Tue09302014

News

Meet the Santa Clara Valley Water District Board of Directors candidates

Meet the Santa Clara Valley Water District Board of Directors candidates

Two candidates have filed to run for the District 7 seat on the Santa Clara Valley Water District Board of Directors in the Nov. 4 election. The water district, established in 1929, oversees and protects water resources in Santa Clara County....

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Schools

New LAHS assistant principal focuses on school activities

New LAHS assistant principal focuses on school activities


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Suzanne Woolfolk, assistant principal at Los Altos High, teaches a leadership course for Associated Student Body leaders.

Suzanne Woolfolk – new assistant principal at Los Altos High School – said she is happy...

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Community

Petting zoo, car show highlight Chamber's annual Fall Festival

Petting zoo, car show highlight Chamber's annual Fall Festival


Courtesy of Los Altos Chamber of Commerce
The petting zoo is a highlight of the Los Altos Fall Festival. This year’s event is slated Oct. 4 and 5.

The Los Altos Chamber of Commerce has scheduled its 23rd annual Fall Festival 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Oc...

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Sports

Burlingame bowls over Los Altos

Burlingame bowls over Los Altos


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Los Altos High halfback Sean Lanoza looks for running room against Burlingame in Saturday’s home opener.

The opening drive of Saturday’s game against Burlingame couldn’t have gone much better for the Los Altos High fo...

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Comment

Does Los Altos have a parking problem, or is it a symptom? : Other Voices

Yes, and yes. It appears that the downtown Los Altos parking problem is a symptom of the city’s “Sarah Winchester” approach to planning that instead of resulting in staircases to nowhere resulted in a hotel without parking required by code.(1)

From ...

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Special Sections

Los Altos landmark Four families later, Shoup House goes on the market

Los Altos landmark Four families later, Shoup House goes on the market


Courtesy of Matthew Anello
The Shoup House dining room, above, features original elements. The 100-year-old house on University Avenue earned a spot on the National Register of Historic Places, a nod to its legacy as the home of city founder Paul S...

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Business

Longtime banker readies for retirement

Longtime banker readies for retirement


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Joanne Kavalaris is retiring at the end of October after spending the past 25 years of her banking career in downtown Los Altos.

A longtime Los Altos banker is calling it a career in a few weeks.

Joanne Kavalaris, Bank o...

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Books

A woman's perspective on the Greatest Generation

A woman's perspective on the Greatest Generation


During World War II, Virgilia Short Witzel, a young mother and U.S. Navy officer’s wife, grappled on the home front in Menlo Park with wartime rationing, shortages and loneliness. During the ensuing Cold War, she experienced adventure and misadventur...

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People

VINCENT (TIM) MURPHY JR.

VINCENT (TIM) MURPHY JR.

July 27, 1953 – August 12, 2014

Native Los Altan died Medford, OR. Graduated Bellarmine Prep. Married Josephine Domino, 1950. Licensed Auto Mechanic, Private Pilot, skilled Computer Scientist. Tim “could fix anything”. Afflicted with cancer 2001. ...

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Travel

Taking a Turkey trek: Winging it during the World Cup

Taking a Turkey trek: Winging it during the World Cup


Rich Robertson/Special to the Town Crier
The sun sets over the Aegean Sea in Bodrum, Turkey, left.

Tours that whisk you from Istanbul to Bodrum in 11 days are as plentiful as souvenir hawkers in Turkey, but traveling from the Blue Mosque to Topkapi ...

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Stepping Out

Pear builds wonderful 'House'

Pear builds wonderful 'House'


J. Smith/Special to the Town Crier
Betsy Kruse Craig portrays Trish in the Pear Avenue Theatre production of “House,” which closes Oct. 5.

Mountain View’s Pear Avenue Theatre is staging an unusual theater-going experience – producing two plays...

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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 add ...

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The art of communication: Haugh About That?

Staring at the lump of flesh passed out on the couch, pressure within the magma chamber of my brain began to boil. Within seconds, my anger couldn’t be contained and an explosive stream of words erupted over my sleeping child.

“Tim, I didn’t travel halfway around the world to watch you sleep!”

Slowly rotating his 6-foot-tall frame, he pulled the blanket over his face and grunted a phrase I hadn’t heard in a long time: “Mom, relax! We have all day.”

Immediately, my quest for a fabulous vacation billowed in front of my eyes like a puff of smoke from a bad cigar.

For the past 20 months, Tim, the 25-year-old heir apparent to the Haugh dynasty, has been living the life of a bohemian. Based in Barcelona, he tutors English by day and explores Europe on the weekends. Positive he missed me, I made the 15-hour trip to visit.

“Things start late around here,” the hairy creature grumbled, sporting a full beard and long, disheveled Shirley Temple curls that cascaded down his back.

Wondering which I was more upset with, this new caveman-on-steroids look or his lax attitude about wanting to please his mother, I hissed, “This was no cheap excursion, you know.”

Leaving our apartment, it quickly became apparent that traveling with a son was going to be quite different from traveling with a daughter. There would be no stopping to browse cute shops along the boulevard. Lunch was just a pit stop, and resting at a cafe for a glass of wine late in the afternoon to discuss feelings was wishful thinking on my part. No, the plans I had for this trip went spinning in a swirling vortex down a Spanish toilet.

But remembering the saying “When in Rome, do as the Romans do,” I thought perhaps an attitude adjustment was in order. While I wasn’t in Italy, I was on my son’s turf – and who better than Tim to decide how the day should flow?

It wasn’t long before eating dinner at 10 p.m. and sleeping until noon became as natural as eating strawberries on shortcake. Shopping could wait until I got back to the U.S., but I was still having problems with our communication. While I spoke in flowery, melodic narratives that dragged on forever, Tim conversed in staccato beats of black and white, leaving much to the imagination. And then, without warning, it happened.

Tipping his hand one evening, he briefly displayed his cards revealing all he valued as private before drawing them back to his chest. My job, should I want to continue to stay in the game, was to listen quietly and ask no questions. Thankfully, I did.

Leaving Barcelona eight days later, I did what I always do when saying goodbye to one of my kids. I blubbered. But these were sobs of a different kind.

By allowing my child to converse in his special dialect, without my annoying constant interruptions, he opened up his heart and let me into his world. I became a witness to the incredible person he’s become while still maintaining the sweetness he possessed as a child. Tim is no longer a little boy – he’s an independent, deep-thinking and kind young man. His values are solid, and he remains true to himself, following his path, always authentic.

I traveled to Spain for an adventure but got more than I bargained for. By crossing the threshold that had blocked us in his youth, communication was allowed to flow easily. I arrived as his mother, but I left as his friend.

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