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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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Don't wish it away: Haugh About That?

Like a 5-year-old waiting to dive into a sea of birthday presents, I watched out the window in overzealous anticipation for the arrival of my daughter Jenni.

Eight years ago, my second child decided to make a pit stop in San Diego on her way home from the University of Arizona. Instead of just visiting, she grew roots and became firmly planted there. Fortunately, she finally saw the light and decided to move back to be with the ones who love her most – namely, me.

Watching her pull into the driveway, I rushed to scoop her into my arms, swaddling her like when she was a newborn in her pink, fuzzy blanket. I was beyond elated to have her home – and then I saw her car.

“What is all that?” I asked with a slight tremor in my voice.

“Can you believe it? We were able to get all my stuff home!”

With her father’s help, sitting in my driveway were two Volkswagen Jettas crammed with what looked like an overflow of someone’s belongings from the TV show “Hoarders.”

I practically choked with the fear that comes from OPC (Other People’s Clutter). I had not envisioned every nook and cranny of my clean and highly organized home to be overtaken by her belongings. It took me six months to clear out my dad’s world from my garage. It was now starting all over again.

“Jenni, you can’t be serious.”

“Oh, Mom,” she said cheerily. “I’ll be moving out again in September. It’s only for three months.”

This was true. It was a temporary situation until she began her new job as a first-grade teacher at Oak Avenue School, but I found myself thinking that day couldn’t come soon enough. I knew my pack rat would return with a few steamer trunks, but I didn’t expect her to bring the entire Titanic.

Later that evening, exhausted from stacking boxes and finding shelves for her former life, I lay on my bed and stared at the ceiling as shame cultivated slow, hot tears to blanket my cheeks. I’d been beyond excited to have her come home. Why was I upset over a few personal items? Then I remembered a similar moment not long before.

I’m a creature of my own habits. I like order, knowing what to expect and when it will happen. As my dad tiptoed through his final transition, the days became painfully long. The dying process is a mystery, and I found myself dangling hopelessly on the end of a frayed tether, ashamed because I wanted it all over.

Knowing the minute he was gone that I’d want him back again, I decided to offer up a different prayer: “Please, God, don’t let me wish him away.” It was time for that prayer once again.

Realizing I’d been given a rare opportunity to have my adult child all to myself, without the interference of her other siblings, I made a vow.

Jenni, I promise I won’t become that nag you knew in your youth who barked over wet towels on the floor, dishes in the sink or shoes and empty water bottles scattered willy-nilly. I’ll close my eyes as I pass by your bedroom in the event a bomb goes off during the night while I’m sleeping, and I’ll lovingly fold the laundry you left piled on the floor. Our time together is short and I want to enjoy you. Soon you’ll leave and the house will be clean once again. And just like with your grandfather, I’ll wish I had you back here, mess and all.

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