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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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Los Altos native writes ‘Myth of the Perfect Girl’


Photo By: Courtesy of Ana Homayoun
Photo Courtesy Of Ana Homayoun

Ana Homayoun, right, works with a student in her office at Green Ivy Educational Consulting in downtown Los Altos. Homayoun is author of the newly released “The Myth of the Perfect Girl.”

When Los Altos native Ana Homayoun, founder of Green Ivy Educational Counseling, began seeing successful girls with doubts about their achievements, she realized there was a conversation that needed to start.

“So many girls were coming into our office, who were doing so many wonderful things, but they never felt they were good enough – that there were all sorts of external expectations they weren’t meeting,” she said.

Homayoun works with approximately 150 local families at her office at 302 Main St., helping students with schoolwork and promoting overall wellness as they plan for college.

“The Myth of the Perfect Girl: Helping Our Daughters Find Authentic Success and Happiness in School and Life” (Perigee Trade, 2012), Homayoun’s second book released Dec. 31, addresses how parents and the community can help girls navigate the difficulties they face.

She has received positive feedback since the book’s release.

Homayoun said two college interns in her office finished the book within three days and concurred that it addressed “what so many of us deal with but no one wants to talk about.”

“My experiences with girls inspired me to write the book, because I felt there is so much out there that we are not talking about right now that needs to be addressed in a positive way,” Homayoun said. “I want to shift the conversation from just achievement to overall wellness.”

She said girls feel immense pressure to be picture-perfect, earn good grades and participate in all the appropriate activities – but many aren’t taking the time to involve themselves in something they enjoy.

“I saw so many girls come in for college counseling with similar résumés,” Homayoun said. “They were great people, but they were clearly anxious they weren’t good enough, and they were exhausted and overwhelmed. There is something wrong with that.”

Her book addresses girls’ tendency to accept others’ expectations rather than to generate and pursue their own version of personal success and fulfillment. As a result, many are left feeling empty and develop mental-health problems.

The book includes exercises for parents and daughters that challenge the reader to focus on specific aspects of wellness that can increase the enjoyment of life. One exercise, the Game of Threes, encourages girls to list new things they want to try, examine what they enjoy doing and do more things they wish they had time for.

On Homayoun’s “Myth of the Perfect Girl” Facebook page, girls nationwide are playing the Game of Threes and sharing their experiences baking or trying knitting for the first time.

“Let’s look at how you want to be spending your time and improve your enjoyment of activities,” she said.

The book touches on academics and how to balance the pressures for achievement with overall wellness.

“I always talk about the wellness piece with students – it’s not just about getting better grades,” Homayoun said. “We focus on the habits you want to change. If you change the habits, the results will come – and they will often be better than you imagine.”

Homayoun also addresses social issues like bullying but wants to shift the conversation to ask why it is happening.

“When you don’t feel good about yourself, you often try to find ways to assuage that,” she said. “Sometimes being mean to others is a quick fix.”

The book encourages parents to stay involved with their daughters, asking them to share how they use technology and discuss the television shows they watch.

Homayoun suggested that parents and their daughters read the book in tandem and start a conversation. Her Facebook page features helpful questions designed to spark discussion.

“The Myth of the Perfect Girl” is available on Amazon.com and at major book retailers. Purchase it locally at Main Street Cafe & Books or Linden Tree Books.

Homayoun is scheduled to appear 7:30 p.m. Thursday at Kepler’s Books, 1010 El Camino Real, Menlo Park.

For more information, visit www.facebook.com/mythoftheperfectgirl.

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