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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Unlikely relationship inspires readers with twists and turns

I am drawn to unlikely heroes and inspiring characters wherever I find them, whether depicted in a great book of pure fiction or, best of all, in real life.

A case in point is Ron Hall’s story of his life-changing intersection with a homeless man named Denver Moore. Hall and Moore’s book, “Same Kind of Different as Me: A Modern-Day Slave, an International Art Dealer, and the Unlikely Woman Who Bound Them Together” (Thomas Nelson, 2006), chronicles how these two men are drawn into an unlikely relationship prompted by Ron’s saintly wife, Debbie. (It’s kind of like Kathryn Stockett’s “The Help” for men.)

The backstory of the wheeling-dealing, jet-setting Hall is as inspiring as Moore’s. At first blush, Hall seems like an ordinary guy. He was born on a ranch in Texas, attended school and graduated from college. He earned a master’s degree in business administration, went to work for a bank and married his college sweetheart.

One day, while on a business trip for the bank, he wandered into an art gallery and purchased an original oil painting on credit, much to his wife’s displeasure. He subsequently sold it for a $2,000 profit. From that small dip into the art world, Hall accidently launched an immensely successful career as an art dealer that lasted 25 years. He eventually left that profession to pursue his dream of being a cowboy, filling his days with ranching, roping, writing poetry and, in his words, “anything else Debbie asked me to do.”

It is a good story so far, but his life becomes a great story through a fiery trial that launches him into his most important work.

While volunteering at a homeless shelter, Hall is drawn into the life of Moore amid twists, turns and intersections that are stranger than fiction. Today, Hall continues his new life’s work by co-authoring this heartfelt book and advocating on behalf of the homeless.

As I write this, I am reminded that many of us are closer to the edge of our comfort and security than we ever dreamed possible. More and more “people like me” have slipped over the edge into homelessness. We would be wise to measure our success less by what we have achieved and more by what we have become. The demographics on that are invisible and challenge our assumptions. I’m just saying … we all really are the “same kind of different” in all the important ways.

Sharon Lennox-Infante, contributing editor for Book Buzz, is a Los Altos resident.

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