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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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Comfort food: No Shoes, Please

Everybody has some version of it – an idiosyncratic, precise recipe from your grandmother or a plebeian grocery store munchy. We can all name something edible that really hits the spot in our emotional bellies. I, for example, often turn to potato chips, while my mother relies on numerous cups of hot water. That probably says something meaningful about us as a pair, but my main point is that food (and drink) can replenish us in more ways than one.

The classic comfort food for many is chocolate – and I get it – but being more a salt and grease person myself, sugar isn’t really my thing. The exception to that rule would be ice cream, the only dessert I truly love and the only one that holds some sway over my emotions. If I’m stressed, a scoop of Ben & Jerry’s Pistachio Pistachio can be a kind of sweet solace trickling down my throat. I know that sugar as a mood enhancer is an illusion at best and at worst a crutch that creates more problems than it solves. But in a pinch, it can work miracles.

For me, a book title like “Joy of Cooking” sounds oxymoronic, but I know what the term “comfort food” means. As a healing elixir, as a stimulant for pleasure and conviviality, as an emblem of a bountiful life – food is rich, enticing and potent. That’s why I’m surprised to discover that it has less pull on me as I age, a process which seems to go hand in hand with the fact that I can’t tolerate as much of anything – grease, salt, sugar, you name it – as I used to.

Nowadays, if I had to choose, I’d rather sleep than eat, and when I go for those chips or that ice cream, it really does feel like I’m consuming empty calories – not nutritionally empty, though that’s true enough, but emotionally empty as well. Plus, I come out on the physical short end of the stick – a pudgy middle or a canker sore – much more quickly to boot.

I still enjoy eating. But the experience is much more emotionally rewarding to me when I’m actually hungry. There’s something about identifying a true need, satisfying it easily and then getting immediate relief that makes life itself seem like a pretty uncomplicated exercise.

The relative ease of life, by the way, is a new concept for me; I’ve been characterizing it in completely opposite terms for the last, oh, let’s say, 50 years. But eating only when hungry is straightforward and clear. Meet your needs, period. Keep calm and carry on. Wash, rinse, repeat.

Maybe that’s the way life should have been for me all along. Maybe all the “have to’s” – have to have, have to do, have to be – weren’t requirements that needed fulfilling after all. Maybe life is meant to be simple and stress-free, managed by relaxed effort. And maybe you can be nourished by something as undemanding and trouble-free as a cup of plain old hot water. My mother may have had it right all along.

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