Tue07292014

News

LASD, BCS boards finalize 5-year agreement

Bullis Charter School board members unanimously approved a five-year agreement with the Los Altos School District just before midnight Monday. The agreement, also unanimously approved by LASD trustees earlier in the evening, outlines facilities uses ...

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Schools

MVLA rolls out laptop integration this fall

MVLA rolls out laptop integration this fall


Town Crier File Photo
Starting in the fall, daily use of laptops in the classroom will be standard operating procedure for students at Los Altos and Mountain View high schools as the Mountain View Los Altos Union High School District launches a pil...

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Community

Generations blend behind the scenes at 'Wizard of Oz'

Generations blend behind the scenes at 'Wizard of Oz'


Altos Youth Theatre and Los Altos Stage Company rehearse a scene from “The Wizard of Oz.” ELIZA RIDGEWAY/ TOWN CRIER

A massive troupe of young people and grownups gathered in Los Altos this summer to stage the latest iteration of a childhood sta...

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Sports

Football in July

Football in July


Town Crier file photo
Mountain View High’s Anthony Avery is among the nine local players slated to play in tonight’s Silicon Valley Youth Classic.

Tonight’s 40th annual Silicon Valley Youth Classic – also known as the Charlie...

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Comment

Pools should be included: Editorial

Los Altos residents should be receiving calls this week from city representatives conducting a survey to determine priorities for a revamped Hillview Community Center.

Notice that we did not say “civic center” – chastened by a lack of public support...

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Special Sections

Looking for life without lows, local diabetic tests artificial pancreas

Looking for life without lows, local diabetic tests artificial pancreas


Photo by Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Dr. Trang Ly, left, reviews blood sugar readings on a smartphone with Los Altos resident Tia Geri, right, and fellow participant Noa Simon during a closed-loop artificial pancreas study for Type 1 diabetics.
...

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Business

Palo Alto law firm coming to 400 Main

Palo Alto law firm coming to 400 Main


Ellie Van Houtte/ Town Crier
Longtime Palo Alto law firm Thoits, Love, Hershberger & McClean plans to open an office at 400 Main St. in Los Altos after construction is complete in November.

A longtime Palo Alto law firm plans to expand int...

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Books

"Frozen in Time" chronicles harrowing WWII rescue attempts


Many readers can’t resist a true-life adventure story, especially those that shine a spotlight on people who exhibit supreme courage in the face of adversity and end up surviving – or not – against the odds.

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People

RICHARD PATRICK BRENNAN

RICHARD PATRICK BRENNAN

Resident of Palo Alto

Richard Patrick Brennan, journalist, editor, author, adventurer, died at his Palo Alto home on July 4, 2014 at age 92. He led a full life, professionally and personally. He was born and raised in San Francisco, joined the Arm...

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Travel

Travel Tidbit: Ritz-Carlton, Lake Tahoe offers spa getaway

Travel Tidbit: Ritz-Carlton, Lake Tahoe offers spa getaway


Courtesy of Ritz-Carlton
The Ritz-Carlton in Lake Tahoe offers fall getaway packages that include spa treatments and yoga classes.

Fall in North Lake Tahoe boasts crisp mornings and opportunities to spend quality time in the mountains. Specially ...

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Stepping Out

PYT stages 'Shrek'

PYT stages 'Shrek'


Lyn Healy/Spotlight Moments Photography
Dana Cullinane plays Fiona in Peninsula Youth Theatre’s “Shrek The Musical.”

Peninsula Youth Theatre presents “Shrek The Musical” Saturday through Aug. 3 at the Mountain View Center for the Performing Arts...

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Spiritual Life

Foothills Congregational: 100 years and counting

Foothills Congregational: 100 years and counting


Courtesy of Carolyn Barnes
The newly built Los Altos church in 1914 featured a bell tower and an arched front window. Both continue as elements of the building as it stands today.

Foothills Congregational Church – the oldest church building in L...

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Magazine

Festival features fun for everyone

Festival features fun for everyone


TOWN CRIER FILE PHOTO
The Los Altos Arts & Wine Festival boasts more than 375 craft and arts booths.

This weekend’s 35th annual Los Altos Arts & Wine Festival promises to be jam-packed with fun activities for just about everyone. The eve...

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Los Altos resident still dancing at 100


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Los Altos resident Ken Haukom Sr. is set to blow out 100 candles on his birthday cake Thursday.

Kenneth A. Haukom Sr. turns 100 years old Thursday.

The longtime Los Altos resident fondly remembers the days when Los Altos had a population of 16,000 instead of today’s 30,000.

“There weren’t any sidewalks then,” he recalled. “The only sidewalks were downtown.”

But even with a few more neighbors, Haukom wouldn’t want to celebrate his centennial anywhere else. The adventures he experienced and the friendships he forged in Los Altos have kept him young.

These days, on the eve of his 100th birthday, Haukom stays busy checking his mail, watering his lawn and following the San Francisco Giants and 49ers. You can also find him dancing with members of the Mid-Peninsula Widows and Widowers Association or stopping by the Los Altos Senior Center.

Early years

Born July 18, 1913, in Conrad, Mont., Haukom was the youngest of three siblings born into a family of Norwegian descent. He spent his early years moving from city to city in the Northwest and Midwest. Haukom spent many childhood summers in Minnesota, splashing around in irrigation ditches to keep cool, getting sunburned and even testing a gun on a friend. Needless to say, he didn’t hit his target.

In the winter of 1934, Haukom and a friend determined to hitchhike across the country. Trekking through knee-deep snow, they reached Chicago before they abandoned their pursuit to take a job driving cars in a caravan to California.

“I didn’t have a driver’s license then,” Haukom said. “So the guy who hired us asked me, ‘What’s your name?’ and I said ‘Ken Haukom.’ So he wrote that on a card, handed it to me, and said, ‘There’s your license.’”

While driving through the mountains in New Mexico, their massive car caravan blocked the only road through the steep and treacherous peaks. A 20-car-long line snaked out behind them, honking the entire time.

“We weren’t popular with anyone,” Haukom said with a chuckle.

Finally entering the Golden State, Haukom said they hadn’t realized it was illegal to drive between states with dealer license plates and were stopped by authorities. They waited in Needles overnight while paperwork was sorted out with the dealership. Although it wasn’t the cordial welcome he expected from California, he made the state his home and has stayed for nearly 80 years and counting.

A West Coast home

After his road trip to California, Haukom set out to sea on a Norwegian tanker to take pictures of Japanese facilities for the U.S. Department of Defense, known then as the U.S. War Department. He returned to the U.S. a year later and graduated from UC Berkeley in 1939.

Fast-forward to Christmas Eve 1940. Haukom married Beverly Rouse, his college sweetheart from the University of Minnesota. The couple met at a freshmen mixer, where Haukom was so intrigued by Beverly’s footwork that he asked her to dance.

“I said, ‘You’re a pretty great dancer.’ She said, ‘I dunno,’ so I said, ‘I dunno, either,’” Haukom said.

The couple moved to Los Altos in 1956 and raised their two children as Haukom worked as an engineer.

Following his retirement in 1978, Haukom and his wife visited 36 foreign countries and racked up 60,000 miles on their motorhome traveling the U.S.

When not on the road, he volunteered at a number of local charities, held a desk job at the Los Altos Senior Center and served on his church council for 16 years.

“He just likes people,” said Haukom’s son, Ken Jr. “He’s 102 percent Norwegian.”

After his beloved wife passed away in 1997, Haukom continued to nurture friendships old and new.

Haukom met Bess Whitaker – a widow who shares his love of theater, travel, TV and dancing – at a Widows and Widowers Association gathering.

“He was pretty good at the polka,” Whitaker said. “One day he told me, ‘Now we can do the three-legged polka – your two and my one.’”

Whitaker and Haukom have been dancing for 13 years straight.

After 100 years of living, Haukom shared his secrets to longevity.

“Stay involved, keep busy and don’t expect the world owes you anything,” he said.

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