, moon landing beside patients and staff members of the San Francisco hospital where she worked as a nurse...

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Getting ready: Haugh About That?

At the door to my bedroom, my father stood in his dark-blue suit tapping his foot. Staring at his 16-year-old daughter, he ordered: “Jackie, hurry up. We’re going to be late.”

In the Madden family, punctuality was right up there with perfect manners and good hygiene. We were never allowed to be late for anything. Being tardy for school, church or dinner was equal to a mortal sin. It was a sign of disrespect and punishable with near death, or at least a good grounding.

“Dad, I still have five minutes,” I hissed, desperately trying not to be insolent. “You can’t rush a girl when she’s in the final stages of fluffing herself.”

And with his signature “harrumph,” he pointed at his watch and said, “You just wasted one minute. You have four left.”

Since I was a child, I’ve found it amazing that he could shower and shave in less time than it took to pour a bowl of cereal. I, on the other hand, seemed to need an entire day. Now, I often reflect on how the tables have turned as I watch my 96-year-old father get ready to make his final journey home.

Each day starts with a simple routine – a sponge bath in bed followed by breakfast. Once completed, it’s off to his tattered and worn-out recliner for a day filled with what appears to be devoid of anything substantial. With his eyes closed, he looks like he’s asleep, but I know better.

Jack Madden is a gentle man who converses with the Lord daily. In those quiet hours, he connects with the spiritual world. I know my mother is calling him to come be with her, but he’s not ready. He has things to think about, a lifetime to remember and people to pray for.

This enormous job of caring for my dad has me constantly re-evaluating the gift we call life and a family’s involvement. Why do some die young and others live way past what is deemed reasonable? Has medical science gone too far in keeping people alive longer than they should be? Is it a requirement that adult children take on the caregiving of their aging parent after they’ve just raised their own children? There is no right or wrong answer to such questions. Only what works for the people involved.

Years ago, I made a promise I’d never leave my father alone in a nursing home, a vow that definitely has had its mixed blessings.

I often find myself feeling trapped in a house that smells of adult diapers. The floors and walls of my once pristine-looking home are now permanently scarred with divots from the metal spokes of his wheelchair, and sometimes my heart rages over the unfairness of it all.

But the rewards are many. With my dad by my side each day, I’ve learned not only about my heritage and the incredible human being I’m proud to call my father, but about humanity – especially mine. While it hasn’t always been a pretty sight, I’ve learned to set aside my selfishness to put this treasured individual first. Doing the right thing feels wonderful.

So, as I watch him get ready to give me that last goodnight kiss, I pray, “God, let him take all the time he needs for that reunion that awaits in heaven.” As far as I’m concerned, this is one time my daddy can be impolite and throw punctuality out the window. I’m thrilled he’s too busy to die, because I’m too selfish to let him go.

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