Wed04012015

News

Council eyes bond for Hillview center

Council eyes bond for Hillview center


The Los Altos City Council accepted an $87.5 million cost model for its preferred layout for replacing Hillview Community Center. 

Residents could cast their votes as soon as November on a bond measure to partially fund the redevelopment of...

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Schools

Oak students showcase creativity in Destination Imagination competitions

Oak students showcase creativity in Destination Imagination competitions


Courtesy of Jane Lee Choe
The Sharp Cheddars, a team of Oak Avenue School sixth-graders, perform at the Destination Imagination state competition Saturday in Riverside.

A team of seven Oak Avenue School sixth-graders traveled to Riverside last week...

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Community

Heising-Simons Foundation relocates to 400 Main St. property in Los Altos

Heising-Simons Foundation relocates to 400 Main St. property in Los Altos


Bruce Barton/Town Crier
All in the family: Mark Heising, from left, Caitlin Heising and Elizabeth Simons make up the board of the eight-year-old Heising-Simons Foundation, now in its new headquarters at 400 Main St. in downtown Los Altos.

The He...

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Comment

What would Bob do?: Editorial

The recent passing of an extraordinary Los Altos resident, Bob Grimm, has generated a range of heartfelt reaction, from sympathy to fond memories, from all corners. That’s because Bob did not discriminate in his desire to help others with his money, ...

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Special Sections

Cars that are right on track

Cars that are right on track


Courtesy of BMW
The BMW M4 is packed with power, featuring 425 horsepower and 406 pound-feet of torque.

There’s nothing more fun than driving a responsive automobile that feels alive in the curves and eager to go when given more than a touch ...

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Business

First Street's 'Fort Knox' up for sale

First Street's 'Fort Knox' up for sale


Megan V. Winslow/Town Crier
The Los Altos Vault and Safe Deposit Co. is on the market for $4.5 million. Its fortified steel and concrete structure has been compared to the U.S. Federal Reserve’s gold depository.

A downtown Los Altos structure “b...

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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

JOHN BATISTICH

JOHN BATISTICH

John Batistich of Los Altos Hills died peacefully on March 12 surrounded by his family. John is survived by his wife Claire Batistich (Vidovich) of 67 years and children Gary Batistich of Lodi and Gay Batistich Abuel-Saud of Menlo Park. He is also ...

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Travel

Eat, hike, soak: Cavallo Point Lodge offers Marin experience

Eat, hike, soak: Cavallo Point Lodge offers Marin experience


Eren Göknar/ Town Crier
Cavallo Point Lodge comprises former U.S. Army buildings, like the Mission Blue Chapel, repurposed for guests seeking a luxurious getaway.

It used to be a place where batteries of soldiers lived, with officers’ quarter...

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Stepping Out

'Fire' ignites in Mtn. View

'Fire' ignites in Mtn. View


Courtesy of Kevin Berne
The cast of “Fire on the Mountain,” includes, from left, Tony Marcus, Harvy Blanks, Molly Andrews and Robert Parsons.

TheatreWorks is slated to present the regional premiere of the musical “Fire on the Mountain” this wee...

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Spiritual Life

Spiritual Life Briefs

Oshman JCC hosts Judaism and Science Symposium

The Oshman Family Jewish Community Center has scheduled its inaugural Judaism and Science Symposium, “An Exploration of the Convergence of Jewish & Scientific Thought,” 5 p.m. April 12 at the JCC’s ...

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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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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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