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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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Something special

Most engaged couples want their wedding to be fun and personal, anything but a cookie-cutter ceremony and reception. They look at blogs and bridal magazines for ideas to make their day special but often aren’t sure how to make it all happen.

A host of resources provide suggestions and opinions on what makes a wedding unique, but the answer is not that complicated – what makes a wedding unique is you. There is no one else like you, no other couple like you. So the goal is to create a wedding experience that reflects you as a couple. The concept may be simple, but the translation can sometimes be challenging.

Just the two of you

            As a wedding planner and designer, I recently worked with a couple on their destination wedding in Hawaii. They wanted a beautiful wedding that was unique, fun and intimate. As their guests traveled from all over the country to attend, they aimed to create an atmosphere that would allow them to rekindle relationships and spend quality time with family and friends.

            The key advice I offered the couple: Make sure every decision is a reflection of the two of you.

            The bride and groom were an active, outdoorsy pair who enjoyed everything from kayaking to rock climbing. So, we selected a private estate on the beach as the wedding location so that guests could savor the natural beauty of Hawaii. The estate was quiet and secluded, ensuring that the space felt intimate and casual.

            As the couple were simple, no-fuss, happy people, I designed the wedding to highlight natural elements, combining sun-bleached wooden dining tables with printed runners and mason jars lined with lemons and filled with purple and yellow flowers – a nod to the couple’s favorite colors and the jars they use in their home together.

            The bottom line: When making wedding decisions, couples should focus on what feels like them. If every element included represents their personalities and lives, then none of it will seem forced or contrived.

Share your love story

            A wedding is a celebration of love, so sharing the couple’s story is an important part of the day. The story doesn’t necessarily have to be about how they met or got engaged, but it should illuminate their relationship.

            This couple who married in Hawaii, for example, had a ritual of taking pictures of flowers when they were apart and sending them to one another. Because the groom was in the military and the bride traveled for work, their tradition reminded them that they were thinking of one another and that they loved one another wherever they were. Over time, they began to take photos of flowers when they were together, too.

            To share the custom with wedding guests, we printed the flower photos they collected over the years onto tiles and displayed them in the cocktail area. Each tile had a story to accompany it, allowing guests to share in the couple’s journey. After the wedding, the couple kept the tiles to display in their home.

            Every couple has a story, even if it’s not grand, crazy, complicated or long. To help them find their story, I encourage them to think about the special things they do as a couple – traditions, silly names they call one another, dreams they share, what they love about each other.

            The bottom line: Sharing a couple’s love story not only makes the wedding more memorable, but it also celebrates the reason everyone has gathered and includes the guests in that experience.

More than a pretty look

            Designing a personalized wedding is about more than aesthetics – it’s about the emotions a wedding evokes, those special touches that really create an experience.

            To bring personality to the wedding in Hawaii, guests received multicolored sunglasses with tags that read, “Our love is so bright … Wear some shades!” when they arrived at the celebration.

            The small number of guests attending the wedding, as well as the beauty of a natural tree formation on the property, enabled us to stage the ceremony in the round, with the couple at the center and guests fanning out around them. The unusual ceremony design fit perfectly in the area and allowed guests to be near the couple as they said their vows.

            We took advantage of an adjacent pathway to make the bride’s entrance a surprise. As guests proceeded from a grassy area to the ceremony location, the bride emerged from the beach. This fun surprise allowed the bride to enjoy a special moment with her father before reciting her vows.

            The bride and groom had close-knit families, so much so that the bride’s mother was her matron of honor and the groom’s father was his best man. During the ceremony, the couple exchanged rings made from family wedding rings, a touch that was not only symbolic, but also special and meaningful.

            The bottom line: Create an experience for guests right from the beginning and share what is important as a couple. Make the wedding both personal and meaningful, in whatever way makes sense for you.

         Jamie Chang is a Los Altos-based event and wedding consultant for Mango Muse Events. For more information, visit mangomuseevents.com.

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