Sat11222014

News

LA council votes to delay community center update

LA council votes to delay community center update


Ellie Van Houtte/ Town Crier
The Los Altos City Council voted to delay adoption of a community center conceptual design plan last week. The plan includes elements from a design charette held earlier this fall, left.

The Los Altos City Council last...

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Schools

Scientists bring experiments into MV classrooms

Scientists bring experiments into MV classrooms


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
During a Science is Learning geology lesson, Theuerkauf Elementary School students learn about igneous rocks by observing how sugar changes form when heated.

Hundreds of local elementary students perform experiments w...

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Community

Local actors star in PYT's 'Oklahoma!'

Local actors star in PYT's 'Oklahoma!'


Courtesy of Peninsula Youth Theatre
PYT’s “Oklahoma!” features, from left, David Peters of Mountain View, Jenna Levere of Los Altos and Kai Wessel of Mountain View.

Time is running out to catch Peninsula Youth Theatre’s production of “Oklahoma!”...

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Sports

Eagles advance

Eagles advance


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Los Altos High’s Carmen Annevelink, left, and Kristen Liu put up a block against Mountain View. Annevelink totaled 20 kills.

Mountain View High’s out-of-the-gate energy could last for only so long against rival and he...

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Comment

Coping with addictions: Haugh About That?

Preparing to deal with my lifelong addiction, I stood in front of the mirror ready to confess the shame I’d been hiding. The first step to healing, I reminded myself, is to admit something is wrong.

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Special Sections

NASA, Google agreement preserves Hangar One

NASA, Google agreement preserves Hangar One


Bruce Barton/Town Crier
Hangar One, pictured here last January, will be restored under an agreement between Google and NASA.

NASA and Google Inc. forged an agreement last week that allows Google to lease a portion of NASA’s historic Moffett Fede...

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Business

State Street science center closing Nov. 30

State Street science center closing Nov. 30


Ellie Van Houtte/
Helix at 316 State St. is closing after the completion of a one-year grant from Passerelle Investment Co. The science center became a popular destination because of its various exhibits. Town Crier

A popular downtown destination...

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Books

Children's author signs books at Linden Tree

Children's author signs books at Linden Tree


Author Tiffany Papageorge is scheduled to sign copies of new her book 11 a.m. Dec. 6 at Linden Tree Books, 265 State St., Los Altos.

Papageorge’s “My Yellow Balloon” (Minoan Moon, 2014) is a Mom’s Choice “Gold” winner. In the book, the Los Gat...

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People

JAMES WINDELL SMITH

JAMES WINDELL SMITH

January 11, 1939 – November 6, 2014
Resident of Mountain View

James Windell Smith, a 40 year resident of Los Altos, passed away from complications after a post-surgery stroke November 6th, 2014 in Los Gatos, California.

Born on January 11, 1939 on...

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Travel

Olive Sonoma: There's more to the quaint town than wine

Olive Sonoma: There's more to the quaint town than wine


Eren Göknar/ Special to the Town Crier
While many day-trippers may think that Sonoma is all about the grapes, the region boasts other delights. Try a biplane ride over the patchwork landscape.

Sonoma, a scenic two-hour drive from Los Altos, boa...

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Stepping Out

LA Stage Company opens 'Fairway'

The Los Altos Stage Company production of Ken Ludwig’s new comedy “The Fox on the Fairway” is slated to run Thursday through Dec. 14 at Bus Barn Theater, 97 Hillview Ave.

A tribute to the English farces of the 1930s and 1940s, “Fox” is a romp that p...

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Spiritual Life

Author of Jewish historical novel slated at Congregation Beth Am

Author of Jewish historical novel slated at Congregation Beth Am


The Beth Am Women have scheduled “A Conversation with Author Maggie Anton” 7:30 p.m. Nov. 20 at Congregation Beth Am, 26790 Arastradero Road, Los Altos Hills.

Anton, winner of the 2012 National Jewish Book Award for Fiction, will discu...

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Magazine

Christmas At Our House home tour celebrates 26 years

Christmas At Our House home tour celebrates 26 years


Courtesy of Christopher Stark
Homes on the St. Francis High School Women’s Club’s Christmas at Our House Holiday Home Tour showcase a variety of architectural styles.

The days grow short on sunshine but long on nostalgia as the holidays approach...

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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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