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News

E. coli found in Los Altos water indicated breach, but only low risk

E. coli found in Los Altos water indicated breach, but only low risk


Courtesy of Microbe World
Colorized low-temperature electron micrograph of a cluster of E. coli bacteria

When E. coli and other bacteria were discovered in some Los Altos water last week, officials from the local water supplier, California Water...

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Schools

BCS hosts Stretch to Kindergarten program for underserved youth

BCS hosts Stretch to Kindergarten program for underserved youth


Traci Newell/Town Crier
The six-week, tuition-free Stretch to Kindergarten program, hosted at Bullis Charter School, serves children who have not attended preschool. A teacher leads children in singing about the parts of a butterfly, above.

Local un...

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Community

Google car painting project calls on artists

Google car painting project calls on artists


Google self-driving car

Already known as an innovator in the tech field, Google Inc. is now moving in on the art world.

The Mountain View-based company July 11 launched the “Paint the Town” contest, a “moving art experiment” that invites Califo...

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Sports

Pedaling with a purpose

Pedaling with a purpose


courtesy of
Rishi Bommannan Rishi Bommannan cycled from Bates College in Maine to his home in Los Altos Hills, taking several selfies along the way. He also raised nearly $13,000 for the Livestrong Foundation, which supports cancer patients.

When R...

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Comment

The truth about coyotes: Other Voices

The Town Crier’s recent article on coyotes venturing down from the foothills in search of sustenance referenced the organization Project Coyote (“Recent coyote attacks keep residents on edge,” July 1). Do not waste your time contac...

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Special Sections

Grant Park senior program made permanent

Grant Park senior program made permanent


Photos by Alicia Castro/Town Crier
Local residents participate in an exercise class at the Grant Park Senior Center, above. Betsy Reeves, below left with Gail Enenstein, lobbied for senior programming in south Los Altos.

It all began when Betsy Reev...

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Business

New State Street rug retailer has downtown Los Altos covered

New State Street rug retailer has downtown Los Altos covered


Alicia Castro/Town Crier
Los Altos Rug Gallery owner Fahim Karimi stocks his State Street store with a wall-to-wall array of floor coverings.

A new downtown business owner plans to roll out the red carpet – along with rugs of every other color –...

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Books

Book Signings

• Fritz and Nomi Trapnell have scheduled a book-signing party 4-6 p.m. Aug. 1 at their home, 648 University Ave., Los Altos.

Fritz and his daughter, Dana Tibbitts, co-authored “Harnessing the Sky: Frederick ‘Trap’ Trapnell, ...

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People

GRACE WILSON FRANKS

GRACE WILSON FRANKS

Resident of Los Altos

Grace Wilson Franks, our beloved mother and grandmother, left us peacefully on July 16, 2015 just a few weeks short of her 92nd birthday. She was born to Ross and Florence (Cruzan) Wilson in rural Tulare, California on Septem...

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Travel

Gearing up: Make travel more civilized with accessories

Gearing up: Make travel more civilized with accessories


Eren Göknar/Special to the Town Crier
San Francisco-based humangear Inc. sells totes, tubes and tubs for traveling.

In travel, as in romance, it’s the little things that count.

Beyond the glossy brochures lie the travel discomforts too mun...

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Stepping Out

Going out with a 'Bang'

Going out with a 'Bang'


Richard Mayer/Special to the Town Crier
“Chitty Chitty Bang Bang” stars, clockwise from top left, Alexander Sanchez, Sophia Sturiale, Deborah Rosengaus and Danny Martin.

Los Altos Stage Company and Los Altos Youth Theatre’s joint production of t...

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Spiritual Life

Build a 'light' house and get out of that dark place

Most of us have a place inside our hearts and minds that occasionally causes us trouble. For some, it is sadness, depression or despair. For others, it may be fear, anger, resentment or myriad other emotional “dark places” that at times seem to hij...

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Magazine

Inside Mountain View

Residents gather at NASA Ames for Pluto Flyby event

Residents gather at NASA Ames for Pluto Flyby event


Megan V. Winslow/Town Crier
NASA Ames’ Pluto Flyover event kindles the imaginations of young attendees.

Sue Moore watched the July 20, 1969, moon landing beside patients and staff members of the San Francisco hospital where she worked as a nurse...

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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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