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News

LA council votes to delay community center update

LA council votes to delay community center update


Ellie Van Houtte/ Town Crier
The Los Altos City Council voted to delay adoption of a community center conceptual design plan last week. The plan includes elements from a design charette held earlier this fall, left.

The Los Altos City Council last...

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Schools

Scientists bring experiments into MV classrooms

Scientists bring experiments into MV classrooms


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
During a Science is Learning geology lesson, Theuerkauf Elementary School students learn about igneous rocks by observing how sugar changes form when heated.

Hundreds of local elementary students perform experiments w...

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Community

Local actors star in PYT's 'Oklahoma!'

Local actors star in PYT's 'Oklahoma!'


Courtesy of Peninsula Youth Theatre
PYT’s “Oklahoma!” features, from left, David Peters of Mountain View, Jenna Levere of Los Altos and Kai Wessel of Mountain View.

Time is running out to catch Peninsula Youth Theatre’s production of “Oklahoma!”...

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Sports

Eagles advance

Eagles advance


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Los Altos High’s Carmen Annevelink, left, and Kristen Liu put up a block against Mountain View. Annevelink totaled 20 kills.

Mountain View High’s out-of-the-gate energy could last for only so long against rival and he...

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Comment

Coping with addictions: Haugh About That?

Preparing to deal with my lifelong addiction, I stood in front of the mirror ready to confess the shame I’d been hiding. The first step to healing, I reminded myself, is to admit something is wrong.

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Special Sections

NASA, Google agreement preserves Hangar One

NASA, Google agreement preserves Hangar One


Bruce Barton/Town Crier
Hangar One, pictured here last January, will be restored under an agreement between Google and NASA.

NASA and Google Inc. forged an agreement last week that allows Google to lease a portion of NASA’s historic Moffett Fede...

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Business

State Street science center closing Nov. 30

State Street science center closing Nov. 30


Ellie Van Houtte/
Helix at 316 State St. is closing after the completion of a one-year grant from Passerelle Investment Co. The science center became a popular destination because of its various exhibits. Town Crier

A popular downtown destination...

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Books

Children's author signs books at Linden Tree

Children's author signs books at Linden Tree


Author Tiffany Papageorge is scheduled to sign copies of new her book 11 a.m. Dec. 6 at Linden Tree Books, 265 State St., Los Altos.

Papageorge’s “My Yellow Balloon” (Minoan Moon, 2014) is a Mom’s Choice “Gold” winner. In the book, the Los Gat...

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People

JAMES WINDELL SMITH

JAMES WINDELL SMITH

January 11, 1939 – November 6, 2014
Resident of Mountain View

James Windell Smith, a 40 year resident of Los Altos, passed away from complications after a post-surgery stroke November 6th, 2014 in Los Gatos, California.

Born on January 11, 1939 on...

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Travel

Olive Sonoma: There's more to the quaint town than wine

Olive Sonoma: There's more to the quaint town than wine


Eren Göknar/ Special to the Town Crier
While many day-trippers may think that Sonoma is all about the grapes, the region boasts other delights. Try a biplane ride over the patchwork landscape.

Sonoma, a scenic two-hour drive from Los Altos, boa...

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Stepping Out

LA Stage Company opens 'Fairway'

The Los Altos Stage Company production of Ken Ludwig’s new comedy “The Fox on the Fairway” is slated to run Thursday through Dec. 14 at Bus Barn Theater, 97 Hillview Ave.

A tribute to the English farces of the 1930s and 1940s, “Fox” is a romp that p...

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Spiritual Life

Author of Jewish historical novel slated at Congregation Beth Am

Author of Jewish historical novel slated at Congregation Beth Am


The Beth Am Women have scheduled “A Conversation with Author Maggie Anton” 7:30 p.m. Nov. 20 at Congregation Beth Am, 26790 Arastradero Road, Los Altos Hills.

Anton, winner of the 2012 National Jewish Book Award for Fiction, will discu...

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Magazine

Christmas At Our House home tour celebrates 26 years

Christmas At Our House home tour celebrates 26 years


Courtesy of Christopher Stark
Homes on the St. Francis High School Women’s Club’s Christmas at Our House Holiday Home Tour showcase a variety of architectural styles.

The days grow short on sunshine but long on nostalgia as the holidays approach...

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Venture capitalist offers tips on mixing faith and business

I had an opportunity recently to sit down with venture capitalist Kevin Compton to discuss faith and business. He disclosed his near-death experience, recounted how he discovered his calling in life and offered his rules for success. Compton’s story provides another example of how God is working in the lives of people in Silicon Valley.

What is our purpose in life? This becomes an even more compelling question when a person confronts a near-death experience.

A close call

“Why was I spared? What was I saved for?” These are questions Compton asks himself since surviving what should have been certain death from an accident when he was 7 years old.

Compton and his friends were playing army at a construction site near his home in rural Missouri. When he jumped off a rafter in the house under construction to surprise a friend below, a steel rod punctured his leg, traveled to his intestines and damaged them. His friends helped him the three blocks to his home. His mother, seeing the profusion of blood, rushed young Compton to the hospital.

The attending physician miscalculated the severity of his injury and simply patched up his leg. That evening, the boy’s body started turning black and he experienced severe pain. His parents rushed him back to the hospital. The internist on duty properly diagnosed the extent of the injury but gave Compton little chance of survival. The young doctor “broke every rule in the hospital,” according to Compton, and operated while his parents prayed.

Following the operation, the doctor indicated that if Compton did survive, he would never walk, certainly never run and never live a normal life.

A miracle happened and not only did Compton survive, but he was also able to walk. As a teenager, he ran the 100-yard dash as a Junior Olympian and even played football.

Mixing faith, business

Compton was raised in a Christian home – his grandparents were missionaries, his father had been a pastor and his mother was a devoted follower of Christ.

Christ became more personal to him in high school.

“I never doubted God or Jesus, but I questioned myself – my ability to be a good Christian,” he said. “Am I living up to my potential? Am I living up to my obligations? Am I being a good witness?”

While in college, Compton worked at a local Ford dealership. When the dealership acquired its first computer in the mid-1970s, Compton was asked to make it work. At that point, Compton said, “I found my calling.”

When personal computers entered the market, he started selling them business-to-business. Businessland Inc. acquired the company he worked for, and Compton moved to California in 1986 as an employee of Businessland, the largest PC and networking retailer in the Bay Area at that time.

In the late 1980s, as Businessland was being sold, two of its investors recruited him to join venture-capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers. Over the next 20 years, it became one of the most successful venture firms in the country, investing in many successful high-tech companies. Compton himself was rated among the top 20 venture capitalists in the world.

In addition to his role with Kleiner Perkins, Compton made a personal investment in the San Jose Sharks, which he sold in 2013. He currently is co-founder of a venture firm, Radar Partners, that invests in early-stage technology companies. In addition, he and his wife are engaged in microfinancing projects in depressed areas in Third World countries.

Throughout his career, he has stayed connected with the community and his church. For more than 15 years, he has taught adult Sunday school classes that have had as many as 150 attendees. He also coached Pop Warner football and helped out at Valley Christian High School. He uses his platform as a venture capitalist to speak all over the world.

Rules for success

Compton offered the following rules for success.

• Live by the Golden Rule. Treat others as you want to be treated.

• Have a sense of urgency. Compton said he works hard to make very few lists and, if possible, tries to take care of things right away.

• Make an effort, knowing that results will vary. “It’s better to just try rather than only trying when you know you won’t fail or waiting until everything is right,” Compton said.

• Think big. You accomplish little unless you have big dreams and act on those dreams, according to Compton.

• Think small. The difference between success and mediocrity is attention to detail, Compton said. He begins every day by reflecting on the previous day and often writes handwritten notes to thank or encourage others.

Skip Vaccarello is a longtime Los Altos resident and founder of a new website, Finding God in Silicon Valley. For a longer version of this interview, visit www. findinggodinsiliconvalley.com. Interviews from this site will be used as part of an upcoming book.

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