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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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Abandonment issues: Read it or leave it?


When one thinks of abandonment, it is likely to bring to mind being jilted by a lover, or being left alone as a child. Generally, it is not thought of as a good thing.

But I contend that sometimes, knowing when to leave – and then actually following through on it – can be a very good thing.

I am referring to the shameful behavior of choosing not to finish a book you started. There are those among us who would consider that downright promiscuous behavior, equating an uncommitted reader to that of an unfaithful lover. I am, however, not one of those people. Quite the opposite, really.

Of course I want to honor the author, who no doubt sacrificed much of his or her life charting a plot and carefully structuring sentences that might provoke readers to neglect their jobs and families so they can read just one more page. I have been that person, and I have read those books – but I could count them on one hand.

And the thing is – those riveting books are different for everyone. An engrossing page-turner for one person may provoke a ho-hum response from someone else. I have read some disturbing and totally unsatisfying best-sellers, like “The Tale of Edgar Sawtelle” (Ecco, 2009) by David Wroblewski, and also read some little-known books that changed my life, such as “The Difference Maker” (Nelson Business, 2006) by John C. Maxwell. It’s best not to judge people by what they like to read.

What do you do when you eagerly pick up a new book and want so much to fall in love with the story, but 100 pages into it, you still don’t feel that gush of euphoria you so desperately need to get you through your otherwise unhappy life? (That is a lot of pressure to put on an author!)

Well, my advice is to abandon it. And I don’t mean just drift away from it, wallowing in a mire of residual guilt. I mean decide that you will seek happiness elsewhere. Don’t keep it around the house as a constant reminder of your inability to commit and your wavering loyalty. That, my friend, is the gateway to years of therapy in an effort to resolve your eroding self-image.

I realize that there are at least two camps on this subject: those who will happily walk out of a bad movie or get rid of a book, with the attitude, “It’s bad enough I threw money at this, I am sure not throwing my time at it as well” (moi), and those dedicated to summoning the effort to complete everything they start, proudly displaying great intestinal fortitude.

I’m just saying … I really do applaud those never-give-up readers and in some ways wish I were more like them. It’s kind of a catch-22 – neither way seems totally admirable. In fact, the book “Catch-22” (Simon & Schuster, 1961) by Joseph Heller, according to the website Goodreads.com, is the book most commonly not finished by readers. I think that’s kind of ironic.

Sharon Lennox-Infante, a Los Altos resident, is contributing editor for Book Buzz.

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