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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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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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