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News

Obama visits Los Altos area

Obama visits Los Altos area

President Obama made a fundraising stop today at a private residence in Los Altos Hills, an appearance that spurred traffic disruptions, helicopters scouting overhead and protesters. In the wake of his visit, unknown persons, apparently no fans of ...

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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 into L...

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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 ...

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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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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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