Sun04192015

News

Car breaks through glass door, closes Trader Joe’s for the day

Car breaks through glass door, closes Trader Joe’s for the day

Alicia Castro/Town Crier
Trader Joe's employees survey the damage after a car smashed through the glass doorway earlier today.

Trader Joe’s on Homestead Road is closed for the remainder of the day (April 17) after a car barreled through the glas...

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Schools

Pinewood student writes book about living with autism

Pinewood student writes book about living with autism


Traci Newell/Town Crier
Pinewood School senior Georgia Lyon wrote and illustrated “How to Be Human: Diary of an Autistic Girl” in 2013.

Although first published under a pseudonym, Pinewood School student Georgia Lyon is stepping out to ...

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Community

Sale offers opportunity to 'discover' jewels, fight cancer

Sale offers opportunity to 'discover' jewels, fight cancer

Volunteers and staff at the American Cancer Society's Discovery Shop in downtown Los Altos urge shoppers to "Be A Gem, Buy A Jewel" during the shop's special sale this Friday (April 17) and Saturday (April 18).

The sale is an opportunity to find Mot...

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Comment

Editorial: Let's assume not to presume

Two recent downtown Los Altos stories offer lessons in the drawbacks of jumping to conclusions.

A few months back, the Town Crier published an article on Ladera Autoworks on First Street closing its doors. That part was true, but the reason was not....

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Special Sections

Fitness focus: No holds barred for Los Altos sisters

Fitness focus: No holds barred for Los Altos sisters


Photos Courtesy of Barre 3
Gillian Brotherson, kneeling at left, guides studio instructors through a workout at barre3 Los Altos.

Health is all about balance. That’s what two Los Altos natives learned as they navigated work, motherhood and welln...

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Business

Steinway gallery brings pianos, musicians to downtown Los Altos

Steinway gallery brings pianos, musicians to downtown Los Altos


Alicia Castro/Town Crier
Chrissy Huang, manager of Steinway Piano Gallery in Los Altos, showcases Steinway & Sons’ signature instruments. The gallery plans to host concerts with performers tickling the ivories.

A new downtown Los Altos bus...

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Books

'Pope Joan' Book weaves tale around legend of female pontiff

'Pope Joan' Book weaves tale around legend of female pontiff


The idea that there may have a female pope at one time in history has generated much speculation throughout the centuries. “Pope Joan” (Crown, 1996) by Donna Woolfolk Cross, does not answer the question; rather, the author has created a detai...

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People

GREG STAHLER

GREG STAHLER

Greg Stahler died unexpecdly in his home in Belmont on March 26, 2015. (He was born in Mountain View on June 23, 1972). He will really be missed by three beautiful young children, Haley 7, Hannah 5, and Tyler 3, and his wife Kathryn. He will also b...

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Travel

Cuba libre: Local residents join mad rush of travelers

Cuba libre: Local residents join mad rush of travelers


Natalie Elefant/Special to the Town Crier
Los Altos resident Natalie Elefant noted the vibrant street performances as a traveler in Cuba.

The U.S. restored diplomatic relations with Cuba late last year, enabling Americans to import $100 worth of cig...

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Stepping Out

'Those Darn Squirrels' invading Mountain View

'Those Darn Squirrels' invading Mountain View


Courtesy of Lyn Flaim Healy/ Spotlight Moments Photography
Noelle Merino stars in Peninsula Youth Theatre’s “Those Darn Squirrels.”

The Peninsula Youth Theatre’s world premiere adaptation of “Those Darn Squirrels” is scheduled Friday and Saturda...

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Spiritual Life

Magazine

Food for thought: Hidden Villa programs offer teens training in sustainability on the farm

Food for thought: Hidden Villa programs offer teens training in sustainability on the farm


/Town Crier It’s not all cute and cuddly for teens participating in the eight-week Animal Husbandry Apprenticeship program at Hidden Villa in Los Altos Hills. Mia Mosing of Palo Alto, left, and Sophia Jackson of Los Altos clean the pigpens – one of...

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Inside Mountain View

Home for disabled youth yields greener pastures

Home for disabled youth yields greener pastures


Alicia Castro/Town Crier
Green Pastures staff member JP Mercada, below right, helps Tommy, who lives at the group home, sort through papers and organize his room.

Tucked in the corner of a quiet residential cul-de-sac in Mountain View, Green Pastur...

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20 years and still going strong : Publisher’s Perspective


Photo By:
The Town Crier published its first issue back under local ownership March 17, 1993, right on schedule.

Exactly two decades ago this week, the Los Altos Town Crier changed ownership for the fifth time since its birth in 1947. The path of ownership started with founder and longtime Los Altos resident Dave MacKenzie, a brilliant writer and promoter who kept it going for 25 years. His partner, graphic artist Warren Goodrich, created the “little guy” bell ringer as a logo, which the paper still uses today. That same artist created the “little guy” that cheers or boos movies in the San Francisco Chronicle.

The first issue of the Town Crier in 1947 was an 8.5-inch-by-11-inch sheet of paper folded in half that contained hand-drawn ads. Along with the bell ringer and the title “Los Altos Town Crier” on the cover was its timeless slogan and mission: “You Can Buy It in Los Altos – Shop Local!” Six decades later, we still consider that part of our message.

MacKenzie sold the paper in 1972 to the first of three different out-of-town owners of networks of weeklies covering Peninsula communities. The third owner was the Chicago Tribune Co., which by the early 1990s owned 11 different nearby titles. However, it wasn’t working for the Tribune, so the company attempted to sell the newspaper group as a package. That did not work, either. Finally, in March 1993, the Tribune closed down the entire group and sold only the assets of each. The Town Crier assets included its trademark, a stack of old issues, two small Mac computers, some very tired office furniture and file cabinets of old black-and-white photos.

My wife, Liz, and I had a thriving magazine business that we had launched approximately 10 years earlier, including Homes and Land magazines, Renter’s Digest and Designers Illustrated. As longtime residents of Los Altos, we had made an earlier offer to purchase the Town Crier that was pending. Suddenly, on a March Friday at 10 a.m., the Tribune laid off its entire staff, closed the doors and gave us a call to come talk.

We did. And by 10 a.m. 24 hours later, we had a deal. By 8 p.m. that Saturday night, we had rehired two key people who are still with us today: Chris Redden, ad services coordinator, and Howard Bischoff, circulation manager. We also snagged additional staff and, to make a long story brief, had a paper out to press by Monday and in residents’ mailboxes the following Wednesday. We did not miss a beat and have been on schedule every week now for 20 years.

One of our primary objectives with the weekly has been to bring back more “hometown” coverage, which had been minimal during the out-of-town owners’ reign. We adopted as our operating spirit the motto, “Easy to do business with.”

Bruce Barton took over as editor-in-chief shortly after we acquired the paper, and several others have been long-term employees: Pete Borello, sports editor, 15 years; real estate advertising rep Janice Fabella, 15 years; and Dawn Pankonen, 16 years. Clyde Noel, who was working part time in 1993, continues as a freelance volunteer writer.

Over the past two decades of ownership, we’ve added color photos; a Town Crier “50” Weekly Stock Index; a Spiritual Life page; a children’s sports page; comics and puzzles; and special sections on seniors, health, automotive, travel and books. A series of all-color magazine inserts – Living in Los Altos, Family Spotlight, Home & Garden and Home for the Holidays – add value for readers.

The Town Crier has stimulated the launch of new events and activities in town. We founded the Los Altan of the Year award in 1995; the Millennium Celebration on New Year’s Eve 1999, attended by 1,500 celebrants; and the Town Crier Holiday Fund in 2000, which in 13 years has raised $2 million for Silicon Valley area nonprofit organizations. We were also, I believe, one of the first newspapers in the country to forge an Internet presence.

I want to emphasize for all readers that the paper would not exist without you and the continued, faithful sponsorship of hundreds of advertisers. Why do they continue to advertise? They get results. So thank you, faithful readers and advertisers, and keep it up. We will do our best to match your interests while maintaining our spirit of being “Easy to do business with.”

Paul Nyberg is publisher of the Town Crier.

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