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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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Roy and Penny Lave reminisce about 50 years in Los Altos


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Penny and Roy Lave share a laugh recently outside the Los Altos Community Foundation’s office on Hillview Avenue.

By Paul Nyberg

Town Crier Publisher


Roy and Penny Lave, Los Altos residents since 1964, have the rare distinction of both serving as mayors of the city. Roy’s recent retirement from the Los Altos Community Foundation, which he co-founded in 1991, and the couple’s nearly half-century of service prompted the following “e-terview,” the first in a series.

    TC: In the early 1990s, Roy, you teamed up with some others in town to form Los Altos Tomorrow, the upstart of what later became the Los Altos Community Foundation. What was the mission of the organization?
    Roy:The mission of the Los Altos Community Foundation has been all these years to build community in Los Altos, Los Altos Hills and the surrounding areas. Because the term “building community” is not obvious on its face, we adopted the writings of Dr. John W. Gardner as our guide. Gardner participated in several of our events and became an honorary founder.
    Four activities support the community-building mission: sponsorship of public benefit programs; grant making to local nonprofits and scholarships to college-bound, first-in-family-to-attend-college teens; management of philanthropic funds for individuals, families and organizations; and convening the community to address opportunities and issues.
    TC: What is the foundation’s proudest achievement these past 20 years? Biggest disappointment?
    Roy: I think survival for 22 years – made possible by many regular supporters, hundreds of volunteers and talented staff members – is the proudest achievement. Many of our programs have made a difference, but maybe my favorite is E3 Youth Philanthropy, which gives teenagers training and experience in philanthropy. The most visible accomplishment is the two houses saved – the Community House and Neutra House.
    I am disappointed that I have been able to convince only approximately 600 families that the Los Altos Community Foundation is an essential ingredient in the community. I’d like it to be 6,000.

    (Note: Joe Eyre has succeeded Roy as executive director of the Los Altos Community Foundation, an appointment that meets with Roy’s hearty endorsement. Look for further comment on the transition in next week’s issue.)
    TC: You both got your start in life in the Midwest. What brought you to California, and when did you arrive?
    Penny: I grew up in Lansing, Mich., where my mother’s family lived for many generations. I attended public schools and went to Wellesley College near Boston for my freshman year, then transferred to the University of Michigan and graduated from there in 1959. I met Roy at a Big Ten student conference in Ann Arbor my junior year.
    Roy: I grew up in Homewood, Ill., a small Chicago suburb of 5,000, and attended high school five miles away in another suburb. I thought high school was terrific. When thinking about college began, my dad told me that I was getting an engineering degree followed by a master’s in business. And I did. I picked Michigan because it was close, inexpensive and had a combined engineering and business program.
    Penny: Stanford University offered Roy a fellowship for graduate work. He was still in Ann Arbor and I was living with my parents in East Lansing. Sounded good to me. We were married in June, spent our entire $6,000 of savings on a honeymoon trip and a Porsche, which we drove for 10,000 miles through Europe. We returned to the Midwest and drove an old station wagon to California in September for the start of the school year.
    Roy: California held a fascination for as long as I can remember. My mother had told me that perhaps I could go to college there. That did happen finally, thanks to Stanford and a willing spouse.
    TC: Roy, you have always been rather modest about having a doctorate from Stanford University. Why is that?
    Roy: A Ph.D. has been called the credential for teaching and research at the university level. When I was teaching and later doing contract research, the credential was relevant. It isn’t relevant for community work. I do, however, insist that my daughter and son address me as Dr. Dad.
    TC: Meanwhile, Penny was raising your two children and keeping busy in city activities. Which years did you each serve on the city council and as mayor?
    Roy: My council term was 1974 to 1982, and I served as mayor for two terms from 1976 to 1978, the last mayor before the adoption of, and perhaps the cause of, the annual rotation policy.
    Penny: I was on the city council 1985 through 1993. I served as mayor in 1989 and 1993. After both our children were in school all day, I joined the Palo Alto Junior League and became more involved. The year of the Bicentennial, Roy was the Los Altos mayor and I was Junior League president. It was a hectic but fun year.
    While the children cycled through Ford Country Day School, Covington, Egan Junior High and Los Altos High, I volunteered for school activities like the PTA. My favorite high school activity was always Grad Night, which I chaired in 1984. The children graduated in 1982 and 1984, and we found ourselves empty-nesters.
    I always enjoyed Roy’s work with the city vicariously, and after he finished his second term, I applied for the Planning Commission. I was appointed, but after several years, some folks recruited me to run for the city council and I did in 1985.
    TC: What motivated you to run for city council, Roy?
    Roy: I held elected offices in high school and at Michigan, but I had no aspirations for council membership.
    In the early 1970s, our neighborhood was activated by a proposal for development for much of the Jesuit retreat lands, and we fought the proposed development. The eventual development of townhouses rather the single-family houses was ultimately approved with the permanent dedication of a good deal of open space. A number of environmentalists then recruited me to run for the council.

    Look for part 2 of the Town Crier’s e-terview with the Laves next week, focusing on the recent changes in downtown Los Altos.


Roy and Penny Lave

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