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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House of Grace empowers women from the inside


Photo By: Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Photo Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier Melanie, a resident of CityTeam International’s House of Grace, has benefited from the program’s holistic approach, particularly its spiritual element.

Melanie might call it a blessing – the phone call notifying her that a bed was available for her at CityTeam International’s House of Grace, a 12- to 14-month residential program in San Jose dedicated to helping women rebuild their lives after addiction, abuse or homelessness.

Although Melanie had struggled with opiate addiction since first experimenting with drugs at the age of 13, House of Grace has given her a new lease on life after a yearlong prison term. When she started the program in June, she was afraid to search for a job, fearing how employers might judge her history of substance abuse and incarceration.

With support from the team at House of Grace, Melanie landed a job five months later. When she delivered her first rent check to staff at the facility, she said she was not only elated, but also filled with self-confidence and integrity.

“I’ve had the opportunity to love myself for the first time at 22,” Melanie said.

The community of residents and staff support at House of Grace are life altering for Melanie and many other women who discover hope and a newfound opportunity to redefine their lives through the program.

“We see her as who she is today, not who she was yesterday,” said Honili Sema, director of women’s ministries at House of Grace.

In addition to safe housing for 24 women and eight children, the program provides continuing-education courses, life-skills classes, counseling and, most importantly, a supportive community that emphasizes holistic healing – physical, emotional and spiritual.

Unlike some recovery programs that last only 30 days, House of Grace gives women’s wounds time to heal. According to Sema, it costs $35 per person per day to run the nonprofit organization. Previous Town Crier Holiday Fund donations have enabled the agency to support participants with housing, food, clothing, furniture, recovery classes, medical and dental care, GED classes, career and money management programs and legal support.

“They want you to be healthy all around and give you support while you’re on that journey,” Melanie said.

When she graduates from House of Grace next summer, Melanie said she plans to attend seminary school to become a youth pastor.

She hopes to turn her past mistakes into something good.

“I always had things I wanted to do with my life but never had the lifestyle to do so,” she said. “I hope God is able to use me to bring light to the world.”

For an album of photos of Melanie and the House of Grace, click here.

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