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News

Local tank drainage concerns water-conscious Los Altos resident

Los Altos resident Frank McKee recently watched water flowing down Valencia Drive and knew something wasn’t right.

The water was emptying from a 30,000-gallon California Water Service Co. tank on Valencia, near Los Altos High School. The water...

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Schools

County board names new superintendent

County board names new superintendent


The Santa Clara County Board of Education voted unanimously July 16 to appoint Jon R. Gundry as new county superintendent of schools, effective Aug. 1.

The sole finalist for the position, Gundry currently serves as superintendent of the Pasadena U...

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Community

San Juan dancers attend national convention

San Juan dancers attend national convention


Courtesy of Jordan Micek
Dancers from the San Juan School of Dance are all smiles as they pose with the trophies they won at the recent American Dance Awards National Convention in Boston.

Nearly two dozen girls from the San Juan School of Dance...

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Sports

Junior All-Stars eliminated from Section 5 tourney

Junior All-Stars eliminated from Section 5 tourney


Courtesy of Bobby Glasspole
The Los Altos & Los Altos Hills Little League Junior All-Stars posted a 1-2 record in the Section 5 Tournament in San Jose after winning the District 44 championship. Front, from left: Case Herbert, Bo Fick, Chris Gi...

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Comment

Guest workers: No Shoes, Please

Last month, I hired a housecleaner for the first time in my entire life, and a good friend of mine exclaimed to me, “Oh, Gracie, you’re going to LOVE it!”

Truth be told, I really don’t. But that isn’t to suggest that this new relationship is anythin...

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Special Sections

Recreation-related concussions on the rise in children

Children are getting more sports- and recreation-related concussions than ever before. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the rate of concussions in children has risen 60 percent during the past decade. Each year, more than...

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Business

Are you ready to retire to South Dakota?

Bankrate.com recently ranked the 10 best states for retirement. The list, which includes such rugged spots as Colorado, Utah, North Dakota and Wyoming, was topped by, of all places, South Dakota.

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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

Foothill opens 'South Pacific' this week in Los Altos Hills

Foothill opens 'South Pacific' this week in Los Altos Hills


David Allen/Special to the Town Crier
Emile de Becque (Daniel Cameron) and Nellie Forbush (Madison Genovese) watch the sunset in “South Pacific.”

Foothill Music Theatre’s production of “South Pacific” is scheduled to run Thursday through Aug. 10...

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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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HERBERT G. PETTY

OBIT HerbPetty1
OBIT HerbPetty2

1921 – 2013

Herb passed away peacefully surrounded by his family at the age of 92. 

Herb was born and raised in Palo Alto, CA. He spent his early years in the Palo Alto school system where he was an active member of the boy scouts and received the top scouting award of Eagle Scout.

Herb received a degree from San Jose State University and was vice president of his class. He was a member and president of the Tau Delta Phi, a men’s honorary scholastic fraternity. It was at San Jose State that he became interested in learning to fly. At that time the college offered a course in civil pilot training.

Herb was a pilot for Pan American Airways for thirty-nine years retiring at the age of 60 as an executive check captain. Herb started his career as fourth officer flying from San Francisco to Honolulu on the China Clipper that took off on the water from Treasure Island in the San Francisco Bay. Captain Petty was part of that truly pioneering epoch as a member of the flight crew on the fabled Pan Am Clippers. 

Pan Am sent him, along with his family, to live in New York for 12 years and then to London, England for 6 years to fly the International German Service during the time of the Berlin Wall.  He returned to San Francisco from Europe to fly the first commercial jet airplanes. Herb flew every jet airplane offered by Pan Am and ended his career flying his favorite airplane - the mighty 747.

Herb also set a record for being the first commercial pilot to fly from San Francisco to London in less than 9 hours.  According to Herb, this was accomplished with the help of a little planning and very strong tail winds! Also, at Pan Am he starred in the movie titled “Jet Pilot” which was part of a series produced by Science in Action.  

Pan Am, an International Carrier, allowed him to fly all over the world including 52 trips around the world. This resulted in more than 32,000 hours, fourteen million miles and an estimated two years of sitting in a seat of an airplane.

While with Pan Am he received the rank of Lieutenant J.G. so he would he would qualify to fly under contract for the Naval Air Transport Service in the South Pacific. Also, much later, he received the rank of Lieutenant Colonel in the Air Force for troop transport missions into Vietnam. He received a Certificate of Recognition and Appreciation from the Military Airlift Command for participating in sustained aerial support of the United States Armed Forces engaged in combat operations within the Republic of South Vietnam. He completed thirty-nine troop transport missions.

Herb was on the original board of directors of Pier 39 San Francisco, which he helped to develop. He established a scholarship at San Jose State University for aviation majors and was awarded a Certificate of Excellence. 

He was a longtime member of the Clipper Pioneers and the Nevada Civil Air Patrol.  

Herb spent much time on portfolio management, and was a husband handy man. At one time he enjoyed playing tennis, skiing at Lake Tahoe and in Europe, volleyball at the Outrigger Canoe Club in Honolulu, playing dominoes and bridge with his friends, and traveling around the world with his best friend and wife Carol Ann.  

Herb will be greatly missed by his family and friends. He was caring, loving, loyal, hardworking, courageous, generous, modest ..  all the values that were a symbol of his generation. A true gentleman to the end!

He is survived by his cherished wife Carol Ann, his daughter Terryl (Wayne), son David (Bobbie), and granddaughter Laura. He was preceded in death by his former wife Helen. He was also survived by his step-daughter Kristine (Jim), step-sons Kevin (Sylvie) and Patrick and step-grandchildren Brendan, Natalie and Christian.  

Services will be private at his beloved Lake Tahoe.

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