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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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Trapped: Haugh About That?

Searing heat swirled in a whirling mass, engulfing my soaking body like an overzealous sauna even the devil couldn’t handle. Looking into the mirror, penny-sized droplets of perspiration trickled down my face. Choking from the intensity, I was sure I was about to die.

It started as a typical Wednesday morning in July. Not wanting to miss a minute of our precious time together, I rode along with my daughter, Michelle, to her various business appointments in Los Angeles.

“Mom, are you sure you’re going to be OK?” my sweet child asked, parking the car. “You can come in with me.”

“Yeah, honey,” I responded confidently. “I have calls to make. Just leave the window open.”

“So, you’ll watch my purse?”

As I tipped an affirmative nod in her direction, she closed the door, aimed her key in my direction and jaunted off.

At first, a cool breeze tickled my head and lazily danced with my hair. But 15 minutes later, I found myself wondering how much longer she was going to take. The Southern California sun was now blazing directly overhead, turning the car’s interior into a firebox.

“Man, I’m getting hot,” I stewed. “Maybe I should get out.”

Just 4 feet away, a bright forest of multicolored impatiens flourished in the cool shade of the towering building. Flipping the button to release the lock, I recalled something about a purse and Michelle pointing her key at the car. Sure she’d armed it, I knew a horrendous sound would blare if I opened the door, so I changed my mind.

“Oh, God! Now what do I do?” I cried, liquefying further into a puddle of profuse sweat.

Fifteen minutes became 30, then 45. Thoughts of being incinerated slapped me silly as I poured bottled water down the front of my dress and shoulders. No sooner did it hit my skin than it evaporated into the sweltering air.

Believing I’d go completely loony if I didn’t do something quickly, I pulled my upper body through the window, but the high-noon temperature was just as hot outside as it was in. Sliding back in, the feeling of entrapment terrified me. Just as I was about to have a panic attack, I noticed Michelle casually exiting the building.

“Hurry!” I screamed. “Unlock the door. I can’t stand it any longer.”

Now, I’ve been told I’m crazy at times, but the look on her face said I was certifiable.

“What’s the matter?” she yelled, running to let me out. Tumbling first into the gutter, I quickly ran for shade.

“Mom, the car was unlocked this whole time!” she giggled.

“What? But I saw you lock it,” I yelped, horrified.

Bursting into laughter, she wiped the drenched wisps of hair out of my eyes, and said, “I was unlocking it. I thought you might want to walk around.”

Driving away with the air conditioner blasting my face, I thought about all the times I’ve allowed myself to get trapped either emotionally or physically just because I didn’t want to bother someone. Worrying about my effect on another has a debilitating way of crippling my decisions, thus blocking me from reaching my highest potential. A need for change was overdue. While I can’t control what others may think, I can be true to myself.

To reach my divine destiny, I have to be authentic to my God-given wings. It’s possible some nerves may be wrangled with the way I flutter, but if I can soar among the flowers of life’s beautiful garden, in and out of the shade, then it’s well worth it.

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