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News

LA Council race adds 3 new faces to city politics

LA Council race adds 3 new faces to city politics


The Town Crier chronicled the first election of Los Altos City Council incumbent Jarrett Fishpaw in 2010 and documented the Los Altos candidacy of Jean Mordo, who volunteered as a longtime public servant in Los Altos Hills before moving to the flat...

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Schools

St. Simon launches web-based learning management system

St. Simon launches web-based learning management system


Courtesy of St. Simon Parish School
St. Simon fifth-grader Matthew Cummins uses a laptop in class last week. The school’s cloud-based Schoology system boosts organization and collaboration.

Families at St. Simon Parish School in Los Altos laun...

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Community

Los Altos to celebrate 100 years of library use with 'Centennial Faire'

Los Altos to celebrate 100 years of library use with 'Centennial Faire'


Town Crier File Photo
The Los Altos main library is among the more popular branches in the county library district system, set to celebrate 100 years.

In 1914, Babe Ruth made his debut with the Boston Red Sox, wages hit $5 per day, the first ste...

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Sports

Eagles eye another stellar season

Eagles eye another stellar season


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Los Altos High outside hitter Carmen Annevelink, right, goes for the kill Thursday against Palo Alto, as teammates Sarah Tritschler, left, and Lulu Kishton prepare to play defense. The Eagles won the match in straight ga...

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Comment

Torok, Walter, Dave for MVLA board: Editorial

There’s really nothing major you can criticize about the Mountain View Los Altos Union High School District. It offers a diverse array of effective programs for all types of students. Its instructors, with few exceptions, are outstanding.

Howe...

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Special Sections

'Funabout' Fiat

'Funabout' Fiat


Photos courtesy of Fiat
The 2014 Fiat 500e uses 29 kilowatt-hours per 100 miles, which the engineers claim is the equivalent of 116 mpg of gas use. It has a sticker price of $33,095.

If you believe in climate change, would love to see alternat...

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Business

App developer eyes First Friday as testing ground

App developer eyes First Friday as testing ground


Ted Fagenson

An East Bay app developer is testing his newest creation in downtown Los Altos.

Ted Fagenson, co-founder of Skrownge (pronounced “scrounge”), told the Town Crier that he’s beta testing his mobile gaming app this week ...

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Books

From story to bookstore: Local journey highlights Halloween

From story to bookstore: Local journey highlights Halloween


Courtesy of Dee Ellmann
Jenny Hurwick self-published her picture book last month after decades of storytelling.

During her years working as a teacher and a Los Altos mom, Jenny Hurwick loved to tell stories. One tale she crafted for her son just se...

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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

'Gypsy' on its way out

'Gypsy' on its way out


Chris Berger/Special to the Town Crier
Alison Koch of Los Altos plays Dainty June in “Gypsy.”

This is the final weekend to catch the Sunnyvale Community Players production of “Gypsy” at the Sunnyvale Theatre. The musical is slated to close Sund...

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Spiritual Life

Ugandan pastor visits U.S. to raise support for children's ministry

Ugandan pastor visits U.S. to raise support for children's ministry


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Herman Lukwago educates children in Uganda.

Imagine life if your father had 25 children and you were raised in poverty in rural Uganda.

Now imagine that you and your siblings were orphaned at an early age and you ass...

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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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Boston Marathon survivor recalls remarkable story


Photo By: Timotius Tjahjadi/ Special to the Town Crier
Photo Timotius Tjahjadi/ Special To The Town Crier

John Ortberg, Menlo Park Presbyterian Church senior pastor, discusses the Boston Marathon bombings with church member Amanda North.

Menlo Park Presbyterian Church member Amanda North said the infamous Boston Marathon bombings changed her life forever.

In an interview-style format with Senior Pastor John Ortberg, North spoke to the church congregation June 16 about her unforgettable experience nearly two months earlier. The Silicon Valley marketing tech executive and Woodside resident was near the finish line at the April 15 event to cheer on her 20-year-old daughter, Lili. It was a beautiful day, and North had just received word that Lili was approximately a mile away.

“Moments later, there was a deafening explosion. Clouds of smoke billowed out, and I was blown off my feet,” North said.

At first, she thought it was a camera explosion. Then, after the second bomb blast, she thought, “We’re under attack. … Things just changed in a heartbeat.”

North said she looked next to her and saw a woman with the side of her leg “completely open and gaping.”

That was 29-year-old Erika Brannock, a suburban Baltimore preschool teacher who had lost a portion of one leg and broken the other. Brannock told CNN reporters that when she was down on the ground after the blast, “I had a conversation in my head with God, and I told him I wasn’t ready to go.”

Almost instantaneously, Brannock said, North crawled over to her, and said, “I’m not going to let you go.”

North said she felt a presence inside guiding her.

“I felt calm, I felt focused,” she said. “I thought, ‘I can hold her hands and I can talk to her and I can try to get her to focus on me’” until medical help arrived.

Once she returned to California, North said she prayed daily for Brannock, whose contact information she had neglected to request. Shortly afterward, North was informed that CNN was searching for her, as the network was trying to reconnect the two women.

North has become a local celebrity of sorts, with interviews on CNN with Anderson Cooper and with the New York Daily News and the San Jose Mercury News. She said she has received hundreds of emails and LinkedIn and Facebook messages, lauding the impact of kindness from strangers.

The impact of that day has been far-reaching for North, who decided to leave the tech world after 30 years.

“The marathon (incident) suggested to me (that there’s) no point in waiting,” she said.

After North bid farewell to her high-tech job, she became the first social entrepreneur in residence at Santa Clara University, where she plans to use her professional experience to help artisans in developing countries.

The night after the bombings, North’s daughter told her that they had been spared for a purpose.

“I believe I was spared to do something – I can’t ignore that,” North said after the Menlo Presbyterian service.

Menlo Park Presbyterian Church averages approximately 6,000 attendees per weekend. The church has 270 members and 1,744 attendees from 998 families from Los Altos.

For more information, visit www.mppc.org.

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