Sun10262014

News

Election flyer mimics newspaper coverage

Election flyer mimics newspaper coverage

A flyer is being distributed across Los Altos that looks like it is from the Los Altos Town Crier but was neither created nor distributed by the community’s weekly newspaper. The flyer, pictured at right, is being distributed by workers from Pyrami...

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Schools

LAHS Science and Technology Week features medical examiner

LAHS Science and Technology Week features medical examiner


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
A Los Altos High School student learns how to use robotic surgical equipment at the school’s Science and Technology Week event last year. Students can also attend hands-on presentations at this year’s event, w...

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Community

Ahoy, matey: Pirate Manor ramps up Halloween display

Ahoy, matey: Pirate Manor ramps up Halloween display


Town Crier File Photo
Pirate Manor is once again scheduled to arrive in the front yard of Dane and Jill Glasgow’s home on Manor Way in Los Altos, just in time for Halloween.

Although not the Walking Dead, pirate skeletons have been brought to li...

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Sports

Lancers rule the pool against Spartans

Lancers rule the pool against Spartans


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
St. Francis High’s Eric Reitmeir launches the ball over Mountain View High driver David Niehaus (2) and goalie Kenny Tang. The host Lancers won Friday’s non-league game 9-3.

There wasn’t a lot on the line Friday when ...

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Comment

Reeder, Fung for El Camino HCD: Editorial

The good news for the El Camino Healthcare District (formerly the El Camino Hospital District, for those still getting used to the new name) is that there is a contested election Nov. 4 for the district’s board of directors. Three candidates are runn...

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Special Sections

Plant-based diet offers benefits

Plant-based diet offers benefits


Photo by Ramya Krishna
Los Altos resident Nandini Krishna prepares a meat-free dish According to author Caldwell B. Esselstyn Jr., M.D., a plant-based diet can help prevent cancer.

Shirley Okita of Los Altos has found that adhering to a mostly plant...

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Business

New shop offers haute couture for girls

New shop offers haute couture for girls


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
The Girls @ Los Altos at 239 State St. offers clothing lines such as Nellystella as well as toys and other items for girls.

Cecilia Chen opened The Girls @ Los Altos as a tribute to the party dress. Whether it’s for...

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Books

Helping kids catch a few Zs: Local dental hygienist pens meditative bedtime book

Helping kids catch a few Zs: Local dental hygienist pens meditative bedtime book


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Mimi Sommers, who works at a Los Altos dentist’s office, recently wrote a children’s book.

A local dental hygienist recently published a book that aims to ease parents and children during a sometimes anxious e...

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People

BARBARA DARLING MERIDETH

1946-2014

Born in Palo Alto, raised in Los Altos, retired in southern Oregon. Survived by Peter James Merideth, sons Matthew, Jacob and John Merideth, the loves of her life.

She was a housewife who took great pride in her home, her surroundings and...

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Travel

Falling leaves: Four places in California to see autumn colors

Falling leaves: Four places in California to see autumn colors


Courtesy of Castello di Amorosa
Castello di Amorosa in Calistoga, above, boasts a beautiful setting for viewing fall’s colors – and sampling the vineyard’s wines.

Yes, Virginia, there is fall in California.

The colors pop out in...

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Stepping Out

'Sleepy Hollow' awakens at Bus Barn

'Sleepy Hollow' awakens at Bus Barn



Los Altos Youth Theatre’s production of “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow,” a musical based on Washington Irving’s classic story, is set to run through Nov. 2 at Bus Barn Theater. The cast comprises 27 young actors, directed by Cindy Powell. Courtesy o...

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Spiritual Life

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 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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